There are a number of elements we see time and time again in humble French houses. One is lambris, or narrow wood panelling. It’s been popular here for centuries though the default finish seems to be dark treacly varnishes and a ski chalet on steroids vibe.
We don’t have a ski chalet, so our existing lambris ceiling in terrace bedroom has been painted out in a matte light colour. The new shower room lambris is also being painted.
Down in the kitchen we had a thirty foot wall to insulate so we opted for lambris and The Man put it all up piece by piece, nail by nail, to accommodate the lack of straight lines and 90 degree angles that exist nowhere Chez Nous.
Although he was sceptical, and it led to some wastage, I opted for unclassified pine as the knots, dinks, holes, and the rough bits where it missed the machine are exactly what I wanted to create the look of a wall that’s been here forever. If you did not know it was brand new, you would certainly think it original. It suits.
So, how to? First we painted in the Kaolin emulsion- one coat
Then I “flatted” it and gave it some character by taking a classic chiselled French paint brush and painting a slightly diluted strip of white emulsion down each beaded bit- top to bottom; brushing this out with a dry 2″ brush feathering side-to-side as I go.
Dry your brush on kitchen paper between panels !