Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Take the Ugly Out of the Paneling

Photo Credit

Wood paneling. Just looking at the above picture makes me feel like a Keebler elf living in an old-growth hemlock. Fortunately, my paneling issue is not as severe as the above photo. But for me, any paneling is too much.

Our first home was 800 square feet of nothing but paneling. In. every. room. To say I have panel issues would be grossly understated.

Thankfully, getting rid of paneling doesn't have to cost a fortune. It doesn't require a carpenter who specializes in sheetrock and can be completed in a 24-hour period.

How great is that!?!

A couple of weeks ago, I started a new painting project. Our living room had been a dark orange-red, and I got bored. Then I went shopping. To Lowe's. Enough said.

I chose Cinnamon Sugar for the new color and loved it! The only problem was that we had one wall that had dark brown paneling on it. That end of the living room seemed dark, even though it was the wall that housed the entertainment center. I was hopeful that we would eventually sheetrock that wall, but after 9 years, my patience ran out.

Not to mention the remodeling funds.

New color on the walls
To paint a paneled wall, you'll need an oil-based primer and latex paint. If the paneling is shiny, you might want to take the shine off with a fine grit sandpaper.  Thankfully, the shine on my paneling disappeared about the same time that dark wood paneling went out of style.

Looks shiny, but that's the brief moment of sunshine we had peeking in.

Tape off any areas that you want to keep the primer off of. Make sure you throw an old sheet or tarp down on floor as oil-based primer is difficult to clean off the carpet. I used Kiltz Low-Odor primer. It dries in an hour and won't kill too many brain cells in the process. Using a throw-away paint brush (don't spend the big bucks on a nice brush because it will not make it out of this project alive),carefully paint along the ceiling, corner, and floor edges of a small area. Generously coat the brush with primer to paint down the panel grooves. You can use a roller for the smooth portions if you want, or just fill in with the brush. Because the primer dries so quickly, only work a small area at a time.

Make sure you pull the furniture out far enough to give yourself plenty of room to work. I had to work around cables, phone lines, and various wires since my Mister was "conveniently" at work!

Primer is messy, so have a clean-up plan ready for the little "oopsie's". I'm currently sporting a rather flattering speckled pattern over the top half of my body.

Trust me. It's flattering.

After the primer has dried for 1 hour, it's time to paint. Latex paint adheres very well to oil-based primer. I'm sure there's some sort of scientific reason for this, but I'm on summer break and don't really care what that reason is. I just know that it works very well.☺

If using a roller for the paint, use one that has a thick nap so that it will cover the grooves too. I used a brush along the edges, but only had to use it to touch up a few grooved spots. You may need to apply a second coat of paint after the first dries, but that will depend on your paint and the color.

The grooves are not so noticeable when they are the same color as the rest of the wall!


Clean up is easy; throw away the brush, toss the sheet in the laundry, and sit back and enjoy your new wall or room and wonder why you didn't do this sooner!

4 comments:

Patty said...

I AM wondering why I haven't done this yet. My walls are all paneled with that same ugly paneling, but a bit darker shade than yours was. Very bad. I've been planning on painting one room at a time, starting with the living room. Thanks so much for sharing this! I'm going to do it! :)

MamaTea said...

Nice!! Reminds me of when we painted all the paneling in our first house. (There was a ton of it!) Lovely how it brightens everything up. I giggled my way through your post. I never thought I would meet anyone as sarcastic as me. You, my dear, have a gift! :)

momma-lana said...

We own a vacation house on a lake that is 100% paneling inside. I don't love it but I am happy knowing that I will never have to paint inside, that house is for vacation and we have to do enough maintenance over there anyway so I live with it. I surely would paint over it though if I had it in my house at home!

Kim said...

Patty~Good luck to you! You'll be very surprised how bright and new everything will feel!

Mama Tea~A "gift"..hehe..I wish my Daddy would've recognized my sarcasm as a gift~I could've spent less time being grounded as a teen!

Momma-lana~I'm sure in a vacation house I'd leave paneling alone too! Of course, I would be happy to have dirt floors if it meant they were mine and I was on vacation! :)