A couple of years ago, we blocked the old kitchen entrance in order to give us more worktops. It’s been possibly the best decision we’ve ever made.
Then, the new problem was that we needed a plasterer to cover up the brickwork. Great. Not really a problem as I knew plasterers were cheap. But sadly, it turned out prices around Warwickshire were 3 or 4 times more expensive than what family and friends pay back in Doncaster.
My parents actually pay £80 a wall, but I was quoted over £300 for this three end walls like these and some chased cables. So guess what? I never called him again.
I’ve plastered a few times before on smaller jobs so didn’t think £300+ was good value at all. I know about the prep but where you need the skill is the final bit – getting it smooth!
However, I have recently learnt how to skim a wall with (yes, a cheat), ready mixed skim after filling my chased cables. You can read how I did it here and what it looked like. And if I hadn’t heard of these 3D wall panels from Mano Mano, perhaps I would have skimmed after I rough plastered.
So let’s talk about the 3D wall panels, shall we?
I was initially dubious about these panels. I’d never seen or heard of them before and I really like to have a feel for a product before I invest when it comes to DIY.
There are a few styles they come in, that I feared would look tacky, but I think it really depends on your end use. I have seen pictures where someone’s covered their whole staircase wall and it looked too much.
But I thought, with a less is more approach, it would give my DIY building-site-like home a touch of elegance. And a little show-home feel I’ve always desired but never bothered with.
Originally I was going to create a feature wall from recycled pallets, but there wasn’t enough depth space from the wall to the bathroom door on the left for batons then wood hammered in front. So these were the perfect solution.
Now they’re made of bamboo pulp, so they are hollow, so you really need to think of your lifestyle. If you have kids that fight, punch walls and doors (my Dad would often have to fix my cousin’s bedroom doors), then you might to look further on.
But as they’re just us two and I’ve positioned them in places we don’t really touch, then it’s ideal for us. They’re also more sturdy than I expected due to the curves.
They also come in an unfinished white, so you’ll need to paint them. I went for Dulux’s latest easy care range in white because it’s washable, doesn’t stain and has been worth every penny.
They’re also really easy to apply. All you need is strong glue to attach and make sure they’re straight. Here’s the video on how I did it.
But if you have an uneven wall, like I did on the door we bricked up, then I recommend my rough plastering tutorial to make sure it’s roughly level. It need not look pretty. As long as it doesn’t look uneven when you apply the panels.
As for the walls behind my doorway panels, these were exposed painted brickwork. I knew these were level and didn’t worry about the joints as I could build that up with more glue.
So to cover up my three areas, all I needed was one pack of the panels and about 12 tubes of glue. It does get a bit tiresome on the hands, but you’ll be financially much more better off.
I am not regretting installing these one little bit. In fact, I loved the style so much, it spurred me on to finally paint the rest of the house and get the warmth we craved by finally paying for carpets to be fitted.
When it comes to covering up the joints, all you need is decorator’s caulk that you can paint over.
But as this was the first time I’d painted my walls using a colour (Denim Drift by Dulux to the right of the end wall panel, I struggled with caulk as I’m not great at it.
If like me, you’re not great or confident, I just covered the edges with some wooden painted trim. I also needed some wider trim as the panels were slightly narrower than the door entrance walls. Oh, and cutting them is a piece of cake. A sharp stanley knife will do the trick.
If you want to see how easy they are to apply, here’s the video and good luck.
Note that they are less likely to work on a section of wall that sticks out as they are hollow. So if you cut them down to size, you’ll be able to see through the gaps on the sides. It’s better to create a smaller section and add trim to frame it.
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Disclaimer: I received these 3D wall panels on a gifting basis from Mano Mano in return for an honest review and demonstration. This is not a sponsored post and helped resolve a genuine problem we’d been living with.