How to Install Judges Paneling

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How to Install Judges Paneling

If you are looking for a more classic look for a room, judges paneling may be for you. It is often associated with libraries and plush leather chairs. In reality, installing judges paneling is a fairly easy process. It is inexpensive and lends a versatile look.

Required Materials

  • Manufactured panels (if desired)
  • Finish panel stock
  • Raised panel stock of choice
  • 1″ screws
  • 2″ strapping
  • 6p finish nails
  • Carpenters glue
  • Ply wood

Required Tools

  • Drill with bit set
  • Table saw with extension
  • Hammer
  • Awl
  • Nail gun (if desired)
  • Pry bar
  • Joiner

Step One: Wall Preparation

Generally, you will want to begin with a solid un-finished interior wall. This could be wall board, but a stronger plywood wall is preferred. If the finished thickness of the wall measures past a window or doors’ finished width use thinner materials for plywood or strapping. Nail strapping to the plywood where paneling pieces end and at the bottom and top of where the paneling will be. This step is required for both manufactured and constructed panels.

Step Two: Rip to Width & Cut Raised Panels

To construct the panels use plywood with a finished side. Rip the panel to the desired width. Do the same for the raised portion of the panels. Using your joiner, bevel the raised panels to the desired angle. Make a large “X” of carpenters glue on the back of the raised panels and nail it to the plywood panel with 6p finished nails. Sink the nails with an awl and repeat.

Step Three: Installation

Begin in a prominent corner of the space by tacking a panel to the strapping. Make sure to use spacers along each panel to maintain a level line around the room. The floor is likely not flat around the entire room so a shingle shim may be necessary to adjust as you go. For a Manufactured panel, insert each panel into the pre-made groove in the side of the panel and attach with the provided fasteners. Continue this process around the room to the half way mark. Return to the beginning point and continue in the opposite direction.

The general idea is to allow for the panels to be full sheet at doors and windows if possible. If you come up short around doors use jam extensions to cover the shortfall. Nail and sink the panels into the strapping at the top, middle and bottom of the panel.

Step Four: Seams

To cover constructed seams consider either a finished molding or a small amount of caulking sanded smooth. Either will do, although if staining is a consideration you may want to think about the caulking showing and the molding’s ability to accept stain.

Step Five: Shoe Rail

If you have a carpeted floor, this is less an issue but a nice finishing. For a hardwood floor, there may be spaces at the floor because the floor may not be 100% flat. Nailing a shoe railing in place will cover this space.