How to Make Wood Paneling Look Modern? (7 Easy and Affordable Ways)

7 Easy, simple, affordable and actionable ways to make any wood paneling look modern. Written by : Editors | Last Updated : September 3rd, 2022

Some people maybe think that wood paneling is outdated.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

If you are planning to do some makeover on your current wood paneling, or, want to make a new ones with a more stylish and modern looks, than you are in a 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

Wood panel with LED strip light
Wood panel with 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 looks fantastic. As you can see on our example project above, where we add LED light at the edge of every wood panel.

This tricks also will help enhance the looks of the wood texture and colors, and make it more stand out. Furthermore, you can also lift up the entire room lighting quality with this kind of light that will produce a 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 that you can use for your wood panel :

LE LED 6000K Super Bright White LED Strip Light

MINGER 16.4ft RGB Color Changing LED Tape Strip Lights with Remote

2. Add Clean Lines

Modern wood panel with simple clean lines
Wood panel with simple clean lines

Another easy way that you can do to make your current wood panel looks 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 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 a simple line effects for your wood panel :

Edge Supply Birch Roll Wood Veneer

Realistic Wood Textured Tape

3. Combine with Mirrors

Wood and mirror accent wall
Wood and mirror wall

Wood elements and mirror is a perfect recipe to create an amazing home decor. This also can help make your wood panel looks more luxurious. If you are create your own interior wood panel from scratch, than you can use the approach that we used on the image above where we combine the mirror flawlessly between the wood panel. Or if you already had a wood panel, than you can buy some modern style mirror and hang it there to lift up the looks of those panel.

4. Use Curve Shaped Wood

Curve shaped wood panel wall
Curve shaped wood panel

Usually, wood panel created using a boring rectangular shape. If you want a more up-to-date approach, than you can use a more modern style shape, such as the curve ones as we used on 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

Modern white wood panel behind TV
Modern white wood panel

Among the list on this article, this is one of the most simple and easy approach. Yes, you can repaint your old wood with any paint colors that looks 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 results, make sure you repaint your wood panel using a paint especially made for repainting a wood. And we are highly recommend this paint if you want to repaint your wood panel :

Rust-Oleum Water Based Furniture and Wood Paint

6. Narrow Wood Plank

Modern look wood accent wall in bedroom
Modern look wood accent wall

Instead of using a typical wood board, you can cut them into a smaller size to create a much more elegant looks. As you can see on our project above, we used a small narrow size wood to create a gorgeous wooden accent wall for this contemporary style bedroom. Arrange them vertically will also make the panel feels much more interesting compared the typical horizontal arrangement.

7. Modern Shaped Wood Panel

Modern rectangle shape wood panel
Rectangle shape wood panel

Our last recommendation to create a modern looks wood wall is by using a more modern shape for each wood panel, such as this rectangle ones. Arrange the panel with this shape will help creating a clean modern lines effects that looks luxurious.

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

Category : Wood Wall