DIY Network

How to Add Oak Wall Paneling

Follow these instructions to add a beautiful oak finish and decorative molding to your walls.

More in Windows Walls and Doors

  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $1,000 - $2,500

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Attach the Oak Plywood to the Wall

To install plywood on the wall, apply construction adhesive in a series of zigzags to the back of the paneling. Press in place against the existing dry wall, and use finish nails around the perimeter to hold the paneling in place while the adhesive dries.

Step 2: Determine the Wall Layout

After the plywood is in place, determine the general layout of the wall, including the height of the chair rail (32" to 42" from the floor), and cut the lumber and molding to length with a miter saw. The baseboard is 1" by 6" oak lumber; the chair rail is 1" by 4" oak lumber topped by decorative cap molding; the crown-molding assembly is made from 1" by 6" oak lumber topped with crown molding; side framing pieces are 1" by 4" oak lumber. Cove molding frames the inside edges of the top and bottom of the paneled wall.

Step 3: Install the Chair Rail, Decorative Cap and Baseboard

Use construction adhesive and finish nails to install the chair rail and decorative cap. Install the baseboard with construction adhesive and hold it in place with finish nails driven with a pneumatic air gun.

install chair rail and decorative cap

Step 4: Install the Crown Molding and Side Pieces

Install the crown-molding assembly (1" x 6" oak topped with crown molding) (Image 1). Install the vertical pieces at the sides of the wall, and finish by framing the interior of each square with cove molding (Image 2).

Step 5: Sand and Stain

When the wall is assembled, sand all surfaces with an orbital sander. Stain and finish as desired.

sand all surfaces with orbital sander