How to Drill Holes in Wood Paneling

Greyson Ferguson

Paneling is actual wood that covers the wall from top to bottom, so you shouldn't be able to see any of the product behind the paneling. However, if you plan to drill holes into the wood it helps to know what is behind the paneling. It could be drywall, more wood, brick or concrete.

The material behind the paneling determines how much work is required to drill the hole and what kind of equipment you need.

  1. Apply butterfly drill bits designed for concrete to the drill. These are drill bits that have a slight lipped edge to the tips. The lipped edge allows the bits to catch more of the concrete, propelling it to drill into the material. Without it the drill bit may just spin around and around without actually deepening the hole. You can find these bits at any home improvement store.

  2. Place the drill bit against the wood paneling, and power on the drill at a slow speed. Apply ample pressure to the back of the drill as it digs into the paneling.

  3. Stop if you suddenly feel the wall resist the drill. Remove the drill from the hole and shine a light into it. If you see concrete or masonry, you know you need to continue using the butterfly drill bit. If you see drywall, you can use the same bit, or you can use a standard drill bit.

  4. Press firmly against the drill as you attempt to increase the drill hole depth. Power the drill to full power as you increase the depth of the hole. Take periodic breaks while you drill. This is because the bit becomes hot as it spins rapidly in the concrete. Not only can this wear down the bit, but it can also heat up the wood paneling and even start a fire.

  5. Measure the depth of the hole, and stop when you reach the necessary size.