Installing Wellington Faux Panels® Indoors: 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. High Quality Screws (such as cabinet screws, DO NOT use Sheetrock Screws)- use screws that are long enough to go through the FauxPanel and firmly attach to the wall behind the FauxPanel. We recommend a high quality screw such as a cabinet screw for interior 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.


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.

Panel installation begins with cleaning and preparation for best results

1.) Begin your installation by first cleaning the wall on which the panel will be attached. Wipe off the surface and use a wire brush on harder surfaces. Wipe down the back of the panel as well.

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

Look at the lip of your panels to determine the install direction.

2.) 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.

The first panel will need to be cut to create the proper effect.

3.) 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.

River rock panels must be cut a certain way in order to sit flush.

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

Solid panel installation depends upon proper gluing techniques like those shown

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

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

Faux stone face panel installation relies on good glue techniques like those demonstrated here

5.) Apply the FauxPanel® to the wall. Use a slight twisting motion to ensure good contact between the adhesive/glue and the wall for proper panel installation. Make sure the panel is level.

Panel installation is even more secure and weather tight if you add screws in the proper places.

6.) Fasten the panel to the wall with screws around the perimeter, keeping them roughly one foot apart or less. Place additional screws 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 hide them and provide a cleaner and more realistic look.

Durable panel installation requires glue along the stone face edge

7.) Add adhesive to the lip of the FauxPanel® where the next panel will overlap, about 1 inch away from the textured surface of the panel.

Panel installations with textured caulk not only look more realistic but are also more durable

8.) If your installation is in a bathroom, a kitchen, or any place where water can come in contact with the panels follow this step.

Add textured caulk to the seam where the wall coverings will meet. This is very important to ensure a moisture-resistant seal for your DIY installation.

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 4-8 until panel installation is complete.

9.) Repeat steps 4-8 for the next panel to be installed. Place it onto the wall next to the first panel. Keep the panel level. Press the panels tightly against the wall with a slight wiggle motion to help spread the glue for a tight seal.

Install the panel very closely against the first, as they may expand and contract with temperature changes. Continue repeating steps 4-9 until the first row is complete.

For a professional-looking panel installation, remove excess textured caulk with a damp cloth

10.) Use a damp cloth to remove any excess textured caulk before it dries. A wet finger, paint brush, or other similar tool can assist in smoothing and blending the caulk. Also use the textured caulk to fill in any voids, gaps, screw heads, or spaces.

Click here for more details on caulking panels.

Continue to attach faux stone face panels to the ones below it, until panel installation is finished

11.) If you are installing multiple rows of FauxPanels®, start on the next row above the one just completed. Repeat steps 4-10 for the next row of panels 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 7 & 8 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.

The interlocking panel installation of river rock provides a less noticeable seam.

11a.) 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 panel installation is finished. Pat yourself on the back!

12.) 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...

To ensure 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, should be glued and caulked. The panels may require additional shimming and trimming for proper alignment.

Be sure to 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.