What to do with PANELING????

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  • Paint it.
    Hi Marcelle,

    I painted ours. It was in a dark, dingy library room that was full of bookshelves. And it was that cheap stuff from the 70's, too. I painted it all white, and now it has that beadboard/beach house look to it. I love it. Some molding around the ceiling and floor would also help -- I just haven't gotten that far yet.

    The only trouble was that it took about 2 coats of primer and another 3 coats of white. It may take several coats, but believe me it's worth it. I think you'll be happy with it once it's done. It beats the heck out of trying to wallpaper.

    Jen in California
  • One more thing . . .
    One more thing . . .

    you mentioned that one of your girls wants a princess bed. I got a few of those mosquito net canopies for $20 at Ikea. We put one up over my youngest daughter's bed -- which actually is just a pop-up trundle cot thing from an old daybed that fell apart. It works great and she has her princess bed. You just hang it from the ceiling from a hook, and then threaten the little girl within an inch of her life if she pulls on it.

    jen in california
  • Decorating Woes -- Paneling

    Hello from Oklahoma!! I've owned everything from a mobile home to major fixer-uppers to a brand-new house, and the ideas in this thread are all excellent! They all work well. But I found the most important things to do before putting any color, wallpaper, or whatever on the walls were:

    1. Make sure the paneling is securely anchored to the walls. Check top and bottom, all the corners, and the seams. If necessary, reinforce with paneling (or just small skinny nails about 2 inches long and sink the head of the nail in and spackle over it).

    2. Then, wash the paneling down with soap and water. A sponge mop works great! You'd be surprised at the dirt on some paneling...!

    3. Fill in all holes, lines, patterns in the paneling, etc., that you do NOT want to show.

    4. Prime it!! Seriously, use the cheap flat white primer and put several coats on the whole thing. Then you have a blank slate essentially from which to start.

    I did a wall in the living room in a house we owned when we were first married that had been paneled. I used the above techniques, even though I'd never done it before, and wallpapered over it. The wallpaper had an off-white background and because of the good preparation beforehand, none of the dark color bled through or showed anywhere. I also recommend that if you do panel, put molding at the top and bottom -- like new baseboard type molding. This helps to anchor the paper (or whatever texturing material you put on if it is not paint) to the wall. Also, make sure the wallpaper seams are smooth. You can get a roller, but anything that would flatten the seams will work.

    If you do wallpaper and find a place here and there where a seam likes to separate, just use simple white Elmer's glue (or a comparable brand). Works like a charm!

    I got the above wallpapering tips from a couple in our church that are professional wallpaperers, and the job turned out great!

    Seriously, I think that if it were my place, and since you are not planning to live there for a long time, I'd prime and paint everything or almost everything. You could use wallpaper on one wall to accent it, as I did; or just paint and then get creative with the paint you put on; i.e., sponge painting, some texture, etc. Whatever you like that would be neutral and also something you and your family can live with. Nothing wild -- you do need to think of resale, and you're very smart to be looking at the redecorating that way already.

    Something I just thought of regarding the carpet: The light, neutral carpeting is a very good idea. That's what we've used. However, do NOT just get the cheap plush. Spend a little more and get the type that doesn't show every footprint! What happens is, say you just vacuumed. Now you have to cross the room to pick something up or whatever. Your footprints show!! Don't you just hate that??!! I sure do, so we went with an oatmeal type carpet that does not show anything! Oh, it helps to have carpet with a slight bit of variation in the color of the threads. Example: ours is predominately the neutral oatmeal/ beige type carpet, but it has some darker threads of browns here and there. Very, very subtle. And believe me, you can't see anything on this carpet!! I love it! And I have to have a low-maintenance house because I have health problems and am disabled. So I needed floor and wall coverings that would not show footprints, dirt, etc. much at all.

    I absolutely love to decorate and wish I could come and help you! But the people that have been posting to this thread have given you a wealth of information and I'm sure there'll be more gems posted.

    Oh, about furniture: yes, you can paint over almost anything, but again, use primer or sand the finish so it's slightly rough and will take the paint or whatever you decide to put on it, like a crackled glaze paint.

    Side note: the stencils are a great idea!! Lots of people like them. However, even though I could do that in the past, I sure can't now. Well, there are some stores (in our area it's Family Dollar and Dollar General) that have wallpaper border for $1 or $2 per roll (depending on whether it's wide or narrow). In keeping with the neutral theme, we bought rolls of wallpaper that look like ivy was stenciled about a foot down from our living room and entryway ceiling. It took about 8 rolls at $2 per roll -- a bargain! Everyone that's come over asks if we stenciled it! And the living room and entry are quite large, so figure that we spent less than $20 for that accent for the rooms!

    I have found that it works out far better in decorating to keep your background (floor coverings and paint) fairly neutral because it's (1) easier to re-sell; (2) if you did do some personalization it's easy to cover it up; and (3) you then have a basically neutral palette for whatever you have in the way of furniture, pictures, and other accent pieces.

    Sorry this got to be so long -- I'm on a roll!! Seriously, I will be praying that it all works out so keep us informed on what you do if you have time, and God Bless!

  • I have gotten great information from this thread also. We have the dark panels in our basement also. It is the kind that splinters, very difficult to wash or dust as it pulls on the cloth etc and you end up with a lot of white threads on it.
    We are going to be painting it soon. Perhaps even sponging it or paint splattering.

    Janet, you said you painted this type of paneling. When you put the coats on it did it cover all the splinters or do you still have them? If they stick around I am afraid when I paint them white that it will pick up all dust or dirt.
  • We have paneling in our basement too. Not the good stuff either and it makes the basement so much darker. Well, I just recently saw on TV, (I'm not sure if it was Christopher Lowell or Home and Garden), and this man showed how to "re do" paneling. You fill in all spaces and problem area with joint compound. Sand. Fill in any other areas that need to be refilled. Then you can prime it and paper it or prime it and faux paint it. The wall paper section he did looked great and he sponged another section and it looked great (except I didn't like the color choice.) It seems like alot of work, but it looked so good when it was done. I'm planning on doing it in my basement so the kids can have a more kid friendly room to play in. Good luck!

  • Hi! Before I painted my paneling I applied drywall mud to the joints, let it dry, then sanded the rough edges only. Too much sanding will pull out the mud. Then I applied a primer and my top coat was a good grade of acrylic latex paint. I have been using low luster paint. I use flat only on my ceilings, and white only.I know this is a thing of the past but I like the look of white ceilings verses color. I think the white ceiling gives the walls a crisp line and it makes my small rooms seem larger!

    In rooms where I wanted the lines...I just painted over them..I paint the grooves first, use a 3-4 inch brush and it can be a old one, my paneling roughs up a good brush. Then I used a roller to roll the rest of the paneling.

    Hope this helps you Redcardinalbird, just make sure you use a low luster, or semi-gloss paint and you will be able to wipe the walls if they get dusty.


  • Thanks miracle...I'll check out that site. I saw one of the commercials on TV last night...kids screaming thru the house while mom's trying to get instructions...sounds like home lol

  • Thanks vcudnik (I don't know your real name!) those ideas sound great...

    I think the gun one is my fave but I don't want to let hubby help with that part...sounds like too much fun! A good stress relief!

  • Hey Jen,

    My parents painted over their wood in the library at their house and they love it too...they painted it REALLY bright white...at first it looked funny but since they smoke it's now more ivory...lol but still alot lighter than the dark junk!

    I found a hoop (quilters size) and I didn't know why I got that or remember from where so I thought about using that with some sheers to make a babybed canopy! So I love that idea!


  • Carie,
    Nice to meet you...are ya trying to make more work for me...haha just kidding. Thanks for the tips bc I want the have the job done right the first time and not have to redo bc of poor preparations.

    On the molding trim...do you think that it would make the ceilings look lower? They aren't very high right now...maybe 8 ft but that could be pushing it. It's a mobile home built in the 70s...since I'm short it's 'ok' but trust me dream home will have high ceilings so I can breathe.

    For the carpeting-the light neutral was thinking of berber like. Sure it's rougher than comfty carpet but shows dirt less and ppl seem to LIKE berber...I don't care for it as much as ppl like to lay on the floor but that's what rugs are for and rugs go to the next place! lol

    Stenciling-I've done on craft projects mostly. I bought some picket fence ones, and floral garden ones but they are still having the tags on them...shshh..I hid them...haha

    You sound Like a pro decorator to me! I wish you could come too but when we get going I keep you posted and you can participate via the internet!