Wall Paneling

Interior Wood Wall Paneling Guide for 2022

Interior wall paneling is a great way to add interesting elements to your home, and we're not talking about your grandparents' basement wall paneling. These days, there are so many different options to achieve a clean, modern look with this classic trend. With the right materials and expertise supplied by Ring's End, you can even make it a weekend home improvement DIY project.

Types of Wood Wall Paneling

There are several types of wall paneling, all at different price points and levels of complexity. When considering the options, you should take into account not only how you want the finished project to look, but how much time you’re willing to spend, if you’ll need help from a contractor and, of course, your budget. Here are some of the most popular types, as well as some wall paneling ideas:


Wainscoting refers to wall paneling that runs partway up a wall, typically no more than 32 inches from the floor. Historically, this style of wall paneling was used as a way to insulate a room and to protect the bottom half of walls from dirt and moisture. Now, it's common to see decorative wainscoting anywhere from the living room and dining room to the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or entryway as a way to add character and texture to a space.

Ring’s End Design & Décor Sales Manager Elizabeth Reda says, “If you’re tired of chair rail moulding, you can add paneling underneath it to enhance the space without having to rip out the chair rail.” This is a great way to refresh your wall decor. Wainscoting can be installed using any of the materials discussed in the following sections.


Shiplap is probably the most common type of wall paneling. It was originally used on house exteriors but has become increasingly popular indoors, particularly with homeowners who want to create a cozy farmhouse look. Shiplap wood boards overlap each other and are nailed through the front of the boards. They can be installed horizontally or vertically with or without a gap between the boards. You can install WindsorONE Shiplap Boards with a gap up to ½”:

Shiplap gaps

These primed finger joint pine boards come pre-coated with three coats of acrylic latex primer.

Shiplap paneling from WindsorONE

Eastern White Pine wood siding is a less expensive option and does not come primed, so your stain and paint options are endless. Reda suggests adding pine shiplap to a mudroom, as it’s durable and really adds to an otherwise utilitarian room. “You can also wrap an old brick or stove fireplace you may not be crazy about,” she says.

Nickel Gap

Nickel gap paneling

Nickel gap has a very similar look to shiplap, but nickel gap siding comes in tongue and groove boards that connect without the need for nails, so the look is smoother than shiplap. The gaps between the boards are uniformly built right in and are about as wide as a nickel (1/8”).

Nickel gap profile

Ring’s End also sells nickel gap in sheets to make your DIY project even easier! Nantucket Beadboard’s MDF Nickel Gap sheets come in 6” and 8” board widths and are 32 square feet (4' x 8').

Ring’s End also carries nickel gap in 6” and 8” tongue and groove boards in MDF and a primed solid pine (Niantic only). You can use shiplap boards to create the nickel gap look, simply by making gaps between shiplap boards. Reda likes to add nickel gap in unexpected places in her design clients’ homes, such as the back of a bookcase or behind a built-in bench.

Beadboard Wall Panels

Beadboard wall paneling in a bathroom

Beadboard consists of generally narrower boards placed tightly next to each other with a rounded, or beaded, center both in the middle of the board and on the edge between the boards.

Beadboard today is also available in sheets for easy installation. There is a wide variety of widths and decorative profiles available. And while this style of wall paneling can look very traditional, using a more contemporary color will completely change the look and vibe. “You can install beadboard ¾ of the way up a wall and add a bold color to the top quarter,” suggests Reda. “Alternatively, you can get a monochromatic feel by using the same color throughout the entire wall, but add some interest by using a higher sheen up top and flatter sheen on the beadboard.”

Standard beadboard profile

Nantucket Beadboard has primed MDF panels as well as moisture resistant primed MDF panels.

You can also buy beadboard in individual tongue and groove real wood planks. Ring’s End carries options in WindsorOne primed pine, douglas fir and eastern white pine.

Fir beadboard and eastern white pine beadboard

V-Joint Wood Paneling

V-joint paneling from WindsorONE

V-joint, or V-groove paneling is typically wider than beadboard and the planks come together to form a “V” profile. Generally speaking, V-joint has more of a modern look than beadboard and may be more appropriate in a large area than beadboard. Like beadboard, v-joint paneling comes in both tongue and groove wood planks as well as Primed MDF panels. Ring’s End also has v-joint available in stock eastern white pine boards.


V-Joint profile

Prefinished Rustic: Wall Boards

Pre-finished wall paneling by ChoiceWood

If you want a more rustic look, prefinished wall boards are a good option.ChoiceWood’s Weathered Wall Boards come in a variety of wood tones, stains, and washes, and can be installed in different designs. This natural wood paneling with visible wood grain brings the distressed barn wood look inside for a beautiful, cozy feel.

Board & Batten

Board and batten is a type of siding typically used on a house’s exterior when narrow pieces of wood are attached along the joints of larger wood panels:

Board & batten on a home's exterior

However it’s become increasingly popular to use the board and batten method to create decorative interior paneling inside to achieve a 3D layered look, as shown below:

(Photo by Hemingway Construction)

This type of board and batten is most popular as wainscoting or as an accent wall. You can even get creative with a unique geometric design, using board and batten as wall art. Decorative wall panels as accent walls are being used more often in bedrooms and nurseries. Make an accent wall even more of a focal point by painting it an interesting color!

Bathroom Wall paneling painted in Benjamin Moore’s Gray Mirage 2142-50

Visit our Design Center for Assistance

Interior wall wood paneling is a great budget-friendly way to give a room or two in your home a nice refresh, whether you go with traditional paneling or a more modern look. Decide upon a budget, think about the effect you want to achieve with your home decor, and if you’ll do the work yourself or need assistance from a contractor. Bring your inspiration to Ring’s End - we’ve got both the materials and the expertise you need to get started.