Functional coating of the lower part of walls which started as a technique for protecting walls and retaining heat in houses in 13th century Europe has now become an interior design trend in India. What I am talking about is paneling and one in two clients planning interiors for their home that I have spoken to in the past 6 months want it.
For those who don’t know what paneling is – it’s those frame-like shapes that are stuck on the walls and painted, just Google and it will show you.
What’s interesting is that YouTube is full of DIY paneling videos from Europe and the United States that show the panels and rails nailed directly to the walls. People here in India follow suit without realizing that “their” walls are made of wood while “ours” are cement.
In India, if you ask a carpenter rather than a painter what is the best way to do paneling, the two will give you a different answer. I have seen carpenters in Bangalore doing it by the YouTube method added with their own innovation – they stick “teak beads” directly on the walls – a painter’s nightmare as he then has to make sure that the joint between the wall and the wood will not crack, moreover, filling these pinholes due to bead nailing is not an easy task. Painters, on the other hand, might tell you to do this with a veneer finish as it’s something they’re most comfortable with, but then you lose the versatility of Wainscot to match a variety of themes. Design.
So, should we use the paneling or not? And if so, what is the best way to apply it within the constraints imposed by conditions in India and the workforce that is not trained to do so. This is what we’ll be discussing in today’s blog post – step by step and question by question. At the end, if there are any unanswered questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will come back.
Q1: What is the paneling? & Why is it gaining so much traction these days?
Answer: Basically, paneling is wood panels going from the ground up to about 3 feet high on the walls. The panel design can be anything. In the past in Europe (where this trend originated), paneling was a way of protecting walls and keeping the home warm and cozy. Why is he gaining so much traction? Frankly, God knows. It’s like any other interior design trend that comes along and gets everyone hooked.
Q2: Should you consider paneling for your home or office?
Answer: Paneled walls, if done right, gives a very elegant look that can be aligned with both a contemporary or traditional interior design theme, so if you like it AND if you have a large size, so YES, absolutely go for it. Remember, however, that Wainscot looks great in the great outdoors. If you do this in a small room, the space may seem even smaller, moreover, with all the furniture, the paneling may not even be visible. Also understand that any special finish on the walls is always a passing trend – for example, wall decals became a trend a while ago, so be mentally prepared to remove the paneling in your next home or office remodel.
Q3: Are there any restrictions or places where paneling should be avoided
Answer: Yes, make sure that the wall you are planning on paneling on is not damp and that it is not a wall that is likely to get damp in the future – like exterior cladding walls in the future. poor quality construction (unfortunately most apartments in Bangalore fall into this category ??). Any moisture in the wall will spoil the Wainscot finish in a matter of months.
Q4: How much does the paneling cost? Is the cost prohibitive?
Answer: Paneling does not cost more than any other form of paneling. It’s just a wood / MDF board with good quality paint on the top. However, it will cost you more to manufacture than regular paint because it is more complex.
Q5: Can the paneling be done by directly nailing the rods (called rails) to the walls? What is the best way to install a siding panel for Indian conditions?
Answer: Do not nail the tracks directly to the walls. Due to the difference in the base material, the paint will crack where the wood (from the rail) meets the wall. Instead, install a base board and GLUE (not nail) the bottom, middle, and rails of the cap to the base board. Rails can be made of wood or WPC (Wood Plastic Composite). The base board should be HDHMR (avoid MDF boards) or WPC as they are water resistant. The base panel can be fixed to the wall with screws. Screw holes should be planned so that they are covered by the rails to avoid problems with filling and finishing the hole.
Q6: What kind of paint should be used for the paneling
Answer: You can use regular wall paint on the panels and wainscoting tracks – preferably the higher range like Royale or equivalent. Depending on the final finish planned, even Duco paint, enamel (satin), PU or melamine finishes would be suitable.
This covers it short and sweet. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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