ideas & tips FOR

Decorating a

with wall panelling and mouldings

top tip

Dress up your stairwalls

Elevate your home's aesthetic with captivating stair panelling ideas that offer both style and practicality. Transform your stairwalls into stunning focal points with versatile panelling options that suit various house styles, be it traditional, modern, or cottage-inspired.

Not only does panelling for stairs enhance the visual appeal of your staircase area, but it also serves a practical purpose like hallway panelling. Shield your walls from potential bumps and scuffs, making it an ideal finish for bustling family homes. Embrace the convenience of easy maintenance with the right paint finish, as it allows you to effortlessly wipe away any marks, keeping your stair panelling looking immaculate at all times. Discover the perfect blend of beauty and functionality with stair panelling ideas, designed to enhance the charm of your home while serving as a durable and low-maintenance solution.

22 products

Tips for a beautiful stairway

Combine Traditional and Modern

Stair paneling ideas that are traditional either because they are original features of an older home or have authentic period style can be successfully teamed with more contemporary choices.
On the subject of woodwork, when painting your front door, remember that it doesn't have to be the same colour on both sides. If a bright exterior is more your style, but you want to keep the hallway neutral and fresh, then this can be a great design idea.

This style can easily be achieved by wall mouldings, allowing you to cut the exact shape and height needed for your space.


This style began showing up in our interiors more recently with an original rustic and nautical charm – and the style took off! Shiplap was being installed horizontally, leading the eye around the room and adding a sense of internal space. By contrast, a vertical hang draws the eye upwards, emphasising the height of a room, making it feel taller, so it depends on your desired effect. This once purely functional application was now offering a super stylish, Hamptons-style, beach hut effect, reminiscent of holidays and bright, airy seaside homes.

If you would like to read more about Shiplap panelling check out our blog.

Add texture

You might opt for stair paneling rather than wallpaper to bring texture to a wall. Wall panelling can add depth to stairways, and dresses up anyspace. This panelling is great for any one who wants a tradtional look with a modern twist. You can also get creative with your wall panelling and add some colour to them.

On stairs, panelling is a great idea because it’s wipeable and easy to clean, which is great for a space in your house that receives a lot of traffic. 

Advice & FAQ

Why add wall panelling to your stairway?

How do you transform your stairs and landing with minimal effort? Wall panelling of course! We often take these spaces for granted but they can easily be upgraded with wall panels. For both the stairs and landing – two styles of panelling are predominantly used. Shaker and Tongue & Groove panels. Neither supersedes the other, both have their merits and make stunning additions to any home. They turn drab and dull walls into sophisticated spaces. 

How you can implement wainscoting going up a staircase?

Have you ever wondered how you can implement wainscoting going up a staircase in your property? Well, thanks to The Library Ladder Company, you can do just that! Our stylish, easy to install wall panelling for stairs gives you the chance to add a whole new layer of interior décor to your building, switching up an old and tired look and creating something much more on-trend with the homes of today.

Panelling on stairs originated hundreds of years ago, but such is the class and style of this design, it has stuck around for centuries afterwards - and for good reason! This way of decorating your home provides an excellent chance to use complementing or contrasting colours on your walls. You can expand your palette to incorporate a colour you have been longing to see in your interior for a while, the choice is well and truly yours.

Wainscoting on the stairs offers a smooth transition between floors, and panels can be made specific to your measurements. We understand that not all staircases are the same height or incline, so the bespoke nature of our panels makes them a big hit with customers.

At The Library Ladder Company, we offer a matching dado rail/wall moulding, which can be cut and mitred to size in order to fulfil the tricky areas of your staircase if any are present. This means that no staircase will miss out on this fantastic addition to your home. The profile of the dado is able to match the detailing on the wall panels, so you can achieve a seamless design in both simply walled areas and those that are trickier to negotiate.

Wall moulding No. 4025 is able to show this perfectly, be sure to check it out if you feel like your walls fall into this category!

Made from a sturdy material, our panelling upstairs option is designed to withstand all of the inevitable wear and tear that comes with being situated in a high traffic area. It is all well and good looking pretty, but if you can’t trust your wall decoration to be strong and durable, is it really worth your time and money?

Be sure to take a look through our selection of panelling for stairs for yourself on our website now, we’re sure you’ll find a colourway or finish that perfectly suits your home.

How do I edge the panels?

If you are using the contemporary wall panels or linear wall panels for your walls you can either leave the edge bear if the edge is unseen or for a clean and square edge to your wall panel,moulding No.190 is the perfect contemporary profile and will accommodate all the wall panel thicknesses. If you want a larger moulding to finish the edges or as a skirting,moulding No.198 is a great choice.

How do I incorporate skirting into my panelling layout?

You may want to incorporate a skirting board with your panelling and there are many options to choose from depending on what stye you are looking for, for your home.

If you are using pre-made shaker panelswe recommend complimenting these with a skirting board installed below. The perfect skirting board has been designed to be used with the shaker wall panels and this is skirting No. 193, a tall, detailed skirting board option. Whether you are installing your shaker panels butted up against each other or with spaces between we recommend leaving at least a 50mm gap between the top of your skirting and the bottom of the panel. See all skirting options.

If you are using No.147 wainscoting panelyou can choose from many of our skirting board options,  which you can simply install with adhesive in front of the installed wainscoting panels. See all skirting options.

If you are using pre-made linear or fluted panels, you may decide to add a skirting, whether it be contemporary skirting or traditional skirtingThe linear wall panels have different thicknesses, and you will want to take this into consideration when deciding whether to add a skirting board.

If you install the skirting in front of the wall panels be aware that if the panel you have chosen has deep recesses, you will still have those gaps sitting behind the skirting. Therefore, we recommend installing a skirting board No.198 which works perfectly with all the contemporary wall panels.

If you want to use a different style of skirting below the wall paneling and if you want the skirting to sit flush at the bottom, we recommend installing a packer board behind to bring the skirting forward.

Are the wall mouldings and panelling durable?

The range of wall panels and mouldings are perfect for high traffic areas as they are durable and waterproof. The panels arrive in a white primed colour ready for painting and for the most durable finish on your wall panelling we recommend using Mylands Wood & Metal Paint to finish your panels.

What paint should I use to paint the panelling?

We recommend using Mylands Wood & Metal Paint which are good for both interior and exterior and come in three different finishes: Matt, Eggshell or Gloss. As well as a fantastic selection of paint colours to choose from the paint is extremely durable with a high-quality finish. The Mylands Wood & Metal paint is unparalleled in terms of its performance: scrubbable, sprayable and durable it is perfect for high traffic areas.

Dado vs. Picture Rail

Dado Rail

In the 17th century, chairs and other pieces of furniture were stored against the walls and were only moved into the central space when in use. For this reason dado rails and wainscoting were introduced to shield the walls from scuffs and knocks whilst protecting the walls. – See full blog.

Picture Rail

The term "picture rail" refers to a wall moulding that is installed horizontally around a room and usually sits about 30cm to 50cm below the ceiling in a room. Usually found in period properties with tall ceiling heights, a picture rail is not just a decorative moulding, it has a very specific purpose and, just as the name suggests, it is used to hang pictures from.

We supply a fantastic range of mouldings that look like picture mouldings, which are lightweight and easy to install, however this does mean that the mouldings are not strong enough to be used for hanging pictures from.

This does not stop you from using mouldings as picture rails in your wall designs, because it still makes for a beautiful design feature which is elegant and creates balance in rooms with tall ceilings.

How do I deal with power points and switches when fitting my panelling?

We would advise you to consult an electrician if you intend to relocate your socket or if you are not comfortable with removing and replacing the front plates of sockets or switches. In order to fit your panel, you will need to remove the front plate of the switch or socket.

Offer your wall panel up to your wall in the location of where you are installing the panels and review the location of the socket. You may want to tweak the overall location of the panels once you see where the sockets sit in relation to panel edges. Once you are happy with the location, mark up the location points of the socket onto the panel.

Take the marked-up panel to your cutting area along with the front plate of the plug socket or switch and mark all around the size of the socket or switch plate onto the front of your wall panel.

Using a fresh bladed saw make a plunge cut into the centre of the panel and cut the shape of your socket or switch out of the material. You are nearly ready to install.

Apply adhesive all around the rear perimeter of your panel and along the centre line and you should apply a modest amount of adhesive along the inside edges of the hole you have created. Mount your panel to the wall in the marked-up location, apply pressure. Reconnect your wiring (or have your electrician do it) and slide the plate back into the hole and fix.

What is difference between panelling and mouldings?

Panelling referes to the overall decorative design on a wall which visually looks like frames or rectangles. Panelling is a traditional style which adds character and warmth to a room. We offer pre-made full panels which can be adhered to the wall making installation very simple. These pre-made panels come in a set size.

Wall moulding, are decorative profiles that are sold in 2m lengths. These lengths can be cut to size and mitred up into rectangles to create the panelling look. The moulding lengths are a versatile option because it allows you to create the exact sized panels that your wall requires.

How do I to choose the right mouldings or panels?

We offer a large range of options for wall panels and mouldings and the possiblities are endless. Whether you are looking to create a contemporary style or traditional charm, we can help you choose the perfect wall mouldings and wall panels for your room.

How do I measure my walls for moulding?

How much product you need will depend on your project, your walls and which products you are purchasing.

How to measure for Coving or Skirting:

Measure and note down the overall lengths of each of your walls. (Removing gaps from the measurements such as doors if you are ordering skirting) The coving profiles are sold in 2metre lengths. You can either add up all the wall lengths into one total, then divide by 2 to figure out the total number of profiles you need to order. Alternatively and if you want fewer joints in your coving/skirting, you can look at each length of wall and work out how many 2metre lengths will fit in the space. If you do it this way you may end up with more wastage.

Tip - Make sure to add a little bit extra to your order incase you make any mistakes with cutting!

How to measure for Contemporary Wall Panels

These panels come in standard 200cm x 25cm sizes. Generally these will be fitted side by side to fill a wall or area. Measure the overall width you want to cover (in cm) and divde by 25cm (which is the panel width) This will tell you how many panels you require.

Alternatively, you can work out how many panels you need by measuring your overall square meterage required. x2 panels = 1msq. Therefore if you have a wall of 12msq that you want to cover, times that figure by x2 and that will give you the total number of panels.

Tip - Always add a little bit extra to your order incase you make any mistakes with cutting!

How to Measure for Shaker nos 120 and 121 wall panels

These panels come in two set sizes: panel no: 120 measures 150cm x 50cm and panel no: 121 measures 50cm x 50cm.  Work out the area you wish to panel. This may be the full wall height, or perhaps half height would be preferable for your space, depending on furniture arrangements, as well as the position of any windows and/or doors.

Work out how many of the panels will fit across the space width-wise – remember, you can of course use the no: 120 panel either vertically or horizontally.  If the panels do not fit exactly in the space you have, calculate the number of whole panels you can fit, and then divide the remaining space on the wall by the number of panels + 1.  For example a wall of 2.4m in width could accommodate 4 panels (positioned vertically) with 40cm remaining.  Then divide 40cm by 5 to find the size of the gap you should leave between each panel = 8cm.

A popular design is to position the long rectangular panels (no: 120) vertically, with smaller square panels (no: 121) either above or below them. (insert image?)  Try to work out the gaps to be equal vertically as they are horizontally, to give your design a better balance.  Eg. if the gaps horizontally are 8cm, then leave an 8cm gap between the larger and smaller panel vertically too.

If you are panelling only to half height, you can choose a wall moulding to finish the panelled area neatly (insert image?). Our moulding no: 4025 has a very similar profile to the Shaker panels and adds a smart dado rail-style edge to the panelling.  We also supply our coving/moulding no: 324 which can hide LED lighting, which can throw a soft lighting effect either above or onto the panelling itself.

If you prefer, the moulding no: 4025 can also be used to make ‘bespoke’ panels, to be used in conjunction with the set sized Shaker panels.  To do this, simply measure the perimeter of the panel size you wish to create (in cm).  The moulding comes in 2m lengths, so divide the perimeter length by 200 to calculate how many lengths you will need.

If you need any help with your order please get in touch and we would be delighted to help.

How to install & finish the panelling


When your products arrive, unpack them and lay them out on the floor so you can check you have enough for your project. Store the products and adhesives at room temperature and wait 24 hours before installing

Sand down any obvious imperfections on your wall/surface and wipe down the surface after making sure it is free from dust.

Before you start fitting ensure that the walls are dry and grease free.

Mark Up

Plan out and mark up the location of where you want to fit the moulding/panelling onto the wall using a spirit level.

If you are installing a skirting board, always start with this. Always start your project from the bottom of the wall upwards.


The material cuts just like wood, so once you have measured up, simply cut your moulding/panelling with a fresh bladed saw.

Glueing Up

Apply the DecoFix Power adhesive to the rear face of your moulding/panelling making sure to run a bead of adhesive along the length if you are using a moulding or for larger mouldings/panels all around the perimetre and a bead down the center aswell.


Line up the moulding/panel against the wall, press firmly and remove any excess glue with a cloth or sponge.

If you are fitting items side by side make sure you are using the correct adhesive - see all adhesive products

*Make sure you leave a 1mm expansion gap around panels.


Use the DecoFix Filler to smooth out any joints using a application gun along the joins. Use your finger or a lightly damp sponge to smooth out the filler along the join or seam. If you are using vertical wall panels run the filler along all the vertical seams and use a damp sponge to smooth the filler in an upward direction.

Wait 15 minutes and then gently sand any areas that you think need sanding a little.


Now your mouldings or panels have been installed you can paint them, either by hand or with a spray gun. We recommend using Myland Wood & Metal paint for the most durable finish.

Product Gallery

There's a reason you see staircase panelling often used in homes. Yes, wall panels are a brilliant way to add character and charm to a space but, ultimately, it's a practical decision. 

Whether stained or painted timber, or a more modern composite material, staircase paneling will protect your walls from the wear and tear of this high-traffic area, ensuring these transitional spaces endure for longer.