7 Simple Methods to Modernize Wood Paneling

Written by : Andre A & Roomdsign.com Editors | Last Updated : June 7th, 2024

Some people may think that wood paneling is outdated. But in fact, with a bit of adjustment, you can make it look and feel much more modern.

If you are planning to do some makeover on your current wood paneling, or, want to make a new one with a more stylish and modern look, then you are in the right place.

Here in this article, we will show you 7 simple tips on how to make wood paneling look more modern and elegant, while at the same time still bringing some gorgeous natural feels. And here they are :

1. Add Light

When we said adding light, it doesn’t need a 100$ spotlight or a fancy wall sconce. Even a cheap LED strip light can work wonders to help make any wood paneling look fantastic. As you can see in our example project above, where we add LED light at the edge of every wood plank.

This trick also will help enhance the looks of the wood texture and colors, and make it stand out. Furthermore, you can also lift up the entire room’s lighting quality with this kind of light that will produce great and wonderful ambient lighting that can make any space feel more charming and romantic.

Here is some example of great but affordable LED strip light :


2. Add Clean Lines

Another easy way that you can do to make your current wood panel look more up-to-date is by adding some clean trim lines. This approach works great especially when you have a large wooden panel that usually looks boring and monotonous. Moreover, this simple trick will help make your space feel a bit larger.

There are several ways that you can do for this approach. First, you can use a wood trimming machine, or, use decorative wood trim tape/molding.

If you are interested, here is some cheap wood trim tape that you can use to create simple line effects for your wood wall :


3. Combine with Mirrors

Wood elements and mirror is a perfect recipe to create amazing home decor. This also can help make your wood wall look more luxurious. If you are creating your own interior wood panel from scratch, then you can use the approach that we used in the image above where we combine the mirror flawlessly between the wood plank.

Or if you already have an already installed wood panel, then you can buy a modern style mirror and hang it there to lift up the looks of those panels.


4. Use Curve Shaped Wood

Usually, wood panels are created using a boring rectangular shape. If you want a more up-to-date approach, then you can use a more modern style shape, such as the curved ones we used in the image above.

This kind of shape is not easy to make as you need to hire an expert carpenter or order a custom panel, but surely the results will be worth it.


5. Repaint the Wood

Among the list in this article, this is one of the most simple and easy approaches. Yes, you can repaint your old wood with any paint colors that look much more modern. You can either use a simple clean white paint or go bold using a darker yet elegant ones such as black or dark blue.

To get a perfect result, make sure you repaint your panel using a paint especially made for repainting wood. We highly recommend this paint if you want to repaint your wood panel :


6. Narrow Wood Plank

Instead of using a typical wood board, you can cut them into smaller sizes to create a much more elegant look. As you can see in our project above, we used a small narrow size wood to create a gorgeous wooden accent wall for this contemporary style bedroom.

Arranging them vertically will also make the panel feel much more interesting compared to the typical horizontal arrangement.


7. Modern Shaped Wood Panel

Our last recommendation to create a modern-looking wood wall is to use a more modern shape for each panel, such as this rectangle one. Arranging the panel with this shape will help create a clean modern line effect that looks luxurious.

Finally, you can combine this approach with another one that we already stated before, such as adding some light between each panel or repainting the panel to make it look better.

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