White Wood Wall Panels: Wonderfully Stylish or Washed Out?

Written by Milan Jara on 14th Jul 2022

White Wood Wall Panels

Looking for inspiration for incorporating white wood wall panels but don’t know where to start? We have ideas, from shabby chic to modern marvels.

For some, wood paneling creates images of a room that is either chaotic or dark and musty. Yet, when done well, white wood wall panels can provide a seriously stylish effect by introducing texture-rich dimensions into your space. Whether you want to add a wall panel feature wall, cover the entire wall, or incorporate it into your existing home décor, we provide ideas that will inspire you.

In recent years, wood paneling has gotten a poor reputation. Most people find it too dated or boring to add to their walls. However, for providing interest and texture, nothing can transform your area so beautifully and easily as quality wood panels. We have some incredible ideas for how to add panels and modernize existing paneling from the seventies.

White Wood Wall Panels: Interior Design Ideas

White wood wall panels can be used on an accent wall, feature wall, incorporated into sections of walls, or used to cover an entire wall. They provide a modern, fresh appeal to any room, making it feel instantly lighter. This is the benefit of adding white as opposed to those traditional dark walls.

Existing Panels

White Wood Wall Panels

If you already have existing wood veneer, beadboard, shiplap, or real wood wall paneling, you can brighten the look by simply painting them white. Panels from the seventies tended to have a darker appearance, making rooms look dingier and, in some cases, seedier than they should. In the seventies, the look was considered swanky. Today, it is cause for a makeover!

To make the transformation, simply buy a gallon of paint. Find one that is a crisp white to make the walls look lighter. This is perfect for shiplapped paneling, vintage homes, and a country-chic style.

Decorate Your Island

Kitchen islands tend to be the centerpiece of any home and are a hub of activity in most families. Why not make it stand out by incorporating a bit of wood paneling to the island to provide texture and make surrounding colors pop. This look provides a great contrast to darker-colored walls, cabinetry, or countertops.

Generate an Accent Wall with Paneling

White Wood Wall Panels

Painted accent walls are nice but so overdone. Consider adding white wall panels as an accent wall. They look great in oversized master bathrooms and behind large beds for an accent. This element also works well in shabby chic or farmhouse styles.

Panel the Ceiling

Ceilings are often called our “fifth wall,” but people tend to neglect them. You can easily install white wood wall panels on the ceiling to generate height in any room. They pair well with mostly white rooms if the white color is paired with a contrasting darker one. Otherwise, the room appears too sterile.

Shiplap is very popular, and this look is often seen in shabby chic or traditional farmhouse designs. However, its range doesn’t stop there. You can also pair it with a clean, minimalistic look to provide a more contemporary feel.

Additionally, if your room has acoustic panels or a popcorn ceiling, these tiles are a great way to cover it up without scraping them down. This will provide a clean, fresh look.

Frame Your Fireplace

The fireplace is the center of any room as the eye is naturally drawn to its warm beauty. Thus, floor-to-ceiling decorative panels will elevate the space, making it look larger. For tall ceilings, paneling will fill the space and provide visual interest.

Add Interest to a Mudroom

Mudrooms are the most widely used area in any home, yet also the most neglected. Why not make this room interesting? Consider using white wood wall panels and installing them three-quarters of the way up the wall. It provides the look of wainscoting and allows you to install hooks at the perfect level.

Elevate a Small Space

White makes rooms appear larger. This is no exception when you have a small room. To provide the illusion of height, consider installing white wood wall panels vertically to add the illusion of height to your room.

Additionally, to add width to a room, you can place the panels horizontally. However, if the room is small, stick to vertical placement as you don’t want the room to look short.

Keep your color very simple with this design by using clean, white accents combined with pops of color. The most incredible colors to consider are aqua blues, yellows, and pastel greens.

Use it for Built-Ins

Have a library or office you don’t know what to do with? Consider adding a white wood wall panel behind the shelving to provide a high-end, expensive feel. You can complement the look by using floating shelves combined with the paneling to give the appearance of a bookcase. This will also make the room appear wider.

Small Powder Room

White Wood Wall Panels

Small powder rooms can be a source of frustration as there seems to be very little you can do with them. Installing horizontal paneling in a bathroom with a cozy appeal will provide more charm with the illusion of space.

Entryway Transformation

For houses that don’t contain a formal entrance, delineate your space with an accent wall. It will make the area feel separate and purposeful from the remainder of the home. For a modern, mid-century feel, stick with a distressed white look.

Go Geometric

White wood wall panels don’t have to be straight. Instead, for added interest, look for geometric patterns to provide a contemporary look to a space. This works well for bedrooms and guest bedrooms by adding interest and making them appear more whimsical.

Vintage Bathroom

By incorporating wainscoting into a bathroom using this paneling, you can provide a more vintage appeal. It provides a simple update without taking anything away and looks amazing with a colored, claw-foot bathtub.


You have several options for pairing white wood wall panels into any living space. These panels don’t have to look boring and can be used strategically in many styles to elevate the look. Just be sure that when incorporating them, they don’t wash out the look of the room.

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