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Wood Wall Ideas

The current trend in interior design is sheetrock, elaborate trim and crown molding, maybe some wall paneling and tons of white and gray. But have you ever considered styling a room with all wood walls. Because that’s what this article is all about. The beauty of real, natural wood and some of our best wood wall ideas.

There’s nothing quite like the look of real wood stained that perfect shade of brown. Wood has a rich quality that lightly painted walls with white trim just can’t match. All wood walls bring depth and much needed warmth into homes that currently style a bit on the cold side. When you think of all wood paneling you may conjure up memories of a bad 70s interior. But that’s when wood walls were done all wrong. When they’re done right, all wood walls are a timeless look that’s filled with class and natural beauty.

In this article we’ll discuss the pros and cons of wood wall paneling as well as some of our favorite wood wall ideas and designs.

About Wood Wall Paneling

All wood interior walls are custom built using a combination of wood panels, boards and trim pieces. Sometimes the rooms are painted which makes the build much easier but in general all wood rooms are stained. This type of custom trim and wood work is just about as high end as you can get in terms of custom carpentry. Working with stain is very different than with paint because it’s not as easy to cover up gaps or nail holes with filler or paint. Every cut, joint and nail has to be perfect if you want a quality finished product.

And the materials are more expensive too. Stain grade wood is a lot more expensive than wood that’s going to be painted. Sure, certain types of wood hold paint better than others, but they’re still less expensive than stain grade.

When you add up the cost of a talented designer, expensive materials and a qualified wood worker, what you get is an expensive project for even a small room. Now just imagine trimming a whole house like this. We’ve worked on homes with custom wood trim and wall panelings that have taken almost a year to finish. And it’s not uncommon to spend a month or two just building and staining the wood walls of a small office.

If you plan on building a home with all wood walls then expect to pay a bundle and spend months doing the work. I hope these wood wall ideas will at least help you with your design.

Beautiful all wood walls. Wall paneling with custom trim. Arched openings and matching real wood doors. Hardwood floors.

Beautiful all wood walls. Wall paneling with custom trim. Arched openings and matching real wood doors. Hardwood floors.

What’s The Best Wood For Building Wall Paneling?

The type of wood you use matters a lot when your building all wood wall paneling. And to make matters more complicated, it makes a huge difference what your finishing the walls with. For this reason we’ll be discussing the two main options. Paint and stain.

What’s The Best Wood For Painted Wood Wall Paneling?

Paint grade wood is very different than stain grade. And it tends to be a lot cheaper. With paint grade you want a tighter grained wood with a smooth feel such as soft maple, hard maple, poplar, and pine. Woods with a more open grain have a rougher finish that don’t hold paint as well. They sometimes need lots of filler and sanding to be smooth enough for paint.

It’s best to build your wall paneling out of tight grain woods to avoid the extra work. And tighter grains end up looking better anyway because filler can eventually crack but wood won’t.

Poplar, pine and soft maple are popular options because they’re a little cheaper and easy to work with. However, softer woods dent easier than hard woods.

Softer woods also absorb the first coat of paint so you’ll need more coats than with a harder wood.

Hard maple and other hard woods are what we recommend. It’s smooth finish is perfect for painting, the cost is reasonable and it won’t dent as easily as soft woods.

MDF can be used for large flat surfaces. Carpenters use it all the time for cabinet making and the back of built in shelving. It’s not wood but once it’s painted you won’t know the difference. In fact most white cabinets made these days use MDF panels with wood trim. It’s hard, very smooth and holds paint well. And it doesn’t expand and contract much so you won’t have to worry about gaps opening up.

Smooth plywood or birch plywood are another good option for large flat areas if you prefer to stick with wood.

What’s The Best Wood For Stained Wood Wall Paneling?

Any type of wood can be stained, but that doesn’t mean that they all look the same once they are. The same stain will look completely different on different types of wood. That’s one of the big challenges you’ll face when staining real wood paneling. You not only have to find the perfect stain but also the right wood that works well with that stain to achieve the look you want.

Another issue is how unpredictable wood can be. Even when your working with the same type of wood, different pieces can accept stain in different ways. It takes skill to achieve a consistent look because you may have to adjust the color slightly as you go. For example let’s assume your working with cherry, the flat panels, boards and trim pieces may all look a little different when you apply the same color stain even though they’re all cherry. So you’ll have to adjust the stain a little or the wall paneling won’t match exactly.

We recommend working with oak, walnut, cherry, hard maple or other hard woods that have a nice grain.

Keep in mind some types of wood are so beautiful it doesn’t even make sense to stain them. In this case use a very subtle stain or even just a seal. Stay away from glosses. A natural look is generally best.

All dark wood office with wood wall paneling and wood ceiling. Matching wood desk. Tan carpeting. Large windows let in tons of natural light.

All dark wood office with wood wall paneling and wood ceiling. Matching wood desk. Tan carpeting. Large windows let in tons of natural light.

How To Build All Wood Wall Paneling

Designing and building an all wood room isn’t easy. It takes dozens of different wood panels, board lengths and trim pieces all secured together to build a finished product. Once all the wood is installed you have to prepare it all for either stain or paint. This generally means filling the nail holes and some sanding. And finally you paint or stain the wood. Even a small room could require hundreds of exact cuts and then installation of each piece. It’s labor intensive and requires a high amount of skill.

Generally a wood room requires 3 main parts which are layers on top of one another to created a seamless look. You can see these parts in the pics shown throughout this page. They are:

  1. Flat panels. These are the large panels that cover the bulk of the wall. The panels are all installed first. They get glued and nailed into the wall studs. You should only nail your panels in places which will then be covered by other trim pieces.
  2. Board lengths. Boards are generally 1/2″ – 1″ thick and vary by width and length as needed based on the design. For example a common board we use is 1″ thick x 6″ wide x 16′ long. The are great for building wall panels and essential for coffered ceilings. Use glue wherever you can and hide the nails as much as possible.
  3. Trim pieces. Trim comes in a wide variety of sizes and designs. You’ll see all sorts of decorative trim pieces used throughout the room from base to crown and everywhere in between. As with the other parts use glue and nails to secure the various pieces. Try to hide them as much as possible. Try to glue on trim pieces to cover up nail holes as much as possible. It’s a much cleaner look.

If you have electrical elements inside your wall paneling design then run all your wires prior to installing any wood. Install all your fixtures, vent covers, switch and outlet plates last.

Pro Tip: When you do have visible nail holes don’t use store bought filler with stain. It’s fine to use when your painting the wood but never with stain. The reason is that stain looks a lot different on filler than it does on the wood so every nail hole you filled will stand out and look terrible. Make your own filler by mixing saw dust from the wood your working with and wood glue. This way the stain will match perfectly because your using dust from the same wood.

However the best method of all is to have no visible nail holes. It’s harder to do but worth the effort.

Wood Wall Design Ideas

Before you install any wood, make a single cut or buy any materials, you need to design the walls.Look through reference photos or come up with your own custom design. Every great design starts with some idea sketches so that’s where you should start. Draw out some designs that you like. At this point rough drawings are fine and they don’t have to be to scale. Just find a design you like. The great thing about wall paneling is that you can adjust the design to fit any style. All wood walls look fantastic on everything from an ultra modern home to an old fashioned country cottage.

Once you’ve got that perfect design take accurate measurements of the room you’ll be working in. Then draw out your design to scale based on the measurements of the room. Design each wall one at a time. Draw in each piece of wood just like you were building the wall panels for real.

  1. Draw the large flat panels first.
  2. Then the lengths of wood.
  3. And finally all the trim pieces.

Make sure to draw every piece to scale including the width, length and thickness of each pieces.

Keep in mind while designing how you’ll be finishing the walls. Paint and stain are different. They require slightly different materials and construction methods. Since with paint it’s easier to cover nail holes there may be some pieces you can eliminate. With stain you’ll want to cover all the holes so extra trim pieces can be glued in place as a strategic cover.

Hopefully one of the wood wall ideas shown below will help you with your design.

All Wood Sitting Rooms

Wood is one of the best materials to use in interior wall design because it’s timeless, rich, warming and adds interest to any space. This article is all about our favorite wood wall ideas and the best spaces with wooden walls. This section is dedicated to the sitting room.

All wood walls catch the eye like no other style as soon as you walk into the room. That’s why we like using it for walls in a dedicated room like a sitting room or office more than throughout the whole house. Wood walls make the room they’re in that much more special because they’ve been finished in such a tasteful way.

The wood you use and paneling design design are totally up to you. Wood wall design ranges from ultra modern to rustic country, it all depends on the design and color. It’s such a customizable look that matter your style there’s sure to be something for you.

The wood you use can be sleek or reclaimed. Sealed for a natural finish, stained a darker shade of brown or painted for a monochromatic look.

All Wood Home Office Walls

A home office helps you escape household distractions and focus on work. And if your building a home office then why not make it beautiful. Consider the rich, timeless look of all wood walls. Design a sophisticated space away from the distractions of every day life.

You’ll appreciate the look even more if you see clients at home because all wood walls makes a strong impression. Especially if the rest of your home is light neutral walls and white trim. Stepping into a room like this from a home styled like that is sure to make an impact and get you ready for business.

Many of our best wood wall ideas are in a home office. Hopefully a few of these home office design ideas will not only inspire you to create something unforgettable. Let’s break down the designs a bit further by stain color.

Dark Brown Wood Wall Ideas

Darker shades of brown is a commanding look that works well in a home office. Consider adding in lots of natural light if you can or artificial light if you can’t. Even if you want a really dark room you can always close the shades or dim down the lights.  There may come a time when you want to brighten things up and it’s nice to have that option.

Home office with all wood walls and coffered ceiling with built in shelves and hardwood floors. Matching stain.

Home office with all wood walls and coffered ceiling stained medium dark brown with built in shelves and hardwood floors. Matching stain. This particular stain has some yellow undertones which gives the wood a golden quality.

All wood wall paneling stained dark with matching wood desk. Huge windows let in tons of natural light. Built in gas fireplace.

All wood wall paneling stained dark with matching wood desk. Huge windows let in tons of natural light. Built in gas fireplace. Dark stains with lots of light are one of my favorite wood wall ideas. When you go this dark it’s a good idea to include natural light, unless of course you want a very dark room.

Home office with wood walls and custom trim. Built in wood burning fireplace. Hardwood floors and matching wood desk.

Home office with wood walls and custom trim. Built in wood burning fireplace. Hardwood floors and matching wood desk. This stain is in the mahogany family and includes some red undertones.

Wood walls with matching coffered ceiling. Gas fireplace with black granite surround. Hardwood floors and area rug and glass desk.

Wood walls with matching coffered ceiling. Gas fireplace with black granite surround. Hardwood floors and area rug. The stain you see above has yellow undertones with just a touch of red which gives the wood a nice glow.

Wood walls and coffered ceiling stained medium brown. Matching hardwood floors.

Wood walls and coffered ceiling stained medium dark brown. Matching hardwood floors. Another view of the same room. As you can see in this pic the wood stain has some nice depth.

Home office with medium brown stained all wood walls, coffered ceiling and built ins. Hardwood floors.

Home office with medium dark brown stained all wood walls, coffered ceiling and built ins. Hardwood floors. This stain has a touch of red.

Beautiful home office with all wood walls and coffered ceiling stained medium brown. Hardwood floors with built ins.

Beautiful home office with all wood walls and coffered ceiling stained dark brown. Hardwood floors with built ins. Another stain with a hint of red.

Home office with all wood wall panels and textured ceiling with built ins and cream carpet. Matching wood desk.

Home office with all wood wall panels and textured ceiling with built ins and cream carpet. Matching wood desk. Gas fireplace with black surround. Wood shutters. A medium dark brown stain with just a hint of yellow and red gives off a golden glow which is accentuated by the yellow and golden plush chairs.

Dark brown stained wood walls with built ins and matching wood desk.

Dark brown stained wood walls with built ins and matching wood desk. Medium stained hardwood oak floors with area rug. This stain has a reddish undertone. Thin coffered ceiling with painted white coffers. Dark wood desk chairs with cream cushions. A very impressive home office design.

Home office with a clean wood wall panel design. Medium dark brown stain with a hint of yellow

Home office with a clean wood wall panel design. Medium dark brown stain with a hint of yellow. Matching hardwood floors with an area rug. Built ins with a white ceiling. Large windows let in lots of natural light. This color stain looks very nice with all that light because it helps bring the golden undertones out.

Medium Brown Wood Wall Ideas

Medium stains may not seem that much lighter than darker browns when you compare small samples, but in an all wood room even a small amount of brightness can make a big difference. Clients generally say that brighter rooms tend to be more inviting and have a relaxing feel. Some of our favorite wood wall ideas use medium brown stains so if that’s the impression you want to make with your home office then medium brown may be for you.

Beautiful wood wall design with medium brown stain. Lighter wood floors with a yellow tint

Beautiful wood wall design with medium brown stain. Lighter wood floors with a yellow tint. painted white ceiling. Built ins surround a wood burning fireplace with granite surround. Wood desk. The office include a brown leather sofa with red area rug.

home office with all wood walls. Large panels with box trim. Thick crown molding and coffered ceiling

Another fabulous home office with all wood walls. Large panels with box trim. Thick crown molding and coffered ceiling. Wood burning fireplace with black surround and wood mantle surrounded by built ins. Ornate custom made wood desk. Huge white windows and doors let in tons of natural light. Dark tile floors with area rugs.

home office with two toned wood panel walls. Medium brown stain with a golden hue

Rich home office with two toned wood panel walls. Medium brown stain with a golden hue. Gas fireplace with black granite surround. Wood mantle surrounded by built ins. Wall mounted flat screen TV. Matching hardwood floors with area rug. Blue chairs and matching window treatments. Huge windows let in lots of natural light.

Round home office with wood wall panels and custom ceiling.

Round home office with wood wall panels and custom ceiling. Gas fireplace with tile surround and wood mantle. Tile floors with an area rug. Dark wood desk with matching dark brown leather chairs. Painted brown ceiling.

Wood walls with built ins and lots of custom box trim

Wood walls with built ins and lots of custom box trim. Matching wood floors and desk. Wood burning fireplace with black stone surround and wood mantle. The stain has a reddish undertone.

Home office with two toned wood walls. Lots of custom trim work and matching hardwood floors

Home office with two toned wood walls. Lots of custom trim work and matching hardwood floors. Medium brown stain with a golden hue. Matching wood desk.

beautiful home office. Medium brown stain with yellow and red undertones. all wood walls

All wood walls create the look for this beautiful home office. Medium brown stain with yellow and red undertones. Custom coffered ceiling with chandelier.

Home office / conference room with all wood walls and built ins

Home office / conference room with all wood walls and built ins. Huge windows let in lots of natural light. Medium brown stain with red undertones. Matching hardwood floors. Thick coffered ceiling with recessed lighting.

Light Brown Wood Wall Ideas

If you want all wood walls but don’t like a dark room then light brown stains may be for you. Using stain this light will dictate the type of wood you can use since many woods are naturally too dark to achieve the look. Many of the lighter wood wall ideas and designs you’ll find aren’t even using stain but rather just a sealant. They protect and seal the wood but don’t add any additional color.

Sealants create the most natural look but you have to choose your wood carefully since you won’t be altering the color at all.

home office with all wood walls and dark brown desk, blue area rug, blue desk chair

A lighter medium brown stain was used on the wood walls of this home office. It has a hint of yellow which is what gives this room it’s golden glow. Matching hardwood floors with blue area rug. Contrasting dark desk with blue chair. Built in cabinets and shelving. Matching coffered ceiling with chandelier.

Home office with all wood walls and light brown stain

Home office with all wood walls and light brown stain. This stain is so light it’s actually just a seal. Knotty pine wall panels. Gas fireplace with black surround and wood mantle. Built ins. Matching hardwood floors with area rug. Plush blue sofa. Wood desk. White sheet rock ceiling with center chandelier.

home office with light brown wood wall design and white ceiling. Contrasting dark brown wooden desk and chairs

Clean home office with light brown wood wall design and white ceiling. Contrasting dark brown wooden desk and chairs. Matching doors and window trim. Lighter brown wood floors with a yellow hue. Because of how light reflects off the lightly stained wood walls the room feels just as bright as any other room in the house. If your turned off by dark rooms but still want all wood walls then this is a nice option to consider. And the white ceiling helps a bit with bounced light too.

Summary: Interior Wood Wall Ideas And Design

All wood walls can be a beautiful design you can use in any home. Since they’re all custom designed and built you’ll be able to find a wood paneling design that fits whatever style home you have. And aside from how great they look there are a bunch of other benefits like less maintenance and an increased home value when you build them in the right home. While all wood walls are not generally used in every roomy, including one or two wood rooms in your interior design is worth considering.

We hope the information and pics shown above will help you with your all wood room design.

If you have any questions or comments e-mail us any time.

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