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How to Correctly Glue Wall Covering Panels to Drywall

How to Correctly Glue Wall Covering Panels to Drywall

Installing wall covering panels can completely transform the look and feel of any room in the house. Many wall panels on the market are suitable for all budgets and designs, such as wood, stone, brick, and faux versions. The best thing about using wall panels is that they offer versatility, so you can change the design and pattern of each wall by painting, staining, or adding different finishes.

Installing wall paneling is a reasonably straightforward task, but it requires careful preparation, as with all DIY projects. This article will go through some simple steps for how to install wall paneling with a minimum amount of fuss.

Choosing The Right Wall Panels

AZ Faux offers a wide range of wall panels for any design or aesthetic. Before you start browning our vast selection, it is essential to decide on the effect you want and how much of the wall you want to cover.

It’s possible to cover the whole wall or room with panels. Or you could use it as a decorative feature on part of one wall. Once you have identified where, you will have to take accurate measurements so that you purchase the right size and amount of panels.

When you are done with this stage, you can get to work bringing your ideas to life.

How to Glue Wall Panels: Getting Started

The necessary steps for ensuring excellent, quality installation results include gathering tools and materials, as well as making sure the wall is in good condition.

After confirming the wall is structurally sound, be sure to have necessary materials and tools ready, which typically include:

  • Wall paneling
  • Caulk gun
  • Chalk line/laser
  • Adhesive
  • Deck screws
  • Screw gun/drill and correct drill bits
  • Safety glasses
  • Woodcutting saw with a finish blade
  • Clean cloth
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Tack cloth
  • T-square
  • Small paint brush
  • Stud finder
  • Disposable gloves
  • Touch-up kit


In addition to ensuring good structure and condition of the wall(s), you should determine both which direction the panels must be installed and if a corner piece will be installed. Steps for the installation of panels may differ based on the use of certain corner panels.

Step 1: Orient panels to determine the order of installation

Begin by orienting each panel so that the flat lip on the long side (stamped “A”) is facing up.

Fingers of the panel projecting to the left indicate an installation running left to right. Alternatively, installation must go right to left if the fingers are on the right side.

Because of the appearance of most paneling, laying each panel out before installation helps verify the right look and texture as well as ensuring no one part of the paneling sticks out.

Tip: When possible, alternating between A and B panels can be beneficial for installation and appearances.

Step 2: Clean and prepare surfaces

To prepare surfaces for installation, a clean cloth, tack cloth, and wire brush are recommended. Cleaning and prepping your walls is crucial in ensuring the proper adherence to paneling.

One should use a wire brush on hard surfaces to remove any loose debris, as well as use a tack cloth to take care of sawdust, dirt, or other unwanted particles/substances.

Step 3: Mark level line

Tools for drawing a level line include:

  • Pencil
  • Level or laser level
  • Chalk line or laser

To mark your level line, use a level to find the high point on the ground or floor. Then take a full-size panel, hold it against the wall, and mark the height with a level line along the length of the wall.

Step 4: Install optional corner piece

When using corner pieces, the first corner panel should be installed before any other panels in the project. Steps for corner pieces slightly differ depending on if they are flush or interlocking corners.

For flush corner panels: Begin by installing the corner panel using Step 6 - Step 8; once these steps are complete, follow Step 5 to trim the panels.

For interlocking corner panels: Install the corner piece using Step 6 - Step 8

  • Note: Skip Step 5 for interlocking panels

Step 5: Trim the first panel for installation

Tools needed for this step include:

  • Tape measure
  • T-square
  • Pencil
  • Wood cutting saw with finish blade

For all panels excluding Chevron, Fieldstone, or River Rock:

  1. First, on a soft surface, turn the panel over and place a mark when you plan on cutting the panel. Then trim the panel using your wood cutting saw.
  2. AZ Faux suggests cutting at least ¼ of the panel to keep waste minimal.
  3. The first used side will be the slot side; please reserve the finger side for a later part in the project.

For Fieldstone and River Rock panels:

  1. First, plan ahead to determine the specific number of panels necessary for the length of the first row.
  2. Trim the bottom of each individual panel and ensure they sit flush with the ground or floor.
  3. Then, trim the fingers off your first panel.

For Chevron - Vertical Installation

  1. AZ Faux recommends aligning the installation in a way that the peak of a panel sits centered on the wall.
  2. Mark the center of the wall.
  3. Figure out the exact number of panels needed to finish the length of the wall.
  4. Next, trim the bottom of each panel and ensure it sits flush with the ground/floor.
  5. Then take the leftmost panel and trim it so that once the panels are installed, the center of one panel aligns with the center of the wall.
  6. Begin installing the last of the panels before trimming the final panel.

Note: Chevron, River Rock, and Fieldstone panels will not have staggered seams.

Step 6: Apply the adhesive

Tools for this step include:

  • Caulk gun
  • Loctite PL 3X
  • A tack cloth

Adhesive-only applications (over concrete, metal, or masonry) will also need:

  • Great Stuff Applicator Gun
  • Great Stuff Pro Construction Adhesive
  • Disposable gloves

For adhesive and fastener applications, begin by turning the panel over on a soft surface. Place beads of Loctite PL 3X in vertical lines across the back of the panel; these beads should be no more than 3” apart. Add some adhesive to the back of each panel finger as well.

For adhesive-only installations, wear gloves and keep in line with the instructions on your adhesive canister. Flip the panel over and apply dabs of Great Stuff Pro Construction Adhesive in vertical lines, starting 2” from the edge and continuing every 6” along with the panel interior. Add small beads to the back of each finger, as well.

If applying to metal, be sure that the adhesive beads are aligned with any embossed patterns.

Note: Use a tack cloth to wipe the back of each panel prior to applying adhesive.

Step 7: Adhere panel to the wall

Place the panel against the wall, using a slight twisting motion in order to ensure the best contact. Check that the panel is level and lines up with your level line drawn in Step 3 and is plumb with the edge of the wall.

Step 8: Screw panel to the wall (skip for adhesive-only)

For this step, you will need deck screws, a screw gun or drill driver, and driver bits.

Place one screw per foot along the perimeter of paneling, as well as one screw per square foot in the middle of the panel.

These screws should be slightly recessed. Try placing them in grout lines or under rocks to make them less noticeable. Be sure to not over-tighten screws!

Step 9: Adding caulk and adhesive

Tools for this step include:

  • Clean cloth
  • Color coordinating textured caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Loctite PL 3X

Begin by adding adhesive to the lip of your panel, approximately 1” from the face. Apply a bead of textured caulk where the panel meets the face. Then, use a damp cloth to remove any excess caulk or adhesive.

Note: Caulk application is necessary during this step. A later application will result in a less realistic look and will not protect from damages such as water damage.

Step 10: Repeat Step 6 - Step 9 as needed

Keeping the same tools from previous steps, adjoin the panels together while ensuring they match up with the level line. Dry fit the panels before the adhesive is applied to check that each panel sits flush as it should. Trim when necessary.

The last panel of a row will need to be trimmed from the finger side. After applying adhesive/caulk, wipe away any excess with a damp cloth.

Tip: Check if any previously cut panels can be used to finish a row of paneling before trimming a new full panel.

Step 11: Begin next row(s)

When applying multiple rows, begin the next row directly above the very first panel; ensure the offset of seams when doing so, unless using Chevron, River Rock, or Fieldstone. Note that the panels are designed to make a shiplap joint.

Apply adhesive to the top lip of each panel below before placing the new panels above.

Take your time to ensure a reliable, tight fit between the panels.

Step 12: Touch-up when necessary

Tools often needed for this step include:

  • Touch-up kit
  • Water
  • Paint brush
  • Clean cloth
  • Cotton swabs
  • Color coordinating textured caulk
  • Caulk gun

When touching up interior paneling, begin by adding a bead of caulk to any mitered corners and any place a panel butts against another surface. Also add caulk to any voids or holes, such as gaps or holes from screws. Fill and blend carefully.

Depending on whether or not your touch-up kit comes with a base coat, a cotton swab should be used to apply a thin layer. Allow the base coat to dry completely, which usually takes about 30 minutes.

For kits containing a wash, apply this wash with a small paint brush. Dabbing with a soft cloth can help to blend well.

Any bottles labeled with “wash concentrate” should have tap water added to the neck of the bottle. After adding water, replace the lid and shake well before use.


  • Start with the lighter colors
  • When mixing colors to create a specific shade, using a scrap material is best
  • Water can be used to thin paint when necessary

Following these steps and helpful tips, beautiful wall paneling can be achieved with limited stress.

Top Tips for Installing Wall Paneling

As you follow the above steps, these top tips will ensure that you are happy with the finished product.

Let the panels acclimate to the environment

After your panels are delivered, store them in the installation location for at least 24 hours. This will give the panels time to acclimate to the environment. Make sure you store the panels flat until installation.

Choose the best adhesive

Construction adhesive works best when installing wall panels. We recommend Loctite PL Premium 3X Construction Adhesive to get the best results.

Start Your Wall Panel Project Today!

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