At the beginning of last month we started the final phase of the dining room by lining the walls with lambris. There are all sorts of different materials you can get for this, from really cheap pine tongue and groove to pre-formed panels. We went for the not quite cheapest tongue and groove.
There are two reasons for putting bits of pine on walls, the first of which is the reason the whole kitchen area had lambris when we bought the house: cacher la merde du chat. If you have an area of wall that is a mess all you need do is put a layer of cheap pine over it and (for a while at least) the wall will look good. The second reason for using lambris is to protect the plasterboard from knocks and dents, particulary useful in an area just slightly too small for the number of chairs you might potentially want there.
To properly install lambris you dont just nail it to the stone wall, as was done previously in this house. You want air to circulate between the panels and the wall, so you put in battens and nail the panels to the batten (as can be seen here).
corner piece is being added
Once the lambris is installed you have to use some sort of plastic wood (or plaster) to fill in knot holes. If you have bought the cheapest pine this will take you an age, as the cheap stuff really is rubbish, with holes through every piece of wood. We paid 2€ a metre more and only had 4 knot holes to fill. After that you need to sand and undercoat (which didn't dry, duly provoking a reaction, here) and paint (which didn't go on properly, as mentioned here).
This is why we went for the non-cheapest option for painting, as well: GTMI. As you can see in the above photo I managed to put the grey paint on the wall with not too many issues, but the photo below shows the problems I had with the red paint. That's why you can see Bruno...
We like our lambris - painting it the same colour red as the end wall of the kitchen has tied the kitchen and dining room together, and it means the walls should be protected from damage from big clumsy blokes not fully in control of a chair.
For a photo of the finished article, there is no better place to look than here.