painted wood paneling, before/after

11:10 AM

Welcome. Here is a glimpse into what I like to call our "diamond in the ruff" home. The first time I walked through our (now) home, I fell in love. Despite the dated cosmetic details such as brass fixtures and ceiling fans I fell in love with all it's wood floors (over 2,000 sq. ft. of original hardwood floors) and this add-on Master Suite. It's huge, has vaulted ceilings...oh and a TON of pine wood paneling. I was never a fan of the wood paneling. My husband and I joke that we turn the corner walk up the stairs and we are in a log cabin.

The below pic is said Master Suite.
My first thought before we even bought the home was I was going to paint it. Then my mom and mother-in-law begged us not to. "Why would you paint wood?" was their question. I know, I know and maybe in the 70's or 80's it was really nice and classy, but I HATE it! Am I wrong for wanting to paint it?

Below are 10 reasons I should paint. Are you with me?

This room above is just darling after they painted the paneling. Looks so fresh and clean. I am convinced I need to paint my bedroom. But just in case there are some more before/afters below just in case I begin to doubt.

I found the before/after here. I think that the light paint makes the room larger and brighter.

The room above looks dramatically different in this before/after found here.

I found this (above) before/after here. Even though they didn't change anything else, even the above 70's reasesed light, it looks a 100% better.

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I found this before/after here. We have this exact color wood paneling in our Master bedroom, this looks so much better after it's been painted.

Below are staged pics I found via the internet.

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  1. love the before and after shots...i believe in PAINT! It works wonders, especially white, and the walls are clean then, and wonderfully fresh. My son just bought a wood panelled house, sent me this link because he's worried about how to go about fixing it...these pics are great! TFS

  2. These before and afters are the best! Thanks for posting them. It gives me so much hope with regards to buying a home with wood panels.

  3. Thanks so much Cindy and Nellie!! I will be sure to post pictures after we paint our bedroom, I know it will be a dramatic difference. :)

  4. Thanks for posting these great photos. I have wood paneling in my family room and hate it. It's dated, dark and drab. I'm definately going to paint it...can't wait for the results. I'll tray and remember to post before and after pictures. :)

  5. Please do! I actually painted our stair well and it looks so good, I will post some pictures! :)

  6. Thanks for posting a whole lot of images together - we are thinking of moving & just about every house I "love" in the new town has wood paneling everywhere! Its like some sauna-infatuated lunatic was let loose - bizarre! So this is a great reference - I feel now that paneling isn't such a big problem...phew! :)

  7. Thanks for posting this, we are house hunting and I have fallen in love with an home that has had only the 1 couple in it since it was built in 1965. So it is mostly outdated, and that scared me, but this blog just made me realize that I am in love with it, and we can paint the paneling in the basement and it will look great :)

  8. I am so glad I ran across your blog! I am a 54 year old widow who just married a wonderful man who has lived in his home for over 30 years. It's not easy trying to make it feel like my "home", but I am trying. I love to decorate, but am having a bit of a difficult time since he bought the house with his first wife, and has lived in it for so long. I do like the house except for one thing...paneling! He has already painted it in the master bedroom (it's only on the lower half), and in the kitchen (not much in there). We are now going to work on the guest bedroom. It's only on the lower half as well. The biggest concern is the lower level of the house. It's a walk-out ranch, and the whole lower level is knotty pine paneling. He tells me it will be much more difficult to paint over, and isn't sure he wants to do it. He has thought about it, but isn't sure it will look good with the large knots. He has also considered putting paper over it, but I'm not too excited about that. Has anyone tried painting over large knotty pine paneling? I really want to make the change so the room will look brighter, and so it will feel more like our home. Thanks!

    1. I would paint it but I think you need to treat it first with a sealer or Kilz before you paint it to keep the pine sap from bleeding through. I would go to a paint store and ask for advice.

  9. The before and after of the wood paneling is exactly what I was looking for, I'm just wondering HOW you painted the paneling and did you have to fill the gaps between panels with something? Also was the paneling varnished in every room or was some bare? THANKS!

  10. Beware of cracking in the paint. I painted my paneling about a year ago, but because of the contracting wood with the temps there are cracks in my paint. Does anyone have suggestions to fix this?

  11. Hmmm, I painted the wood panneling in our hallway about a year ago. No cracks thus far. Now, I am no contractor or professional, but what I would do is take a putty knife and chip away the paint that is cracked and then sand it down so it's flush with the other paint around it. Then you can buy a Gripper paint (at any home improvement store). It's a kind of paint that "grips" to the surface and primes and seals it so it can be painted on. You could also try a paint/primer mix. It should create a kind of barrier between the wood and paint and allow the paint to adhere and not crack or peel. There is a post on one of my favorite home improvement blogs Young House Love about some of the problems and solutions they ran into while painting their wood paneling:

  12. Thanx for your post and pix. I bought a fixer mobile home with real wood paneling; unaltered in one room, wallpaper coming off in two, and hallway painted over. I was perplexed, beleiving that you don't paint "good" wood, but the natural room looks like a dungeon. I thought that I may have to fill grooves, sand smooth or use textured paint, etc. Or cover with a drywall textured-looking wallpaper. And I don't want to break the bank on this. I look at it now like painting a home (wood) exterior.

  13. Best thing about wood paneling with kids it doesn't dent like drywall !!!!!