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Anybody have painted paneling?

conmamaconmama 4541 replies328 threads Senior Member
edited December 2019 in Parent Cafe
After going on 25 years, H has finally agreed to paint the FR paneling. You don’t know how many times I have heard from him and other men, “but this is real paneling”. Just last month a drywall repairman came in, looked in the FR and said it was real oak wood, you can tell, not that cheap stuff. I told him we were going to paint it and he thought that was a shame.

The FR has a lot of very nice woodwork besides that paneling, and that is staying stained and not getting painted. It’s a dark warm pecan.

I’ve never been a fan of painted paneling, but I’m really tired of the 70’s look. Has anybody else done this, your thoughts! I’m thinking semi-gloss. It’s too cost prohibitive with all my woodwork to drywall.
edited December 2019
30 replies
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Replies to: Anybody have painted paneling?

  • mathmommathmom 32646 replies160 threads Senior Member
    I've only painted the cheesy stuff. It looks way better. :)
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  • abasketabasket 19936 replies883 threads Senior Member
    OMG, if I had a dime for every time my H or father in law said, "why do you want to paint that knotty pine paneling!!?"

    It was in our basement. We painted it. Basement is different than a family room (on the main level I would be even more invested to how it looked) but it was definitely an upgrade IMO. HATED the knotty pine stuff. We painted it a flat grey color and it was primed first.

    I remember at the time (it's been several years now) watching some YouTube videos on how to do it - there were even ones telling you how to "fill" the paneling lines so you would get a smooth look - that seemed like too much work and I'd be nervous that it really would come out "smooth".

    I NEVER regretted painting it. Oak is fine, it's ok (overall I don't think you'll be seeing new builds with lots of oak in them - please correct me if I'm wrong) - but walls of oak? A new look sounds good to me! I would just be sure to have a skilled painter at the job. (so someone who is not a novice painter!)
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  • conmamaconmama 4541 replies328 threads Senior Member
    We discussed filling in the grooves, but from what I read it’s not a good idea with real wood due to the wood expanding and contracting with the house. It could fall out, crack. Fake paneling doesn’t do this so much.

    We are hiring a professional. He said it would take him about a week. He also thinks it’s a shame, haha!

    I’m glad you like yours, @abasket , those are the things I like to hear! Once you do it...can’t go back! I think it will be nice to have something different. We’re going to redo the whole room, needs it bad.
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  • Nrdsb4Nrdsb4 17230 replies163 threads Senior Member
    The only paneled rooms I like are libraries, and they usually don't have the thin vertical paneling that is the kind people like to paint over.

    If you want to paint your paneling, go for it!
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  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 6667 replies141 threads Senior Member
    My in-laws painted their paneling (not sure whether it's "real" or not, lol). They used some kind of flat white paint. I know the painters did some sanding beforehand to take the gloss off the paneling surface, but they didn't fill in the grooves. It made the room a lot brighter, but I'm mixed on whether I like it or not.

    Was your paneling put directly on the studs or was it put over plaster or drywall? My first house was built in 1905 and they had paneled the living room and dining rooms in the 70's over the plaster. When we took down the paneling, all the plaster came with it, so it was an ungodly mess. We should have painted it instead, lol.
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  • adlgeladlgel 794 replies34 threads Member
    We had fake paneling up to chair rail height in our family room. We painted it a warm oatmeal color and I am so happy we did. This paneling was installed directly onto the studs so I guess if we wanted to make the investment we could have more easily removed it and added drywall but we are happy with it how it is.
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  • abasketabasket 19936 replies883 threads Senior Member
    IMO (and my taste), there is paneling and then there is paneling.

    I love old homes. Ours is 1925 and I love the homes of this era. Not as found of Victorian which can be a little more fancy/fussy. Anyway, I can picture a beautiful 1920's home library being paneled. That could/would be BEAUTIFUL. I couldn't paint that.

    BUT, knotty pine? 1950-more recent times oak or whatever paneling? Chances are I'd paint it!
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  • CaMom13CaMom13 1968 replies13 threads Senior Member
    We ripped out real, solid 1/2" thick knotty pine paneling from DH's study. We asked the guys to do it carefully and I gave the paneling away on Craigslist - the takers were thrilled and so was I. In our case the paneling had to be removed in order to do some structural work and once it was out, we happily sheetrocked the room, painted the walls and put in nice hardwood bookcases - such a difference! I have also painted paneling but only the cheap stuff. I have some painted paneling in my family room now - someday it'll be gone but I have kids in college and that takes priority! :D

    I think you're going to love it when it's painted.
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  • taverngirltaverngirl 1221 replies37 threads Senior Member
    @abasket I love old homes as well; we own a 280 year old tavern. All the paneling is painted, was before we moved in. I do love natural patina'd paneling, but the painted is also nice and helps to lighten up dark rooms, especially when the entire room is paneled floor to ceiling!
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8288 replies70 threads Senior Member
    Our 115 year old tutor had all the wood painted painted a soft gray before it went in the market. We saw old pics of the house and while it looked beautiful it was incredibly dark. We hosted a bunch of neighbors when we moved in and those that hadn’t seen it painted all commented on how much better it looked lighter and brighter. It really transformed the house and IMO looks more elegant.

    That said I’m not sure we would have chosen to paint the wood ourselves.
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3503 replies11 threads Senior Member
    We bought a house with painted white paneling in the family room and there was some issue with the corners and it appears that an odd vertical piece had been added to fill in a gap. It was nice that the room wasn’t so dark though.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9131 replies80 threads Senior Member
    Dad had a contractor paint the 1960s paneling in lower level family room. The contractor warned that sometimes it is hard to do, but in this case it came out great. The light offwhite color brightens the space.
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  • oregon101oregon101 5595 replies137 threads Senior Member
    Did not read all of the posts. I lived for 5 year with the WOOD paneling. Ugly as crap.
    BUT it was real woo!!!. When I finally remodeled the whole area and it became drywall--OMG, it was such a nice room. And isn't this up there with the pink brick and ugly golden brick. Painted the yellow 1950's with many coats of thick off white enamel. It looked great. But this is almost always wife against husband stuff. When we are as young as 50 under we try to please--after that, not so much:)))
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  • CT1417CT1417 4414 replies23 threads Senior Member
    I have had the paneling painted in what is now my office. It was the den/FR when the house was built in the late 50's, but we added a large FR off the back. I love the look of the painted paneling but that may be because the room is relatively small (11' x 12') and one full wall is now built-in book cases, cabinets, and desk, so that entire wall is built-ins instead of paneling. We added crown molding and slightly more substantial shoe molding.
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  • happy1happy1 23222 replies2296 threads Senior Member
    We considered painting the paneling in our basement but decided to pull it down and sheet-rock. No regrets.
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  • conmamaconmama 4541 replies328 threads Senior Member
    Now I’m getting excited. Another question. We have a bookshelf that is next to the fireplace. Lots of beautiful decorative wood here, and also along both sides and top of shelf.

    The back wall of the bookshelf is the paneling, which will get painted. Do I paint the shelves themselves, which match the wood? Or leave them alone?

    From our sofa you can see the underside of half the shelves.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8288 replies70 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    The previous owners of our house painted all the built ins but not right away. One of neighbors had a picture of the in between where they painted walls but not the built is. I think it looked funny.

    Try it unpainted and see If you like it or not. Your painter can do that last.
    edited December 2019
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  • great lakes momgreat lakes mom 3024 replies28 threads Senior Member
    I moved into my 1917 Arts & Crafts bungalow in the late '80s. We adored the dark oak woodwork and bemoaned the fact that a few windowsills and overhead beams had been painted a few decades earlier. It hurt my heart to refresh that paint as I so wanted to strip it. The decades passed, and suddenly everyone wants to paint woodwork again. I get the impulse and also love the clean look of all white trim. However, I also take a long view of history, having watched trends rise and fall. If this decision may lead to regret that a historic piece of the house has been covered up, when the trend changes again, then reconsider. From your description, I am guessing that it is a historic house.

    To promote the opposite viewpoint, previous owners had put knotty pine wainscotting in one of the bedrooms of my current downsize house. I painted that stuff as well as the cheap pine window trim stark white before moving in, and very much appreciate the clean look of that space now. The oak trimmed windows in the living room will stay natural oak as long as I am here however.
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  • conmamaconmama 4541 replies328 threads Senior Member
    My house was built in 1972, so not historic.

    I am going to paint the back paneling of the built in bookshelves. Just wondering if I should paint the shelving, too, or leave it stained. Same color as the woodwork I’m not painting.
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  • abasketabasket 19936 replies883 threads Senior Member
    I agree to decide on the shelves last. My thought is that you should NOT paint them if the bookcase around them (like the inside SIDES of the bookshelf that the shelves rest on) will be unpainted.
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