How We Transformed Our Stairway Landing Using Wood Paneling For About $400

How We Transformed Our Stairway Landing Using Wood Paneling For About $400

As we are approaching the finish line on our guest bedroom, we have several new ideas and projects we are starting to plan. The biggest will be revamping our upstairs living space which we haven’t touched since we moved in, which is also why you haven’t seen any photos of it. We decided that before we move upstairs we are going to work on tidying up our loose ends downstairs.

One area we wanted to improve is our stairway landing - it is highly visible from our living room and yet looks pretty drab and unfinished. We had seen other projects using wood paneling applied in board and batten and box patterns with great looking results so decided to try the box pattern here.

The below is a “before” photo of our stairway landing - it has been painted and we added some art but still feels unfinished looking. The old “contractor special” lighting fixture certainly isn’t helping matters.

We ordered this light fixture from Amazon to replace the original fixture that is still there.

The area we're applying the moulding to is roughly 200 square feet. We ordered 1” x 4” pre-primed pine boards from our local lumber yard but here is a similar product you can buy at Home Depot. The boards linked are 8’ long but the ones we used were 16’, we ended up using about 15 of the 16’ boards.. Our cost was roughly $17/board so our supplies were about $255.

We applied the pine boards to our current plaster walls in a grid pattern making squares that are roughly 2’ x 2’. Because the walls aren’t square not all the squares are perfect either - measure to get the best looking pattern you can. We used finish nails to attach the moulding to the wall and caulked the nail holes before painting.

Below is a photo mid-way through with the back wall done.

The whole thing took about 14 hours total - this was done over a few days for us. Below is a photo of the moulding completed without caulking or paint.

Once the moulding was attached we had our painters come to do the finish work of caulking and painting. They were coming to do a bedroom so it was easier to have them do this at the same time. They used paintable caulk like this one here and painted everything Benjamin Moore Mountain Peak White to match our existing walls. Below is what it looks like after painting.

If we had caulked and painted ourselves I would estimate our total spend at about $400 for the pine boards, caulk, paint and light fixture.

The only thing we don’t love is the light fixture we ordered for the space - the sloped wall makes it hard to find something that works, we have this one from West Elm on order so hoping it works better!

  1. Below are some photos of the finished product followed by source links to everything we used.


  1. West Elm Metal Ring Flushmount, $149
  2. Tehenoo Farmhouse Semi Flushmount Ceiling Light, $45.99
  3. Target Project 62 Round Rattan Basket, $30 - The one we have is from Target but is discontinued, we like this as a similar option
  4. Pierre Dmitrienko 1970 “Head With Cross” Lithograph - This one is very special to us, we bought it on our honeymoon at Galerie Maeght in Paris, this one is available at Galerie MC in Cannes.
  5. Antique Kazakh Rug 3’6” x 6’10”, $750 - This is a rug similar in size to the one we used
  6. Antique Kazakh Rug 4’2” x 6’4”, $1500 - Another similar size option
  7. Bird of Paradise Plant, $50.51 - We bought ours at Seed to Stem in Worcester, MA which we highly recommend but they don’t sell their plants online so we linked one from Amazon here.

    For more ideas on using applied moulding/wood paneling check out this post from Emily Henderson that we used for inspiration.

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