Why Old Wood Paneling is so Popular and a Great Design Material

March 3, 2023

With so many options for wall coverings and wall decor, it can be difficult for homeowners to make a selection that complements their home decor and interior design. One product making a resurgence in interior designs is wood paneling. Once thought to be outdated, many types of wood paneling are now helping to makeover an old space. 

Utilized for accent walls and ceiling applications, old wood paneling makes an unmistakable statement – and is an eco-friendly choice! One of the many reasons that reclaimed wood wall paneling has become so popular is the unique origin story. Reclaimed wood is real wood that has already been utilized for over a century in old barns and industrial buildings. This history creates a highly sought after appearance full of character and charm.  

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Each wood panel has unique saw marks, nail holes and naturally weathered wood grain. This gives a glimpse into the past and creates an authenticity that is next to impossible to replicate with new woods. Reclaimed wood is just like new cut wood and can be cut, shaped and molded with the same high-tech equipment. The result is a one-of-a-kind face of each wood panel with precision milled shiplap profiles that allow the wood to be installed with ease. The result is a clean, high end remodel installation that can be completed as a diy project or by a seasoned professional. And it’s easy to place directly over drywall with minimal prep needed. 

Barn Deconstruction
Milling Reclaimed Wood

Old Wood Paneling Design Ideas

Real wood makes for a great interior design material on a variety of levels. From color, warmth, texture, and depth, these real wood wall panels make an impactful addition in any space. Increase the appeal of a minimalist modern office design by adding a wide swath of natural color and warmth, or create a homey atmosphere in a contemporary living room. Wood panels are coated with a water based top coat in the space shown below to keep the wood paneling as natural as possible.

Modern Barn Wood Wall

The vast majority of reclaimed wood comes from the interior of the structure and has a patina with brown tones, while the material that was exposed to the outdoor elements takes on a beautiful range of gray weathered patina. This results in a full range of gray color tones that are so popular today and makes for a stunning wall paneling display. The exterior planks come in a range of silvery gray tones that developed over the last hundred years of basking in the sun, snow and rain, season after season. The wood panels clean up perfectly and find themselves in a wide range of interior design settings in both commercial and home improvement projects.

Big open spaces make for an ideal space to add beautiful old wood-paneled walls. The large space creates a great opportunity to incorporate a large accent of color and style that will help set the tone for the establishment. The accent wall showcases the original aged patina with a natural oil finish that radiates in the sunlight and also helps to dampen some of the noise of the patrons.

Barn Paneling Wall

The beautiful thing about old wood is that it can look new too. The wood wall panels can be cut from large timbers and beams that allow the old wood to radiate like new, but it still has the old growth character with some checks and nail holes to remind you of where it came from. This cleaner grade of old reclaimed wood is often referred to as “antique” and it can be sourced from a wide range of wood species and color tones.

Modern Wood Wall
Reclaimed Wood Office Wall

As you can see, old wood has made its mark on just about every interior design space you can think of and it rarely repeats itself or comes off as a mass-produced product. This old wood paneling is painstakingly dismantled, cleaned, de-nailed, kiln dried, planed, ripped, molded, sanded, and finished one board at a time.

Natural Reclaimed Wood Wall

Reclaimed wood paneling tends to be looked at as a wall paneling application, but we are seeing some great opportunities when it comes to covering the ceiling. It makes a dramatic backdrop for some large hand hewn or rough sawn timbers and frees up the other wall for other textures and home decor. The wood paneling and beams make a great pair; they carry similar color tones and textures, but are distinct enough to give their own contribution to the interior design.

Natural Wood Ceiling
Barn Siding Ceiling

Adding Wood Wall Panels to Your Space

Old wood paneling can transform a space. Whether it’s used as an accent wall, ceiling paneling or unique backsplash, there are many ways to incorporate wood panels into your home or business. These are just a few ideas to get you started on exploring the many uses of wood wall panels. Be sure not to leave your walls or ceilings out of your next design makeover and give some old wood a new life while you’re at it. Contact Elmwood Reclaimed Timber to find reclaimed wall panels to match your interior design. 

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