HOW TO INSTALL A 3D WALL PANEL ON YOUR OWN

how-to-install-3d-wall-panel

3D wall panels usually come in large lightweight tiles and are made from environmentally friendly products like coconut husk, sugarcane stalks or other recycled products. They are really easy to work with and installing them is not very different from installing wall paper, except that you work with smaller pieces that are solid and easier to manoeuvre. Once you trim and glue the tiles to the wall, you will need to fill the joints and sand them back. Getting the individual pieces to form a large pattern is easy as all the designs come with a simple join detail. Let us take a look at how you can put together the panels on your own without any professional help:

  1. What do you need? – Here are a few items you will need for installing  3D panels:
  • Bucket of water
  • Damp cloth
  • Sandpaper (350 grade)
  • Stanley knife
  • Spirit level
  • Metal rule (to help with the cutting)
  • Pencil
  • Primer paint
  • Plastering filler
  • Paint (for finish)
  • Sealer
  • Adhesive (for gluing the tiles to the wall)
  1. Preparing the wall – The finish depends on how well you prepare the surface. You must smoothen the walls before you install the panels. Follow these tips:
  • Clean surface – Make sure you clean the surface of the wall with a dry cloth or paint brush. The surface must be smooth, dry and fee of all manner of loose debris.
  • Fill the holes – if there is a large hole or any other major damage to the wall, it can interfere with the installation. If the hole is larger than 15mm in diameter, it has to be repaired before installation.
  • Rough up the surface – If you are planning to install the tiles over a wall with glossy paint, ensure that you rough up the surface with 350 grade sandpaper to create a jagged surface for better bonding.
  • Allow it to dry – If the wall has been wet in any way whatsoever; give it 24 hours to dry off.
  1. Painting – Once you have zeroed in on the design idea, then you need to pre-prime the panels to protect them during the installation process. Bear in mind that the preparation time will be a bit long as the tile will need to dry out before installation. If you want to prime the tile before installing, make sure that you prime both the sides. If you prime only one side, then the tile will end up absorbing moisture from the primer and warp and buckle when drying.
  1. Set out – Small cut tiles do not look visually appealing, but if you are going to cover an entire wall, you’ll need to cut some of the tiles. So, you need to make sure that you get the set out point right. This is usually the most visible point on your wall. To find this point, just walk into the room and note down the part of the wall that you are drawn to first. It might be the window, or where the ceiling meets the walls. Make this the set out point, and start using full, uncut panels starting from this point.
  1. Installation – Once you have the set out point, keep the tape measure, spirit level, a pencil and a 2×4 piece handy.
  • Mark out a horizontal and vertical point with the 2×4 piece and pencil, and make sure that the lines are level with the spirit level.
  • Once you have a level starting point, take the first panel and apply adhesive as per the manufacturer instructions. Press down on it for at least ten seconds. The first panel will act as a guide for the others and direct the installation from thereon. If you want to install the panels permanently, go for liquid nails, adhesive spray or double sided tape. Always follow the instructions of the manufacturer as they know which adhesive bonds best to what product.
  • Take the second panel and marry/butt it into the first one. Make sure they are butted as closely together as possible. This will help minimize any visible seams. Have a damp cloth on the side to wipe off excess glue.

If you want to cut the panels, a Stanley knife should suffice. Make a pass on the panel using a metal rule and cut deeper with every cut. Once you are done, use the sandpaper to sand out the cut edge. Installing 3D panels on your own might seem overwhelming, but you will be surprised with how easy it is once you get going. Just follow the steps outlined above and you have your own feature wall in no time.

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