There are several approaches. If you want real look, you go to England
and buy real, old panels. That is a little expensive and you may need to do
some adjusting to the room or the panels.
You have have them made for you or build them yourself. This way they
can match the room size. The quality of the results depends on the skill of
who does the work and the quality of the materials. Price can vary from
cheap to very expensive.
I suppose pre-made or semi-custom panels can be ordered.
So how are your woodworking skills? DIY can result in some really good
high quality work if you have the skills and time. It also may be one of
the least expensive options.
I have never hunted for them, so my suggestions may not be good.
I would try at a big DIY source and check out the kitchen area. They
may have something. Also check out kitchen remodel showrooms and see what
they have. If you are in a large city I would expect there to be some sort
of architectural supply houses and they may have something or be able to
direct you to a source.
Where I live, I would contact some of our Amish sources and see if they
could come up with what I want as custom work.
With Oak veneer plywood that is only the start then you add different
trim pieces to get it the way you want it to look. Then stain and
You are better off looking at Foam molding, not plaster, they are
copied in just abut any style and are easily instaled,light weight and
ready for paint.
Veneer ply-trim pieces and foam molding are the way it is done today
If it was a real library-room, all the available wall space would be
covered with shelves, cabinets, and drawers, anyway, and you'd
be asking about how to beef up the floors so that the
building doesn't collapse.
But anyway, for it to look right, you really need to diagram the
walls in question, with measurements, and have someone in your
area who does custom cabinets or other woodwork do them to
fit your specific walls. Anything else is just going to look like
you glued a bunch of cabinet doors to your house.
The best you're likely to do is something like
Which boils down to gluing flat boards and molding
to the wall to fake it. This doesn't really look BAD,
but it doesn't look authentically rennaisance, either.
It depends on how ornate you want it. The simplest approach would be
to fasten 1/4" hardwood plywood to the walls (construction adhesive
and a few nails) then tack on some moulding to frame the panels and
give it some detail. Try to hide the panel nails and seams behind the
mouldings. The trick to getting a nice look is in the moulding
design: base board, picture frame, chair rail, crown, cap mouldings,
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