Interior decoration has a way of showing your inner personality. When you do interior decoration, your home, office, or station can immediately take on a new and improved look.
There are so many ways, styles, and techniques to do this type of improvement to your interiors. One of such ways is paneling dating back to the 15th century.
Wood paneling takes a room from bland to exceptional. This decoration lets you express yourself as much as you like. There’s no limit to what you can achieve with wood paneling. You can go simple with basic styles or become the elaborate showstopper with more sophisticated designs; the choice is yours.
The choice of the type of wood to use and the style and design of wood paneling is not set in stone. There are so many different wood types you can use, but one thing remains, you’ll need to cut the wood paneling to fit the space.
Since the wood comes in a fixed size, you’ll need to measure and cut these panels to get a perfectly fitting decoration.
Cutting wood panels requires a little know-how to prevent a huge problem known as splintering. Luckily, this guide shows you how to safely and properly cut the wood without damaging it. But that’s not all; you’ll also learn the tools you can use to cut these panels, among other things. So before we see these, let’s learn about wood paneling.
Bonus Read: Woodworking Guide for Beginner
What is Wood Paneling?
Wood paneling is a decorative addition done in interiors using thin and wide wood sheets with narrow and thick wood strips. These panels are called wood paneling and refer to their use in architecture and interior decoration.
These strips, their color, the way it is attached to the sheet, and more, constitute the wood paneling style. These strips can be vertically, horizontally, or diagonally placed to create a unique look. Wood paneling insulates the room and reflects radiant heat from fireplaces, heaters, and others.
Where to Use Wood Paneling?
Your building has a lot of spaces to accommodate wood panels. While you can use wood paneling in your study, office, bathroom, bedroom, sitting room, and more, it’s the positions it takes in these rooms that matter the most. So here are some places to put wood panels.
- Wall Wood Paneling: Placing wood panels on walls is by far the most popular type of wood paneling. It involves wood panels placed on the interior walls of a room. Aside from its aesthetic appeal, wall wood paneling covers any imperfections on the wall while remaining easy to remove.
- Ceiling Wood Paneling: You can use wood panels on ceilings, especially on vaulted ceilings or those with exposed beams. Installing the panels on the ceiling requires a lot of muscle energy and a stable ladder.
- Furniture Wood Paneling: You can cover furniture like bed head frames, TV stands, and more with wood panels to great effect. It beautifies the furniture, increasing its appeal and drawing attention to it.
- Door Wood Paneling: You can place wood panels on doors. Your doors immediately feel bigger and classier with stylish wood panels on them. The doors will have to be wooden to accommodate these wood panels.
Types of Wood Paneling
There are different types of wood paneling consisting of different wood types, designs, and styles. Here are some of the most common wood paneling types:
- Shiplap: This is a common wood paneling type with horizontal boards lined up, and their sides rabbeted so they can fit tightly.
- Plank Walls: Plank walls are mostly used for wall designs where mostly reclaimed wood with distressed plans are arranged in different patterns.
- Beadboard: Here, 2 ½” wide wood strips are laid in a way that it forms a rounded edge that matches with the grooved side.
- Tongue and Groove: This involves the combination of different panels with tongue and groove on opposite sides so that the tongue enters the groove forming a flat area.
How to Cut Wood Paneling?
As mentioned earlier, you cannot avoid cutting wood panels if you want to install them yourself; it is important to learn how to cut them properly.
You can encounter many problems while cutting wood panels; luckily, you can avoid them using the right tools and methods. The tool you choose will determine the exact steps to follow when cutting the wood panel. First, however, here is a general guide showing you how to cut these panels:
1. Get The Right Tool
We cannot overemphasize getting the right tool when cutting wood panels. The right tool should have a high precision level. It should be lightweight, so handling is better. The blades must also be sharp to prevent rough edges and parts from breaking off.
Get the measurement of where you want to install the wood panel and make the necessary measurements on the panel. Mark these points with a pencil or a marker, so cutting is easier.
3. Position The Panel Correctly
The position of the panel will determine how well the cut will be. When using upward cutting tools, put the face side down so the blade touches it first.
Likewise, placing the face side upward when using a downward cutting tool would be best. This will ensure you get a smooth cut since the face side does not get to break off towards the end of the cut.
4. Score The Cut Line
Use a razor or a knife to score the cut line to make it more visible. It would be best if you did this after you had measured and marked the cut.
Use a sharp object to score that line to serve as a guide for whichever cutting tool you employ. Hold down a ruler along the line and use the ruler’s edge as a guide to mark the line.
5. Make The Cut
Whichever tool you choose will require you to make a steady and clean cut through the panel. Depending on how the tool works, employ a guide to ensure you make accurate cuts.
Tools to Cut Wood Paneling
The tools for cutting wood panels vary, depending on several factors like availability, size of the panel, level of precision required, and speed, among others. Here is a quick rundown on some of the tools you can use, including ways to use them.
1. Circular Saw
A circular saw is ideal if you want to make cross-grain cuts. Circular saws also come with paneling blades that suit cutting sheets. It cuts in an upward motion, so you need to place the panel facing down to get a clean cut.
Select a fine-teeth circular saw blade, position the panel correctly and mark your measurements. Clamp down the board to keep it steady and use a guideboard for direction. Run the circular saw through the cutting line with the help of the guideboard.
2. Table Saw
The table saw is a common tool in most workstations, and you can use it to cut panels. It is great when making cuts along the grain.
The table saw blade cuts downward, so you want to face the panel upwards to get a clean cut. Table saws typically make a quick and rough cut, but you do not want this when cutting wood panels. Instead, use blades with more teeth to make cleaner cuts.
Measure the panel and then mark the points using a marker. You can then score the line or use a masking tape joining the marked line. Next, position the panel and make a steady cut through it. Avoid using the natural speed of the table saw, as this leads to rough cuts.
You can also make use of a Dremel to cut your wood panel. This handy tool with a small blade is recommended if you want an artistic cut on your panel.
Typically getting a Dremel saw with a large chip removal area will ensure you can make your cuts without it getting clogged. It is easy to use since it is small and portable. However, it is not ideal for making straight cuts and cuts on large panels since it’ll take a lot of time.
The jigsaw features a narrow, elongated blade, making more delicate cuts than the table and circular saw. You can also use it to cut wood panels on the wall.
The jigsaw blade cuts downwards, so you should place the face of the panel upwards. While this saw is not suited for straight line cuts, you can still make them by using a pair of rulers on either side of the saw shoe guiding the blade as it cuts through.
5. Utility Knife
No special cutting tools? No problem. With a sharp utility knife, you can cut your wood paneling. This simple method prevents wood from splintering and does not require expensive tools.
First, you’ll need to measure the panel and mark it with a pencil—Mark both entry and exit points. Then use a straight edge metal to guide the two marked points and carefully score the knife.
Next, draw the knife across the panel in one swift motion. Do this several times as the score keeps getting deeper till you can snap the board in two.
The Problem of Cutting Wood Paneling
The major problem you’ll face when cutting wood panels is wood splintering. Splintering is when some parts of the wood, usually around the edges, break off when sawing.
Splintering occurs when the blade comes in contact with the wood or from the other end. You can prevent splintering by using tape across the cutting line.
You should also ensure the wood panel is placed correctly with the face of the panel in the right direction. A sharper blade with finer teeth reduces the chances of splintering.
Wood paneling may not be as popular as it once was, but it is still used as a decorative addition to interiors. Unfortunately, cutting the panel can be tricky without any prior knowledge. This guide has shown how to cut the wood panel to prevent damage to the panel, among several other tips.