How to Hide a Flat Panel TV With Wall Paneling

Create custom architectural wall paneling that opens to reveal a hidden flat panel TV with basic lumber, tools and this tutorial.

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Materials Needed:

  • 8x4' sheets of 3/4" thick paint-grade plywood
  • 10' long 2x4" lumber for flat panel TVs up to 3" in depth
  • 10' long 2X6" lumber for flat panel TVs up to 5" in depth
  • 10' strips of 1x2" primed MDF or pine
  • wood glue
  • two piano hinges (length determined by height of wall panels)
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • hand saw
  • table saw
  • circular saw
  • sanding block
  • drill
  • 3" wood screws
  • pencil
  • note pad
  • low profile flat panel TV mounting bracket
  • low profile flat panel TV (3" depth or less works best)
  • stud finder
  • nail gun
  • screwdriver
  • air compressor
  • brads
  • wood filler
  • spackle
  • spackle knife
  • painter's plastic
  • painter's tape
  • HVLP paint sprayer
  • paint roller handle
  • paint roller sleeve
  • paint pan
  • paintbrush
  • caulk
  • caulk gun

Measure Flat Panel TV

Before deciding on the proper configuration for decorative wooden panels, it's important to know the exact measurements of the flat panel TV. Use measuring tape to determine the height, width and depth of the TV, then jot down measurements with a pencil and note pad. A great rule of thumb for a successful height and width configuration is to create decorative wooden panels that are either (a) half the width of the TV, or (b) the full width of the TV. When creating panels the same width of the TV, keep in mind that the hinged TV-concealing panel will open into the room and may impede traffic flow around the wall. By creating panels half the width of the TV, two smaller hinged TV-concealing panels will be created, which can fold back flush to the wall when opened. Also, depth is key in ensuring enough space between the drywall, mounting bracket and the back of the TV-concealing panels.

Measure & Mark Wall

While most new construction homes have cable and electrical outlets spaced properly for mounting flat panel TVs, older homes may require relocating outlets to proper height. This should be taken into consideration prior to measuring and marking the wall. Use measuring tape to determine height and width of the wall where the flat panel TV will be mounted (Image 1). Jot measurements down on a note pad using pencil. In order to create a focal wall along which the TV will be concealed, a full wall frame will need to be built from 2x4" or 2x6" lumber, depending on the depth of the flat panel TV. Once the frame is built, it will then be clad with 3/4" thick paint-grade plywood, which will have a raw edge and require decorative 1x2" primed MDF trim installed perpendicular along the edge of the wall for a more finished look. To account for the thickness of the 1x2" MDF trim and slight overhang of plywood, use a pencil to mark 1-1/2" inward from each edge of the wall (Image 2). Note: Flat panel TVs up to 3" in depth can be framed with 2x4" lumber whereas TVs 3" to 6" in depth will need to be framed with 2x6" lumber.

Cut & Assemble Four-Sided Frame

Based on measurements taken for the wall, and deducting 1-1/2" to account for finish trim to conceal the raw edges of plywood, a four-sided frame will need to be cut and assembled. First, use measuring tape and a pencil to mark 2x4" or 2x6" lumber to size (Image 1), then cut using a hand saw or chop saw (Image 2). Once all pieces are cut to size, fasten them to one another using a drill and 3" wood screws.

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