Paneling the Panel, The Fun Part of My Stairway Upgrade

I thought my first post of 2015 should be something about planning ahead, but the truth is that with 10 (mostly small) pieces of Sheetrock left to hang, I’m not at a clean stopping point and don’t really feel like writing that.

And the other truth is that I just sketched what the paneling is gonna look like and I WANT IT RIGHT NOW!

stairway paneling

Doesn’t that look amazing? The 2 center panels will be removable, and I think the 2 on the ends will be fixed, so there will be seams running down the wall where the different boards meet. That’s a small price to pay to not have to pay a dealer to dismantle my washer and dryer to make them fit down the stairs! I’d make the whole wall one panel, but there are light switches  and a thermostat in the panel all the way to the right. I also sketched in the Craftsman trim around the enlarged opening between the living room and the kitchen. It’ll actually be wider than what I drew, but I wanted to draw the end of that header crown.

Next is actually the first thing I started thinking of after I decided I was doing this: sticking. As in, the fancy detail where the rails between the panels meet the panels. I went over to the Tague Lumber showroom and got a little greedy with free molding samples. ALL MINE!


Some Craftsman wainscoting is just square stiles and rails, but I have Craftsman casings, a kinda formal Georgian style stairway, and flashy art deco door hardware, so I decided that the smallest two pieces of trim I looked at suit this fancy-but-not-too-fancy 1930’s hybrid style. I then tried various scraps of wood with these and decided that I like how they looked with the 5/8″ OSB that is behind the drywall in my kitchen. But trust me, it’ll look better still with millwork grade wood.

So these are the contenders:


The one at the bottom, which Tague calls glass bead, is almost an exact match to the sticking on the 2 paneled door that will be set into the paneling. But the door not be a secret door. It will have some kind of very skinny trim around it and then it will sit a little bit back from the paneling around it. So I can’t decide if I want the paneling to match the door, or if I should make it different on purpose. Here’s a close up of the door if that helps.


And then there’s that little crevasse between the ogee and the stile. I’m going to have the sticking molding nailed to the plywood on the panel that is permanently attached to the wall, and then right next to it the stile will be attached to the removable panel, so having that little crevasse will help camouflage the seam. But then, the glass bead sits a little bit back from the stile and the seam probably won’t be glaringly obvious there either.

So help me out, Internet people. Which do you like better?


10 thoughts on “Paneling the Panel, The Fun Part of My Stairway Upgrade

    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      Well the door won’t blend seamlessly into the paneling anyway, and it won’t be an exact match. But yeah, I sort of had a hunch that it was the way to go. Everyone who commented on this post and my mom reinforced that hunch.


  1. Pingback: Building the Paneled Panel | Chad's Crooked House

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