8 Types of Wood Paneling for Walls

Updated: May 06, 2024

Wood paneling for walls adds an element of classic style to your home, and it's easier to install than you think.

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Shiplap Wood Wall Paneling

Shiplap wood wall paneling is composed of flat boards with overlapping rabbet joints — a flat groove cut into the edge — that create a snug fit. These rabbets also allow for a small gap, AKA a reveal, between each board, which adds rustic charm. Shiplap can be installed vertically or horizontally.

Although it’s waning as an overall design trend, shiplap can still look appropriate in a modern home. This pre-primed Pine Shiplap Wood Wall Paneling Board includes detailed instructions for vertical, horizontal and diagonal installation. Check out our half-wall paneling ideas to enhance your home.

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Tongue-and-Groove Wood Wall Paneling

This wood wall paneling resembles shiplap, with one key difference: Instead of rabbets, tongue-and-groove joints interlock the boards. It creates a tight fit and a clean look, though installation can take much longer than for shiplap. Tongue-and-groove wood wall paneling is well-suited for ceilings. If your ceiling is hideous, check out these wood look plank ceiling ideas.

This Lowe’s 12-ft. Tongue-and-Groove Unfinished Spruce is made of solid wood, and available at an impressively low price.

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Beadboard Wood Wall Paneling

Traditional beadboard features narrow strips of wood with a small ridge or “bead” between each board. Beadboard is typically only used on the lower three or four feet of wall, an application known as wainscoting. It’s a good choice for walls that already have a chair rail or another type of wainscoting border in place.

Beadboard wood wall paneling can be installed as individual boards or large sheets with the beadboard pattern mounted to the front. This House of Fara Red Oak Beadboard wainscoting can be stained or painted. It includes the necessary chair rail and baseboard molding for a complete look.

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Bead And Batten Wood Panel Familyhandyman.com
Family Handyman

Board-and-Batten Wood Wall Paneling

Board-and-batten wood wall paneling combines wide boards and thinner strips, AKA battens, to create a distinctive three-dimensional pattern. These battens also conveniently hide the seams of the larger boards for a clean look.

With no standard sizing for board-and-batten layouts, there are numerous ways to achieve the look you want, including creating a grid pattern with horizontal boards. Because they’re not typically found in prefabricated boards or panels, you’ll have to build your board-and-batten wall yourself or hire a pro.

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Raised Wood Panel Walls

Raised wood wall panels are just that — an elevated, beveled panel framed by rails and molding. This intricate style has a classic, colonial look, perfect for formal areas like a dining room, office or library.

Although the central panel is typically made of medium density fiberboard (MDF) and not natural wood, it doesn’t negatively affect the overall look. When painted, it’s indistinguishable from the surrounding wood elements.

This New England Classic Raised Panel Wainscoting kit includes everything you need and can be customized to the precise measurements of your space.

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Pallet Wood Paneling

Also known as barn wood or reclaimed wood paneling, this option uses rough and/or unfinished wood planks to create a farmhouse-like motif, so blemishes, knots, and rough spots are welcomed. This paneling would work well in an informal room like an art studio or workshop, or separate pool house or bathroom, but would likely clash with formal elements found in the home.

Due to the uneven widths of the individual boards, it’s best to paint the backing black so there won’t be light paint peeking through. Pallet wood paneling can be low cost or free if you know someone looking to get rid of their pallets. You can also transform regular pine boards into reclaimed wood paneling relatively easily with the tools in your garage. Elevate your space with these reclaimed wood wall ideas.

These Weaber Weathered Hardwood Boards are made of real wood and stained to give them a reclaimed look. They’re even cut with small variances in their widths to give that uneven, natural appearance.

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3D Wood Wall Panels

Unlike panels with a uniform, orderly layout, 3D panels offer an irregular pattern, in the width of the boards as well as the thickness. This gives the entire wall an eye-catching style, a great choice for those seeking something different.

We’ve personally found this type of paneling to be a challenge to keep clean, though, and the offset ledges will need to be dusted regularly. These pre-finished 3D Teak Wood Panels come in 12- x 24-inch panels for easy installation.

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Vertical Wall Paneling

If you like the retro aesthetic of 1970s-style paneling, today’s vertical wall panels can recreate that vibe in a contemporary home. They’re made of real wood and easier to install because they’re thinner than other paneling. These are pre-finished, but you can prime and paint them to match your décor.

These Canyon Yew Wall Panels feature alternating groove widths to give them a modern look. The installation manual is incredibly comprehensive and helpful.