Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s paint hack gives you the wall panelling look with none of the effort

You simply need three shades of your chosen paint colour and some masking tape
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  • Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has shared how to get the wall-panelling look with very little effort – and at a fraction of the cost. The much-loved and endlessly flamboyant Changing Rooms star calls his wall panelling paint hack a spécialité de la maison.

    The LLB paint trick harks back to the original Changing Rooms show 23 years ago, when the idea was originally conceived. This week’s episode took Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Anna Richardson to West Yorkshire to decorate two living rooms in need of some interior design know-how.

    Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Anna Richardson on Changing Rooms

    Image credit: Channel 4

    Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s wall panelling paint hack

    Matt, the resident painter and decorator is shown using masking tape to paint squares onto the wall. This creates a trompe l’oeil that gives the illusion of real panels.

    ‘This is so straightforward, because what I’ve done is, I’ve picked the colour that we’ve got the wall in, and then I just went one lighter and one darker, which gives you the shadow and the highlight,’ explains Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. As Matt the decorator peels away the masking tape, he reveals the faux wall panels.

    They look realistic and work brilliantly alongside the other blue living room ideas and art deco references Laurence has got going on. We think the interiors expert’s wall panelling paint hack is a great option if you’re decorating on a budget and want to add character to an empty wall.


    This wall panelling idea means you can add visual interest and a sense of depth without having to do any DIY. If, however, you’re ready to take on the challenge of installing wooden panels, Future Homes Audience Editor Amy Cutmore has some tried-and-tested tips.

    ‘Wall panelling may seem like a daunting job to some, but provided you are organised and have the right tools, it’s relatively easy,’ she says. ‘My two biggest pieces of advice would be to measure, measure and measure again, and to either buy or borrow a decent mitre saw as it will make cutting the strips of wood to size a piece of cake!’

    Living room Pink wall panelling

    Image credit: Dulux

    Just like real panelling, Laurence’s wall panelling paint hack requires some very careful measuring and attention to detail. If you can resist the urge to pull the masking tape off before the paint’s totally dry, we reckon this trick’s a winner.

    Would you try it?

    Changing Rooms airs at 8pm on Thursdays on Channel 4.

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