Share Feature | Tips & Trends: Specialty Wall Finishes

Our regular editions of Tips & Trends are always a favourite feature on Share Design and today we share with you our insider knowledge on specialty wall finishes. We have covered everything from the earthy stone and brick finishes, through to the recent innovations of wall panelling and specialty paints and finishes.


House Maher by Tribe Architects | Photo: Katherine Lu


House Kalafatas Challita by Tribe Architects | Photo: Peter Bennetts

Share-Design_Treia-Villa Wespi De Meuron

Triea Villa by Wespi De Meuron | Photo: Hannes Henz

Brick and Stone

Exposed brick can be a great solution in contemporary homes to add character and texture within the interior. Tribe Studio have paired reclaimed brick walls with relatively slick plasterboard walls and ceiling to accentuate the materiality and colour within the featured brick walls. This adds warmth and a story to the room.

You may also consider painting existing brickwork in your home to offer a more subtle textural brick effect. By painting brickwork you can match the painted brick colour to your existing wall and ceiling finish. This will also make for a more streamlined interior with the texture of the brickwork offering character to the space without being a dominant feature. In this application, we suggest you choose a high-quality breathable paint. See all paints on Share Design.

Stone can be used in a similar fashion to brick, particularly how it has been used in the Treia Villa. Get the look with  Random Ashlar – Clancy by Eco Outdoor.


Lining Boards by Universal Design Studio



We typically see wall panelling used in slightly more decorative period homes, but recent trends have seen a slightly more innovative take on wall panelling. Plywood is undoubtedly a favourite, as is Lining board, so here we share with you our tips on how to use each!

Panelling – Lining Boards

Lining boards are typically available in a v-groove or regency profile, in MDF or pine, which can then be painted to match your selected wall colour. The boards can be applied vertically or horizontally, adding a sophisticated and homely character to simple plain walls. V-groove joints can also be routed out of MDF sheets, allowing for the panelling to be incorporated on walls, ceilings and allowing for integrated joinery doors.


Plywood Panelling in Sorrento Beach House by Shareen Joel Design


Plywood Panelling in the Ermitage Cabin by Septembre Architects


Plywood Panelling by mA Style Architects | Photo: Kai Nakamura

Panelling – Plywood 

There’s no doubt that there has been big interest in use of plywood in interiors. Not only is it used for furniture, but it makes for an affordable, characteristic option for wall panelling.

It looks great in industrial style spaces but can also be used in combination with a simple palette to create a stylish Scandinavian look, often tied in with integrated plywood joinery. We love how it’s been used in the Swiss Chalet and offers a very refined look.

Make sure you hand select each individual sheet, paying close attention to your desired timber pattern and amount of knots visible on the surface. It’s also important to consider panel sizes before designing your layout, as this may affect the location of join lines and timber grain direction. We recommend protecting the timber surface with a neutral coloured stain, in particular Bona in ‘Naturale’.


Wall Panelling in High Road House by Studio Ilse


Wall Panelling in Bloomsbury Apartment by William Smalley Architects


Swiss Stone Pine Cladding by Mafi Timber

Panelling – Timber

As mentioned earlier, timber panelling was typically found in the decorative form of a period home. But today we see more adaptations of it for use in interiors.

Typically timber panelling is available as either solid timber or sheets of engineered products, in numerous styles and formats. Either of these options can create a great effect in the home and make for a wonderful feature. If you have existing panelling in your home but it doesn’t suit the style you are after, then painting it is the easiest and simplest way to rejuvenate the space.

Mafi timber are known for their timber flooring, but that doesn’t mean they are limited to being use underfoot! mafi timber also offer their timbers as wall cladding. A particular favourite is mafi timber’s Swiss Stone Pine.


Leeton Pointon Architects | Photo: Peter Bennetts


Leeton Pointon Architects | Photo: Peter Bennetts

Polished Plaster

One of our absolute favourite surface finishes is polished plaster, for its unusual and often unpredictable nature. Applied to a vertical wall this surface finish offers lustre and a slight texture, which can be finished to match any paint colour. The result – a subtle variation of texture that picks up light and adds warmth to any room.

The troweled on finish of polished plaster can be applied to plasterboard, MDF, solid hard plaster and a number of other unpainted surfaces.

Specialty Paints

It’s always a difficult choice when it comes to picking paint colours for our homes. It’s a general rule that light colours will make the room seem bigger while darker colours will make a smaller, more intimate space. However there are many specialty paints to now choose from that can make a big impact to the room or provide a unique look.

Lime wash is great for softening and aging the appearance of bare timber creating that beach bleached look. There’s also a great range of paints from liquid metals to give the appearance of metals, stone, rust and cement paints.


Concrete Walls in Condestables House Pampalona by Tabuenca Leache Arquitectos


Concrete Walls in Condestables House Pampalona by Tabuenca Leache Arquitectos


Concrete House by Wespi De Meuron


There’s no doubt that the industrial qualities of concrete are pushed in contemporary interiors. Typically used as the foundation of buildings, concrete is now loved for the industrial and raw feeling it offers to any space. While the quality of concrete depends on the ‘mix’ there are two main forms that we feel are suited to use in any interiors – ‘Real’ and ‘Pre-Cast’.

Concrete – Real

Concrete has the ability to reflect the pattern of the formwork that is used in the building process on its finished surface. We particularly like the walls of Concrete House by Wespi De Meuron on Share Design, with the plywood formwork showing the structural integrity of this material.

Concrete -Pre-Cast walls

Pre-cast concrete walls are often poured to a mould offsite and transported onsite for quick and convenient construction. Again, this material offers a raw aesthetic that lends itself to showcasing the structural integrity of the building.
All in all, finishes are essential in adding character and depth to any interior, and ultimately defining the overall feeling of the space.

See all Materials & Finishes on Share Design

See all Tips & Trends on Share Design