Whether you're a new homeowner or you're renovating your basement, there are various wall paneling ideas you can use to turn your basement from cold and damp, to warm, charming, modern, and luxurious.
Whether you’re a new homeowner or you’re renovating your basement, there are various wall paneling ideas you can use to turn your basement from cold and damp, to warm , charming, modern, and luxurious!
Basement wood paneling can turn your basement into a family room, a man cave, a meditation area, and anything in between. Using various types of molding, panels, textures, and materials can all help you get the look you want and give you a basement you’ll absolutely love.
Below are some of our favorite choices for wood paneling, and we’ve included some easy DIY projects to help you save money while redoing the whole room!
Table of Contents
- 1. Install Board and Batten Walls
- 2. Use Herringbone Pattern on Wood Panels
- 3. Use Reclaimed Wood Wall Panels
- 4. Paint Existing Wood Panels
- 5. Install Raised Wood Panels
- 6. Install a Faux Wood Wall Panel Fireplace
- 7. Use Acoustic Wall Panels
- 8. Use Shiplap Walls
- 9. Use Smaller Sized Wood Tiles
- 10. Multi-Dimensional Wood Wall Panels
- 11. Add Matching Wood Shelving
- 12. Paint On Only the Paneling Grooves
- 13. Whitewash your Wood
- 14. Add Colorful Wall Decor
- 15. Install Insulation
1. Install Board and Batten Walls
This is one of the easiest projects you can do to improve the look of your basement wall. Board and batten can be installed on every wall of the basement or just on one wall to make it stand out! Board and batten walls use affordable batten boards which are placed on the wall using a construction adhesive. This easy install process can be done in as little as 3 to 4 hours, and only require simple tools including paint, primed batten boards, a nail gun, and simple math to determine how many boards you will need to create your paneled walls.
Once you’ve nailed in your batten boards, you should fill any holes using a thin layer of caulk. You can then use paintable caulk to fill and seal off any edges between your panels and the wall, such as in corner areas. If you didn’t purchase primed batten panels, you can then prime your wood and prepare the board and batten for painting.
The great thing about batten panel walls is that they are completely customizable. You can easily install small pieces of horizontal boards in between vertical panels to create a square look. You can also choose your favorite paint to add warmth, add personality to your dedicated tv wall, even paint the wall pink to make a Barbie shrine. The choice is yours!
2. Use Herringbone Pattern on Wood Panels
Wood paneling patterns don’t have to be boring. Herringbone is becoming more and more popular due to its beautiful design, which consists of v-shaped wood paneling and other intricate patterns. You can either leave herringbone wood panels treated or untreated, and both will look just as beautiful. Herringbone patterns were traditionally used in flooring, and are still considered one of the most luxurious and trendy options for floor installation projects. Now, however, they are being commonly used in anything from ceiling tiles, to kitchen tiles, outdoor areas, you name it! Herringbone patterns can be a great way to give your basement walls a higher quality look, while still spending the same amount on wood materials.
For a more personalized look, use maple wood which is easy to paint and mix up the colors on your herringbone basement walls. Mix white paint with blue walls, or stain some panels while leaving others with a natural look. The beautiful thing about herringbone is that you can be as intricate as possible without risking your basement looking like a mess!
3. Use Reclaimed Wood Wall Panels
If you’re looking to add warmth to your basement, there’s no better way to do so than to use rustic wood wall panels. One of the best rustic paneling materials is reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood can be incredibly unique and charming, adding an air of mystery and a bit of character to your finished basement. Reclaimed wood is environmentally friendly, and it has been heavily treated to ensure it is safe to use in your basement or other rooms of the house. Reclaimed wood is now a popular choice for floors, ceilings, and of course wall panels.
Reclaimed wood panels are an excellent way to add a bit of farmhouse style to your paneled walls. They can be a bit more expensive than installing new plywood or other types of wood. However, they have a unique look that only distressed wood having undergone years of use can add.
4. Paint Existing Wood Panels
Contrary to popular belief, painting wood isn’t as easy as simply opening a can of paint, getting a brush, slapping some paint on and being done with a project. If you have wood panels that are made of darker, less porous material, such as oak, you will never be able to get a solid coat of paint on your wall unless you properly prepare it.
Fortunately, you can easily prepare and paint your wood wall panels yourself to save money. Cover your ceilings and floor with painters tape, remove any existing nails and electrical outlet covers from the wall, and sand your wall using a sanding sponge. Afterward, simply fill in any holes with caulk, paint over the holes, panels, and indents in the panels using a primer, and then add on your paint. You can also hire a contractor to do this work for you, however they might take a few months to finish your basement since they’ll have to work around your schedule.
Whether you choose to hire a contractor or paint old wall panels in your basement yourself, the end product is an amazingly unique room that you can paint to add brightness, mellow the mood, make your basement more modern, or match the rest of your home.
5. Install Raised Wood Panels
Raised wood panels are perhaps the epitome of luxury. They were actually a popular choice in 17th century homes, making this a popular choice for colonial-style houses. Yet, they can also be made to look modern by using high quality materials and deep-colored luscious woods.
Some popular raised wood panel choices include using cherry wood, oak, mahogany, walnut, and ebony. Although these woods are on the higher end in terms of price, they are well worth the investment if you plan on converting your basement into a formal office space, or simply want to make your basement more sophisticated.
6. Install a Faux Wood Wall Panel Fireplace
Faux fireplaces are a hot new trend, and can be added to any room of the house including your basement! If you don’t have any wood paneling in your basement but want to add warmth and style, installing a faux wood fireplace is a good option.
You can use any wood to panel your fireplace, from a beautiful graying oak, laminate or vinyl planks, or natural light-colored pine and hickory woods. After you install a faux fireplace, you can then use it to display your favorite pictures, or as a tv wall!
7. Use Acoustic Wall Panels
Acoustic basement wood paneling is an absolutely gorgeous choice that not only adds depth and a modern look to your basement, but can also be useful in drowning out excessive noise.
If you use your basement as a place to jam out and record, acoustic wall panels can improve the acoustics of your room and improve the sound quality of your recordings. Acoustic wood panels can also reduce stress and make a relaxing environment by removing reverberation. This is great if you want to use your basement as a meditation area, or simply want to build a den to unwind after a stressful day.
8. Use Shiplap Walls
Shiplap is a hot new trend right now that embodies the modern farmhouse style popular in many homes. Shiplap consists of wooden boards that have grooves cut into their top and bottom. These allow the boards to easily fit together and give it the classic shiplap look with deep grooves in between the slats. Shiplap walls provide a tight seal and prevent moisture from seeping in, which is why they have been used in the past to construct everything from barns to sheds!
Shiplap can be used to create a beautiful interior wall, and is traditionally finished in white paint. If you want your basement to be cozy, yet modern, shiplap is a perfect choice.
9. Use Smaller Sized Wood Tiles
Wood tiles can add a unique look to your wall and even mimic the look of tile and brick, while still showing off beautiful grain patterns and adding a distressed look that is unbeatable!
Wood tiles can be used to add a rustic feel to your basement, and can be made of reclaimed woods. You can even mix and match small pieces of wood, making a mosaic-style wall pattern. This is one wall panel that will capture the eye (and the attention) of your guests.
10. Multi-Dimensional Wood Wall Panels
Just like smaller wood tiles, multi-dimensional wood wall panels make the basement wall pop…literally! Multi-dimensional wood paneling can be pricey, however, it’s worth it if you want to create a space that is inspired by art and drop-dead gorgeous.
If you don’t want to splurge on redoing your entire basement, using multi-dimensional wood wall panels is a great way to add a decorative wall while still making the entire room look amazing. You can even do a DIY project by layering on designer wood tiles on top of your existing wall.
11. Add Matching Wood Shelving
If you already have wood paneling but want to freshen up the look, adding shelving is a simple and quick fix! Although you can add shelves to virtually any interior, from brick to metal and concrete, there’s something about the way wood shelves look on wood paneling that makes them look seamless.
The two materials work well together, and wood shelving not only adds functionality to your basement, but also an area to display your favorite pictures, memorabilia, and even store your liquor bottles!
12. Paint On Only the Paneling Grooves
For a quick, pinstripe look that can be extremely customizable, opt for painting only the groves in between your panels. This can add a beautiful contrast to your panels, and can quickly turn heads!
For added aesthetic appeal, you can use the color-wheel to paint your panels. Pair a navy blue wall with gold or orange painted grooves or a stark black wall with white painted grooves for a classic pinstripe look.
13. Whitewash your Wood
Wood has beautiful grain patterns that are unique to every single board. If you’re in love with your grain, but want to lighten up your room, you can opt to whitewash your wood instead of completely painting over it.
Whitewashing is relatively simple to do, and involves diluting paint with water and layering it over your wood. Whitewashing is an excellent way to save time and money, as you don’t have to spend time painting and prepping your wall. Rather, you’re simply lightening up the wood using paint and a brush or rag. This is a project any beginner can do!
14. Add Colorful Wall Decor
Wood panels are beautiful in and of themselves. However, you don’t want to leave the walls barren in your basement, as this can make the room feel cold and uninviting.
Opt for some large art to cover your walls, such as large portraits or canvases. You can also use large mirrors that can reflect light and help brighten up your basement. Make sure to match your decor with the style of your basement, such as rustic or modern. Pop art decor can also look fabulous on wood paneling, especially painted wood paneling.
15. Install Insulation
Who said redoing wall panels is a waste of time? On the contrary, if you don’t have any insulation underneath old wall panels and notice your basement is colder than usual, it’s time to add insulation underneath your panels.
Fortunately, it’s easy to add insulation, and it can be a weekend DIY project. Simply remove existing wall paneling and all nails using a pry bar. Then, use roll-out insulated materials such as a vapor barrier or install furring strip wood to protect against moisture. Then, simply add the new or old paneling back on.