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Dining Room Wall Panelling WIP

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Doug71

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I'm panelling out a dining room for a customer and thought why not take a few photos as I go along and post it on here as a work in progress (obviously got their permission).

The room is about 5m x 4.5m and there isn't a straight line in the place so will be an interesting job.

I'm basically putting laths on the walls to straighten things up a bit, covering it with MDF, adding some strips of MDF to form the panels then adding some mouldings. The customer knows the walls are out and realises there will be a few tapered edges to things but is happy with that as it is an old place.

A few photos to get things going

Example of how bent the walls are, the lath is straight and touches the wall again at the top but should really come away from the wall at the top about 50mm to be plumb.

bent walls.jpg


Wall also bends in the length so will be kind of easing it round.

bent walls 2.jpg


The ceiling is 125mm out of level in 5m and there will be coving around the top, I'm thinking of running the top of the panels out of level parallel to the ceiling, the customer isn't convinced yet but I think it will look better than a 5" taper between level panels and the out of level coving, thoughts?

A few interesting things to work the panels around like this old safe.

safe.jpg


There are also a couple of built in cupboards and fire surround to make.

Here is where I am currently at, only just got started.

GH panelling 1.jpg


It won't be a quick job as I'm also on with other things, I think as long as it's ready for Christmas dinner they will be happy!

If there is any interest I will post a few photos as it goes along, please let me know if it's best to post them thumbnail or full size like I have here.

Any hints, tips, experience, ideas or opinions, good or bad appreciated.

Doug
 

Cabinetman

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Hi Doug, glad to see I’m not the only one that takes on the jobs that nobody else will look at! This is one hell of a bent room! The biggest problem I see is the out of true ceiling and just how you will lose 5 inches from floor to ceiling I’m not sure so best of luck, but what I would say is to throw away your spirit level for the horizontals and make it look as best you can by eye, you will know better when you have the sheets of Mdf on the walls and then experiment with pins and lats of wood to simulate the panelling, I think (as you are doing) definitely involve the client in the making the best of a bad job decisions. Ian
Ps Yes please keep us up-to-date and definitely full size as you have done with the pictures. Cheers
 

Adam W.

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Yep, carry on as you are and I'll enjoy watching from the sidelines.
 

Doug71

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A bit more progress, a couple more walls battened.


battens 2.jpg


One wall had two doors in, not sure if it was two rooms originally or one of those posh dining rooms that had an in and an out for the servants?

Apparently I'm somehow making a feature of the fuse box, at least it's going to fall in the middle of a panel :unsure:


battens3.jpg


I had 20 sheets of MR MDF delivered yesterday, was worried they might have held things up but seemed no problem with supply 👍
 

Doug71

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watching this one!
Thanks for the reminder, sorry I have been a bit slack on the WIP front. Don't know how people manage to find time to photograph their work as they go along never mind video it!

Coming along well

panelling.jpg



panelling 5.jpg


This shows the sloping ceiling

falling ceiling.jpg


4" architrave turned up today, not looking forward to fitting that on the bent walls!

4inch arc.jpg


Getting there slowly but still loads to do!
 

Doug71

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Another wall done, they all look the same really, all the MDF makes it feel like you're working in a big cardboard box!

panelling 6.jpg


Why do big old houses always have such low doors, guess people used to be shorter? Those with eagle eyes will see the mid rail on the panels doesn't line up with the lock rail on the door, nearly does but not quite, can't believe I didn't think about this 😖

Apparently I'm transforming that consumer unit into a butlers bell box 🤔 The electrics have caused a bit of a problem because most of the old place is wired in pyro and the electricians don't like touching it.

Got the end wall to sort out next which will be awkward, it has a fire surround, safe and cupboards in none of which provide any symmetry for the panels so I'm really struggling with the layout. Looking like we might be incorporating some secret push to open panels though which I'm quite excited about 🥳
 

Doug71

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Nice job Doug, what finish and primer did you use?
The painting side is nothing to do with me, it's just all bare MR MDF at the moment, the customer said he was going to paint it himself but I reckon he will end up getting a decorator in.
 

Spectric

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The electrics have caused a bit of a problem because most of the old place is wired in pyro and the electricians don't like touching it.
If there is any behind your new paneling I would have got it replaced, easier then rather than later.
 

Doug71

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A bit more progress, some of the moulding in. I can't believe how long it took to cut them, the ceilings are sloping in all directions so all the top cuts are different angles :rolleyes: The Kapex angle finder is great for things like this.

panelling 7.jpg



panelling 8.jpg


They didn't like the old door down to the cellar (I think it's quite quaint) so wanted it matching the other door and panelling.

cellar door 1.jpg


I knocked up a quick MDF frame to match the other doors and attached it to cellar door, you have to imagine it all painted.

cellar door 2.jpg


cellar door 3.jpg
 

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I can see your problem doing all those mitre joints, had you considered an overlay moulding (Like on Victorian doors) that sits on the MDF frames as well – covers a multitude of sins! Looking good Doug, and I like what you did with the cellar door. Ian
 

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Looks great Doug and coming along nicely!
I have a panelling job to do in my house of a similar age but I'm only going up to a chair rail but the style will be very similar to your job. Can I ask - did you by the moulding or make it youself? I want to copy the moulding our house originally had but unfortunately previous owners in the 50's ripped it all out but our neighbours is original so I have something to copy. Unfortunately the profile is a bit to large for a router bit and I don't have a spindle moulder.
I'm currently looking at a rail square for my tracksaw to ensure all the MDF cuts are dead square. Done panelling in the bathroom in a similar style but remember getting perfectly perpendicular cuts was time consuming. Did you using a tracksaw setup for cutting the MDF?
 

Cabinetman

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Looks great Doug and coming along nicely!
I have a panelling job to do in my house of a similar age but I'm only going up to a chair rail but the style will be very similar to your job. Can I ask - did you by the moulding or make it youself? I want to copy the moulding our house originally had but unfortunately previous owners in the 50's ripped it all out but our neighbours is original so I have something to copy. Unfortunately the profile is a bit to large for a router bit and I don't have a spindle moulder.
I'm currently looking at a rail square for my tracksaw to ensure all the MDF cuts are dead square. Done panelling in the bathroom in a similar style but remember getting perfectly perpendicular cuts was time consuming. Did you using a tracksaw setup for cutting the MDF?
You could try this company, never used them, but they seem to have a good selection from different periods. Ian
 

Doug B

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Can’t believe I’ve only just noticed this thread Doug, looking very good (y)
Did you make the MFT table in one of the earlier photos?
 

Doug71

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Looks great Doug and coming along nicely!
I have a panelling job to do in my house of a similar age but I'm only going up to a chair rail but the style will be very similar to your job. Can I ask - did you by the moulding or make it youself? I want to copy the moulding our house originally had but unfortunately previous owners in the 50's ripped it all out but our neighbours is original so I have something to copy. Unfortunately the profile is a bit to large for a router bit and I don't have a spindle moulder.
I'm currently looking at a rail square for my tracksaw to ensure all the MDF cuts are dead square. Done panelling in the bathroom in a similar style but remember getting perfectly perpendicular cuts was time consuming. Did you using a tracksaw setup for cutting the MDF?
I'm lucky enough to have a spindle moulder so I am making most of the mouldings myself, we couldn't find much off the shelf that was suitable. We did buy the reeded architrave online from Dresser Mouldings as I didn't fancy making it. I was impressed by what turned up, we ordered 5 lengths at 4.5m in pine and each length is perfectly straight and knot free.


I was going to buy a rail square at the start of this job as I thought it would be useful but didn't get around to it (tight Yorkshireman). My workshop is only half a mile down the road and I have a sliding panel saw so cut most of the MDF to size there. I did some cutting on site with my track saw but just use a speed square/rafter square with the track on the floor on a sheet of insulation, all the cutting to length done on my mitre saw.

My cutting board gets plenty of use.

cutting board.jpg
 

Doug71

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Can’t believe I’ve only just noticed this thread Doug, looking very good (y)
Did you make the MFT table in one of the earlier photos?
Thanks Doug.

I bought the MFT from CNC Design, it is a good thing but to be honest it generally just gets used as a dumping ground as in the photos 😂

 

Dangermouse 2nd

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Dont know if I would have used MDF, old houses are usually damp to some extent or other and MDF dont like that one little bit.
 

Simon89

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Can I ask what sort of life expectancy you could hope for from the mdf cladding?
 

porker

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I've used a lot of Medite MRMDF in older houses I have renovated without any adverse effects from several years. I've panelled bathrooms for instance that get humid and it has performed fine. A good quality MRMDF is a different beast to the hairy rubbish you used to get at B&Q but I think if you haven't used a good quality MRMDF you might be surprised. As with any job in an old building you need to be aware of ventilation and contact with damp surfaces but that is true of any wood. Spaced off the wall with treated battens and no contact directly with the floor I can't see any issue as long as it has a decent paint job
 

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