Installing Wellington Panels Outdoors: Basic Guidelines

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Tools and Supplies You'll Need

You can install Wellington panels easily using tools found in almost everyone's toolbox. To complete your project you will at least need these basic tools:

  1. Exterior Grade Screws - use screws that are long enough to go through the FauxPanel and firmly attach to the wall behind the FauxPanel. We recommend Deck Screws for exterior installations due to their durability, and their ability to withstand any expansion and contraction of your structure, and the normal expansion and contraction of our Fauxpanels due to ambient temperature and humidity changes.
  2. Construction Adhesive/Glue — we recommend either PL® Premium Construction Adhesive, PL® Premium Advanced 3X Construction Adhesive (which has 3x faster bonding), or Great Stuff Pro.
  3. Screw gun with the appropriate tip for the screws being used.
  4. A saw for cutting panels – a circular saw, jig saw, band saw, table saw, or hand saw, it is your preference. Any woodcutting blade normally used for cutting plywood with these saws work great and cut smooth and easy.
  5. Tape Measure
  6. Level
  7. Chalk Line (optional, but recommended)
  8. Caulking gun for applying the Adhesive/Glue and Caulk.
  9. FauxPanels® color complimenting textured caulk.
  10. Coordinating Touch-up Kit.
  11. FauxPanels® Drainage Mat (if needed, check your building code, however, we do highly recommend this if you are utilizing a House Wrap on your exterior)
  12. Staple Gun and exterior grade staples (only needed if the Drainage Mat is used)


Follow steps below to install ALL Wellington faux panels, additional steps for installing River Rock panels. The panels can be installed indoors, or outdoors, on any reasonably flat surface that is clean and is in structurally sound condition.

 Exterior design projects begin with the prep

1.) Begin your exterior design project by first by making sure that the wall you're attaching the fake stone or wood to is clean. Wipe down the surface and use a wire brush on harder surfaces. Wipe the back of the panel as well.

Acclimatize the panel to roughly the same temperature and humidity as the installation surface for about 24 hours. Do not store FauxPanels® in direct sunlight or close to heat sources prior to installation.

Exterior design benefits from using a drainage mat

2.) This step shows how to use a drainage mat behind the panels in your exterior design. Roll out and apply the drainage mat to the entire exterior wall to be covered. Use the adhesive/glue behind the mat and exterior-grade staples through the mat into the wall to firmly attach the mat to the wall.

NOTE: If a house wrap is used, (always check and comply with all building codes that pertain to your region if house wrap is needed) the Drainage Mat must be installed on top of the house wrap, not the other way around. ALSO, do not use adhesive, only mechanical fasteners. Make sure the fasteners are long enough to go through the House Wrap and into the structural material beneath it. The DM-3611R Drainage Mat meets the Canadian Building Codes and is required for most exterior installations done in Canada.

Orient your faux stone panels so that the protruding lip is at the top.

3.) Determine whether your panels will be installed from left to right or right to left. This is accomplished by looking at your panel and making sure the protruding lip is on the top. Then plan the layout of your panels to best suit your space.

Use a level to find the high point on your floor/ground. Measure up from the high point of the floor/ground and mark the wall to the height of the panel being installed. Draw a level line across the wall as a guide.

Start by cutting your first panel in 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 to reduce waste & minimize seams.

4.) Cut into the first panel by either 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4 and not just cut off the tabs at the end. This reduces the amount of waste, ensures that the seams on the next rows will not line up and will make the install look more realistic.

Due to their design, River Rock panels must be cut as shown to fit correctly.

4a.) When installing River Rock, cut into the first panel by 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4 horizontally and vertically.

Good exterior design requires good glue application

5.) Apply a bead of glue/adhesive to the perimeter of the back of the panel, roughly an inch from the edge.

Add additional glue/adhesive to the rest of the panel back in a vertical straight line pattern with beads of glue/adhesive only 4 inches apart or less.

A good gluing technique creates a solid exterior design

6.) Apply the panel to the wall. Use a slight twisting motion to ensure good contact with the glue/adhesive and the wall. Make sure the panel is level.

Carefully placed screws will secure your exterior design.

7.) Begin fastening the panel to the outside wall with screws all around the perimeter at roughly one foot apart or less. Additional screws should be placed in the middle of the panel at a rate of about 1 screw per square foot. All screws should be very slightly recessed below the surface of the panel. Do not over tighten the screws.

Hint: Placing screws under protruding rocks, in crevices, or grout lines, will help conceal them and give a cleaner/more realistic look.

Good faux stone exterior design requires good glue

8.) Add adhesive to the lip of the panel where the next panel will overlap, about 1 inch away from the textured face of the panel.

Textured caulk improves the appearance of your exterior design while also enabling it to last longer

9.) Add the textured caulk to the crease where the panels will meet. This is very important to ensure a weather-tight seal.

Steps 8 & 9 help maintain the integrity of the panel installation by preventing any possible flexing or separation of the product due to extreme temperature and humidity changes once the installation is complete. Use the textured caulk to conceal the screw heads as well.

Note: Textured caulk should only be added to panel seams at this point in the installation. Adding caulk onto seams after panels have been glued together can cause a less realistic appearance and won’t adequately protect from moisture.

Repeat steps 5-9 until your exterior design is finished.

10.) Repeat steps 5-9 for the next panel to be installed. Place it onto the wall next to the first panel. Keep the panel level. Press the panels firmly against the wall with a slight wiggle motion to help spread the glue.

Install the panel very tightly against the first, as they may expand and contract with temperature changes. Continue repeating steps 5-9 until your first row is complete.

Wipe away any excess textured caulk from between the faux stone panels for a clean look

11.) Use a damp cloth to wipe off any excess textured caulk before it dries. A wet finger, paint brush, or other such tool can assist in smoothing and blending the caulk. Use the textured caulk to also fill in any voids, gaps, screw heads, or spaces. Click here for more details on caulking panels.

Keep attaching faux stone panels to the one below it, until your exterior design is done.

12.) If you are installing multiple rows of panels, start on the next row above the one just completed. Repeat steps 5-11 for the next row to be installed.

Note: The panels are designed to butt up to each other bottom to top. This 'shiplap' joint should be glued and caulked as described in steps 8 & 9 to ensure a tight seal and seamless look.

When you come to the end of a panel run, most often you can take the piece you cut off at the end to use at the start of your next run or offset each row by a half sheet. This will make pattern repeats less noticeable.

River rock exterior design cannot be offset.

12a.) When installing the River Rock panel you will not be able to offset the panel when installing one over the other due to the nature of their interlocking patterns.

Your faux stone panel exterior design is now done. Pat yourself on the back!

13.) Using the paint from the Touch-up Kit, paint the FauxPanels®, screw heads, and textured caulk as needed. Click here for more details on Touching Up Wellington Panels.

Stand back and admire your handiwork.

Important Info...

Be sure that the panels are oriented properly, the tongue portion of the panel is on top of the panel, and the groove portion of the panel is on the bottom. All joints including miters will need to be glued and caulked. The panels may require additional shimming and trimming for proper alignment.

Be sure to follow and obey all safety rules and recommendations set forth by tool manufacturers.

Always follow any, and all, local, state, and federal building codes. Always comply with any specified clearances set forth by the manufactures of stoves, fireplaces, furnaces, and any other heat sources, as well.