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  • Lydia Elder

DIY Home Cinema Panelling

After the success of our geometric panelled wall in the playroom, I’ve been absolutely itching to get some strip wood up in another room. First in my crosshairs was our lounge – this is the one room in my house that I have always found difficult to visualise, design and purchase furniture for. It is a large, rectangle room, with a set of French doors, bay window, another large window, and awkwardly placed radiators. The room has a navy and grey colour scheme, with black accents and accessories.

A key feature of the lounge is our LG CineBeam Laser 4K Projector, which was gifted as part of a previous collaboration from LG UK. The projector tech is absolutely amazing and produces incredible picture quality even in bright daylight. It’s ultra-short throw means that the projector unit itself sits right in front of our wall on our tv unit, a mere 5cm away for a 90 inch screen (it can go up to 120inches, but that would be larger than our wall space!). The downside of having a projector rather than a tv has been that we’ve had to keep the wall blank and white which, when the projector wasn’t on, looked a bit odd and unfinished.

I originally was going to do traditional Georgian style panelling throughout the whole room, and had even bought and painted Pine Glass Bead Moulding to frame the projector screen. However, I then had a brainwave that stemed from a previous discarded idea for our Home Office. I had wanted to use unpainted natural pine stripwood to create a vertical wood slat feature wall underneath the wall cabinets and above the desk in our home office. What if I transferred this idea to create a similar effect as a surround for the projector screen? In this blog I will list all the quantities and prices of materials I used, and give you some top tips on how to create a vertical panelled surround for your tv or projector screen to give you a WOW-factor home cinema.

Above are all the materials I needed for the actual panelling, although some of them we already had from our previous project.

First Step - Measuring Up

Since the UK has been in lockdown, I know many people who have seen the extra time at home as a great opportunity to get those lingering odd jobs and interior decorating projects done. However, undertaking DIY projects during a pandemic has numerous challenges - the most frustrating for us was low supplies of materials that usually would be easy to get a hold of. This meant that, while we did measure everything beforehand, we ended up making 3-4 trips to B&Q to get the strip wood, as they often only had a few of the size we needed. I had wanted to get 10.5mm by 36mm, however there wasn’t any of this size available, which led me to opt for the Smooth Square edge Pine Stripwood (L)2.4m (W)25mm (T)10.5mm. In hindsight I am glad we went with the thinner panelling, as although we had to stick a lot more strips up, it’s given it a more luxe look.

Preparing the strip wood

The time-consuming part of this project was the fact that I had to individually paint each piece of strip wood. Whereas for the last panelling project I spray-painted the whole wall once the bare strip wood was attached, for this I wanted the background to be the same grey as the rest of the room, with the black strips of wood mounted on top. I bought GoodHome Liberty Flat Matt Furniture Paint from B&Q, and while I purchased x2 0.5l tins, we only ended up needing one. This paint is not only the cheapest option, it went on really well, was non-drip and gave a really lovely matt finish. Once the wood was painted, it was time to cut it down to size using our 1800w Table Saw from VonHaus. This was very straightforward as they were all straight cuts, no angles, so could be easily done with a hand saw or smaller power tool.

Sticking the Stripwood

We used Unibond No Nails to stick the strip wood to the wall, one piece at a time. Firstly we constructed the border for the projector screen from four pieces, then stuck all the upper pieces, then the sides, then the lower. We cut into the strip wood to make grooves where the plug socket and media plates were on the wall, to get a perfectly spaced fit. We used a spare cut-off to measure how far apart each strip should be, as the depth of the wood was 1cm, the exact size we wanted to space them out. Once they were all up, I went over with a damp cloth and gave them all another lick of paint to cover up and scratches or chips.

There you go! A step-by-step guide to creating this a vertical panelled feature wall, perfect for framing a projector screen or tv unit. Scroll through the pictures below to see the process, and for more videos and ‘behind-the’scenes’ of this DIY panelling project, please follow me on @lydias_layton_life . I would LOVE to be tagged in any of your own panelling projects, if I’ve inspired you!

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