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DIYer Saves £500 Transforming His Plain Staircase With Wall Panelling

fayeb
December 4, 2020, 12:00 PM
  • Allan Smith didn’t want to spend an estimated £1,000 by calling in the pros, so saved £500 by doing it himself for £499
  • He completed the project over three weeks in his spare time after work
  • Is “extremely pleased” with the outcome and says the key to his success was all in the planning

Wall panelling is a brilliant way to add interest to an otherwise bare wall, but it can be costly.

Allan Smith, 48, who lives with his partner Jolene and dog Murphy in Burnley, was keen to introduce it into his home while keeping an eye on budget.

“I’d seen wall panelling in bars and restaurants, as well as on television shows, and I thought it would make a great addition to my home,” says Allan, who works at a menswear boutique and DJs at weekends.

“If I hadn’t tackled the project myself, it would have cost about £1,000,” he told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk. “But I wanted to do it myself. This was partly due to the cost, but also because I enjoy projects like this, and had some time on my hands during lockdown.

“I've always been interested in interior design," he adds. "I get a lot of inspiration from television shows, such as Grand Designs, The Great Interior Design Challenge and My Dream Home.”

Overall, the project took Allan approximately three weeks to complete in his spare time after work, and cost £499 in total. This included £80 for the MDF, £42 for the paint, £290 for the carpet, £45 for the plant stands (from ebay) and £42 for the artificial plants. He’s “extremely pleased” with the outcome, and reveals the key to his success was all in the planning.

“Before I started the project, I visited different websites and screenshotted lots of ideas for wall panelling, colour schemes and how to accessorise with faux plants,” he says.

Inspiration handy, he set about transforming the space.

“I removed the bannister from the wall,” he says. “I then started sketching out the design by cutting out strips of card and Sellotaping them to the wall. I played around with that for about a week, changing the measurements until I was happy. I settled on 10cm for the width of the panelling and 80cm for the space between.”

After measuring up, Allan paid a trip to his local wood yard to have some MDF cut into three individual strips from which to make the panels. He then needed to cut each section exactly to fit.

“The most difficult part was getting the angles right, so I measured from the angle of the skirting board that ran up the staircase and up to the marking on the wall,” he says. “I then made an angle from a piece of scrap wood to use as a guide when cutting the individual lengths with a wood saw.”

Allan secured the panels to the wall with Pinkgrip adhesive.

“I hammered small nails half-way through the MDF and then took them out a day later once the Pinkgrip had dried,” he says.

Next came the lick of paint.

“I picked a shade grey paint, called Mineral Stone from Wilko, because my partner and I had just decorated our spare room and bedroom in a darker shade of grey. Plus, it complemented our black and white bathroom,” he says.

He called upon a local company to come and fit the plush dark grey carpet. Once that job was done, Allan reattached the original bannister, using a circle saw to cut the holes needed to fit it through the new panelling.

“My advice to other novice DIYers looking to take on a similar project is ‘the more you plan the better it will be’. Take lots of screenshots of websites, get plenty of colour samples before you paint it, and always have a vision for the final outcome to work towards.”

Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk comments: “The attention to detail on this project is impressive and shows that you can achieve great results with sufficient planning.

“Wall panelling is having a moment in the world of home interiors, but the cost can vary.

“The saving you can make by doing it yourself is well worth the effort.”

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