Paneling 1 - Introduction Paneling 1 - Introduction


Paneling is a dramatic and easy way to finish the walls of a room. Paneling comes in two basic forms - solid-wood boards in various widths (many of which are tongue-and-groove fit) and wood-faced 4' x 8' panels. In this section you will learn how to install wood-faced panels on several different surfaces, with special techniques to fit panels around openings and to custom-cut uneven intersections. One part of the section describes the installation of tongue-and-groove solid-wood boards on a wall. In addition, you will discover some shortcuts and useful tips on trim for your new walls.

Before You Begin Safety

Although paneling is not a difficult do-it-yourself project it is always a good idea to develop safe work habits and stick to them.

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  1. Use the appropriate tool for the job.
  2. Keep blades sharp. A dull blade requires excessive force and can slip and cause accidents.
  3. Wear the proper respirator when using adhesives with toxic fumes.
  4. Wear rubber gloves when using solvents.
  5. Be careful when lifting, to avoid unnecessary strain.
  6. Don't smoke. Extinguish pilot lights and open flames when working with adhesives. Some are highly flammable.
  7. Be sure tools are properly grounded.
  8. Use all proper precautions when using power tools.
  9. Use safety glasses or goggles whenever hammering or sawing.

Tip: When paneling is applied over existing white walls, a white streak can sometimes show through between the joints of two panels. You can avoid this by painting the existing walls with a 1 1/2" dark strip at these points.

Useful Terms

  • Furring - Usually 1 " x 2" or 2" x 2" strips of wood attached to masonry or uneven walls to provide cavities in which to install insulation and a suitable surface upon which to apply paneling or wallboard.
  • Respirator - A device worn over the nose and mouth to filter out toxic fumes.
  • Scribing - A method of transferring the line of an uneven surface to a panel, making use of a compass.
  • Shim - Small wooden wedge used to even out furring strips, or to hold panels in place while attaching them to the wall.
  • Vapor barrier - Material to prevent buildup of moisture between insulation and paneling.
  • Wood-faced panels - 4' x 8' sections of plywood, one side laminated with hardwood veneer.

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