The New Wall Panel: About Decorative Melamine Wall Paneling

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wall panel sofa

Wall treatments and panelling is a stylish and simple option to transform interior home décor. Here are some applications of versatile lightweight wall panels.


What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear about someone’s plan to install wall paneling in their home? I don’t know about you, but the first image that used to pop into my head was out-of-date floor to ceiling wood panels reminiscent of the ’60s and ’70s. I have to admit, this image was about 50% influenced by “Mad Men” and 50% influenced by a childhood friend’s TV room that was always just a little too dark and damp.

Just as things have significantly changed since the “Mad Men” era, so to have the options available for wall paneling. While authentic wood wall panels have seen a resurgence as of late with updated finishes and a wide selection of natural wood hues, there’s a new kid on the block offering highly unique and DIY-friendly designs.

This relative newcomer to the world of stylish wall design is melamine wall paneling. Often used to craft cabinets, furniture, and store fixtures, this easy to work with material has evolved into an architecturally pleasing surface that can add life to just about any wall.

What is melamine?

wall panelling grayBefore getting into how you can incorporate melamine wall paneling into your next interior design project, let’s talk a bit about what this product is. Made from thermofused laminate (TFL), which is comprised of decorative layers pressed on to particleboard or MDF, melamine panels offer moisture, wear, and stain-resistant properties for your space. Since many options contain recycled and recovered wood fibers, and are LEED certified, melamine wall panels offer green benefits, as well as good looks.

High-impact patterns

Great alternatives to paint and wallpaper, melamine wall panels make it easy to create visual interest and update the look of your interior space. Whether you want to enhance your décor with a look inspired by nature, or are in the market for something a bit more unique, these panels are produced using the latest digital imaging techniques to provide you with intricately detailed surface patterns and textures.

A touch of nature

Looking to add a woodsy vintage look to your living room or office? An accent wall outfitted with melamine panels that mimic authentic wood grain patterns will do just the trick. Able to capture the warmth and rich beauty of natural woods from around the globe, this style of melamine is simple yet versatile.

If the look of natural stone is more your taste, there are options available with hyper-realistic mineral vein patterns. Pillars or columns equipped with granite, marble, or quartz-looking melamine will add a classic sense of grandeur and sheen to areas like kitchens and foyers.

wall panel selection

Something different

Along with naturally inspired panels, more avant-garde melamine options are available that will compliment just about any contemporary or modernist design scheme. Creative and original patterns designed to emulate materials like leather and linen offer a subtle elegance for a range of locations, including dining rooms and hotel lobbies. Unexpected patterns on your walls like these allow you to really make a personal statement with your décor.

Style meets convenience

Along with inspired designs, melamine wall panels are a practical choice for both DIY homeowners and professional designers alike. Thanks to their lightweight and easy to customize qualities, these panels can be quickly installed with no staining, painting, or sealing required. What’s more, these panels can be easily cut to size with common wood working tools to fit into whatever space you need

wall panel chairs rug

“Arusha Wenge” composite melamine wall panelling from BuildDirect


Sample it

If you’re interested in adding character and a sophisticated feel to your walls, melamine wall panels are definitely worth considering. To find out if this type of innovative wall covering is right for your design project, order a few samples from us at BuilldDirect – we’ll send you up to five free samples with no credit card required. Be prepared to be inspired.

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Kendra Reynolds

Kendra Reynolds is a staff writer at BuildDirect. A fan of quirky design, and the Oxford comma, her love of art knows no bounds.