Today I would love to talk about painting and finishing wood, as the perfect finish of our panelled rooms is so very important to obtain the look we have in mind, initially discussing the design plans with our clients.

From experience we do know that it is of a huge importance to give the wood the appropriate finish to obtain the atmosphere of the panelled room, we have in mind. That is why we do need artisan painters who know exactly how to give the wood a smooth, a distressed or time worn look.

One cannot achieve this look by choosing a colour, opening a ready made paint bucket and just starting to paint. Not every painter is an expert in decorative painting techniques. Only an expert, a master painter, an artisan painter, who is an adept in the art of painting, knows how to apply long forgotten techniques and how to create unique textures.

Even if you do not opt for an aged or weathered look, I would advice to choose for an artisan painter who will make all the difference, giving the wood finish the required depth and shades.

More than once it happened that a client had chosen to have their panelling finished by a painter who was not experienced in traditional decorative techniques and unfortunately noticed that the result was not what was intended to be. The room did not get the look nor the atmosphere that was initially discussed.

Detail of an 18th C. style panelled room given a distressed look. by Lefèvre Interiors

Paint finish examples

 By choosing the perfect finish it is very important to take into account all textures and colour shades of furniture and fabrics of the room that has to be panelled.

Realisation Lefèvre Interiors

Realisation Axel Vervoordt   Source Instagram account Bayerischer Hof Munich

Realisation Lefèvre Interiors   Photo credit Claude Smekens Photography

Textures and fabrics in a room defining the final finish of the panelling colour shade.

Realisation Lefèvre Interiors

Paint & patina finish examples

Sample of finish shades at client’s site.

To achieve the perfect finish one can not paint or finish the panelling before the installation at the client’s site. The artisan painter needs to create depth and shadows, taking into account various elements, as the way light comes into the room, the colour shades of existing furniture and fabrics in the room, flooring, dimensions of the room, etc. Therefore the painter will add finish samples in different shades before deciding on the final colour paint and patina.

An artisan painter knows exactly how to change the surface texture of the wood, similar to the changes achieved over time.

Recently made panelling given an aged look.

A special finish treatment, a patina that gives this new made panelling a well-worn look.

Well worn look achieved by time.   Photo credit Claude Smekens Photography

Recently made panelling and chest of drawers, based on 18th C. French panelling and furniture, realized by Lefèvre Interiors   Photo credit Claude Smekens Photography

Detail of the French 18th C. style commode completely new made by our team at Lefèvre Interiors and that is given a time worn look by applying lots of paint layers and patina finishes by an artisan painter.

Chest of drawers patina.

Defining colour shade of the panelling finish.

Sample of the chosen finish.

Artisan painter at work.

Initial chosen sample in front of finished panelling.

First sketch of an 18th C. French LXVI- style panelled wall showing finish suggestions. Lefèvre Interiors

The painter is mixing his ‘secret’ ingredients and pigments to obtain the desired paint colour.

Starting from scratch, applying layer after layer.

Applying the base coat on the natural wood, first of a series of layers.

The wood needs several layers to obtain the final chosen colour shade and patina.

Applying one of the final layers.

Final result of a panelling that is given an aged patina.

Final result of a panelling that is given a charming, time-worn look.

Realisation Lefèvre Interiors   Photo credit Claude Smekens Photography

Realisation Lefèvre Interiors   Photo credit Claude Smekens Photography

And after all, if required and in consultation with the painter, Lefèvre has its own ‘secrets’ to give the natural wood, whatever the wood specie may be, a special treatment before the artisan painters start applying their decorative painting technique.

Lefèvre ébénistes at work – Lefèvre workshop in Belgium.

‘The success of a beautiful panelled room stands or falls with the finish of the wood.’ Lefèvre Interiors


If you would love to know more about our finishes or if you would love us to help you with the realisation of your panelled room,

please don’t hesitate to contact me at

To see more of our realisations, please visit our website WWW.LEFEVRE.BE



All pictures Lefèvre Interiors, unless otherwise mentioned.