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Wood Paneling... Everywhere!
aamosburg
January 7, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We purchased our house last year and have been debating what to do with the paneling. It is real wood and about a quarter inch thick and was put up when the house was built so tearing it down is not really an option. I'm not a huge fan of painted paneling or wallpaper. We think we want to texture over it. Does anyone have any input on how to properly do this or any other alternatives?
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
If this is real wood and not just 4x8 sheets of paneling I would work with it. It looks to me though that it is the 4x8 sheets. Texture over this will crack and chip because it isn't as soloid as it needs to be. There is a wall fabric you can hang on it and wallpaper over that. I would put a chair molding around the room. Then I would paint it and embrace the cottage look.
11 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:18PM
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PRO
By Design EK
If it is real wood strip it and leave it natural or put a light waxed finish on it. This will give it an updated look. Or embrace the cottage look like Interiors Int. said. My mother in law has this and she can not decide how to update it either so I understand the dilemma! Otherwise it sounds like the wall fabric is the best option but I believe it involves a lot of coats and labor and by that time it might pay to just rip it out and drywall!
2 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:24PM
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sandkshouse
It's your house. If you don't like the paneling, who is to say you can't take it down and replace it with drywall?
11 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:25PM
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lefty47
HI -- I have never seen where it is a problem to remove panelling . Just take it off , it will never look right to try to cover it or do anything else with it in place. The hall isn't that big so it's a small job and I don't see a problem with removing it . That kind of panelling looks cheap anyway ! Drywall is the best for the hall and it will look more up to date and better all around , you'll see.
10 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:28PM
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Rosemarie
I'm for the drywall solution. Then, you can check whether the insulation is doing the job. Suspicious of these cheap panels, some just put it over the joist and didn't insulate.
7 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:31PM
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Natalie
Hi---yes I too am in favor of ripping it out---it's not of good quality to bother keeping. You may incur some problems---insulation, bad drywall, water damage, etc. but better sooner than later to deal with such issues. Who knows, maybe you'll be lucky and only have to fill in nail holes. :) Keeping my fingers crossed for you... Good Luck!
4 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:38PM
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Aja Mazin
Do you realize how insulting some of your comments are to the homeowner?

You should be ashamed!
22 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:42PM
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aamosburg
It is in sheets I believe but it is very thick and made from real wood (top of the line in the day). It does have sheet rock behind it but the paneling has been up for 40 years so who knows what condition it will be in and the paneling is very secure. The paneling is not just in the hall it is also in the living room, kitchen, master bedroom and bottom half of both bathrooms. I guess I should've been more descriptive! We really cannot afford to rip it all out and have to possibly replace the sheet rock.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 1:43PM
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Jane Walker
I love painted paneling and since this isn't historic or anything, I think it would look great painted.
27 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:46PM
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houssaon
I had that paneling in my den that was originally a garage. I took it down and sheetrocked. So much better. I think if you try to apply something over it, it will crack over time. Wood expands and contracts in summer and winter. Do youself a favor and get rid of it.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Natalie
Goodness-that's too much work. I did a quick search and found some info. Hopefully it will be beneficial to you... Keep us posted and Good Luck! http://www.ehow.com/how_5645136_fill-grooves-paneling.html
4 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:51PM
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Aja Mazin
The paneling does not need to be removed.

Have a contractor cover it with the thinnest drywall and paint it . An easy solution.
9 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:57PM
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lefty47
HI -- Dear Aja -- I went over all the comments and I am sorry but I did not see where anyone insulted the home owners . They asked for ideas and they got some and if they think they were insulted I am sure they will say so . A forward answer is not an insult . I was really hoping that the new year on Houzz was going to have a better more agreeable tone to it without any trouble making and nasty comments .
44 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 2:02PM
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mpoulsom
If this wall paneling is pretty secure,( then I would try doing just the hallway first), you could probably get away with texturing this. I have done it many times in the past and it has worked just fine. It is cheap and cheerful! Get a 5 gallon bucket of sheetrock mud and start smearing that stuff on. On second thought, do this first.... prime the hallway walls, then do your texture with the mud. Doesn't take a thick coat. Just do a light texture, nothing heavy. You can paint it after it dries with regular wall paint. OR if you want to add paint color directly to the mud, you can mix it up prior to texturing. Just remember that you will need to go darker in your paint color because of the color of the mud. The ratio will be "small amount of paint' vs "a lot of sheetrock mud".
Experiment on one part of the house. I think it will work.
4 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 2:11PM
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Aja Mazin
Another solution is to use paintable textured wallpaper.
It covers a multitude of flaws.

It is available at Loew's in a variety of styles for under $20 a roll.
No need to sand or fill in the groves.

Slap on Zinsser Universal Primer and apply the wall paper.

Leave as is or paint.

Here is one unpainted example
13 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 2:14PM
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mpoulsom
You can use a trowel or a cheap plastic knife....home depot has some plastic putty/drywall knives that are 3 different widths and are sold together. Very inexpensive and there should be a width for anything you will encounter.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Darzy
If you have the paneling everywhere, filling in the paneling grooves would be a HUGE job (sanding, filling, sanding). I think just painting would be the biggest bang for your buck and go for the cottage look. This is a lot of work too, but if you tape and cover the windows/floors with plastic, you can rent an airless sprayer and spray the paint on evenly and gets into the grooves easier. It's really fast painting, but the prep will take the longest!
11 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Natalie
Please do check the link I provided. You sand, you wipe, you tape, you fill, you roll---some effort but if it's smooth walls you want, then that's not a bad trade off. CheerS!
2 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Aja Mazin
mpoulsom,

I am so glad you posted the instructions for the technique of using a thin coat of mud on paneling.

I have heard many people speak happily of that solution, but I could never find the instructions.
2 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 2:28PM
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Judy M
we have two rentals near the beach and both of the homes had this paneling in EVERY room. In some rooms we removed it and replaced it with sheet rock, in some rooms we did a combo of paint and wall paper, in some we just painted it.

One of the rooms we did gets a lot of positive comments. we painted the paneling about 3/4 of the way up the wall, then added a chair rail type molding with a small ledge above the chair rail. we then wallpapered the top 1/4 of the wall. For wall paper areas, you add a liner first laying it horizontal, then you add the wallpaper in the normal vertical manner. That hides the grooves in the wallpaper.

It is definitely a cottage look, but works for us. we have even had renters ask how we achieved the look.
24 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 2:30PM
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aamosburg
Thank you all for your input! Keep it coming! I have checked out the pictures and links you have provided and will look them over with my husband.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 2:31PM
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Judy M
Here is similiar room we did.
4 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 2:33PM
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houssaon
If you add drywall over the paneling, you will have to redo the molding, too.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 2:40PM
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traceyl01
I have this same stuff in my house - down the hall, in the living room - and I'm still debating what to do with it - I painted down the hall and in the foyer - and am happy with the results - but there is much more in the living room and some of it surrounds the fireplace - still debating what I'm going to do - my fireplace is really not a focal point in my living room but I would like for it to be - and I'm wondering if painting the paneling will help - but I'm nervous to start not knowing how it will turn out.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 2:45PM
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lgpatton
Taking it down is an option but be forewarned. We did this in a house we flipped year before last and under the paneling was glue. We ended up having to scrape the glue and then re-texture every wall in the house! It was very time consuming.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 3:00PM
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PRO
R J Hoppe Inc
I agree with Judy M. Apply a chair rail at chair rail height. With minimal cost purchase some bead molding, stain and lacquer it two shades darker then the paneling and apply it below the chair rail, a bead board look. Above the chair rail paint or wall paper.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 3:12PM
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feeny
I know you said that you don't like the look of painted paneling, so my individual opinion isn't going to mean much, but I have to say I LOVE the cottage style of painted or whitewashed panelling and would embrace this look.
Derby Hill Farm Lyme NH
Master Bedroom
Hill Country Modern
Woodmeister Master Builders - WestWind
Dining Room | Sarah Richardson Design
41 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Judy M
The above rooms are beautiful but also blessed with high ceilings, beautiful mloding or large windows and most of the average homes we buy with paneling do not have those things BUT paint is the fastest, cheapest solution to brighten it up and get the biggest impact for the $$ spent. The above photos do show that painted panels can look pretty darn good.

a good primer, like KILZ and then paint will go a long way to update the look.

You might not love the look of painted paneling but you are obviously unhappy with the way it is now, so you don;t have much to lose. My advice is paint the trim as well.
9 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 3:34PM
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PRO
LM Designers
I did the same thing that Judy M did in our family room and it turned out beautiful. We didn't go up as high with the paint just about 3/4 up the wall. We added a 3" shelf around the room with 1 X 3 molding under the shelf. It looks like a plate rail that used to be popular. We have books and picture frames on it.
3 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 3:48PM
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smlm
Try painting a hallway or one smaller space and live with it for a bit before you dive into the entire house. You might also talk to a painter who has expertise with textural and faux techniques. They can do incredible things with paint and you might find something you like.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 3:49PM
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jake2000
The least expensive and easiest will be to prime the paneling with Kilz or other stain killing primer(very important or the brown stain will probably bleed through) , then paint white or other light color. You will be amazed how this will freshen and lighten the space. Choose just the hallway or just one room first to see how you like it. I did this in a home with the intention to drywall it sometime in the future when we had more time and money. It worked for us for the 20 years that we had the home.
6 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 4:02PM
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abbshel
I agree with poster "feeny." I too love the look of painted paneling, especially in a creamy white. I am always thinking of adding that effect in my master bedroom as an accent wall. The painted paneling adds such interest to an otherwise boring, routine wall.
If you are considering tearing down the paneling, it's at least worth painting a large portion of it first and seeing if it appeals to you.
2 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 4:52PM
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thriftyteacher
I have seen many homes with painted panelling that are quite pretty! But they were shabby chic or cottage style. Depends on what look your going for and the expenses your willing to pay.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 5:17PM
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Lizabeth
It should not be that hard to remove the paneling and then see how the sheetrock is underneath it. Aside from nail holes the sheetrock should be fine. It has been coverered up and has received no damage other than some nailholes.

It you are planning on adding a layer of texture it will be so much easier to texture the sheetrock. Remove the thin little molding will be easy and will bring a clean look to the hall.

I too like painted paneling but it may be a bit much. I would go room by room and decide what to do.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 5:58PM
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Jennifer
I agree 100% with Jake2000. People pay top dollar these days to have the cottage style painted panneling. You can look at any home designer page and people are using beadbord more and more to get that cottage look. If your fretting about a decision, paint a small space and see if you like it. I begged my first landlord to let me paint the panneling in a small walk in closet, he loved it so much he paid me to do the rest of the house in a neutral cottage themed color. Now I wish my new house had a bit of character instead of boring dry walls. Also I would paint the doors and trim white with a high gloss, it looks super sleek and super easy to clean!! You could paint each room a different color for a bit of flare and the white doors and trim go with anything!!
4 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 6:09PM
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mamanance
We had dark paneling in a stairwell and the basement level family room. Used Kilz and near-white paint and really liked the way it opened up the area. I agree with those who suggest you try it maybe in the hallway first, live with it awhile, and see how you like it then.
4 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Linda
My favorite aspect of wood paneling is the durability. As someone who has lived with plaster walls for 20 years, I am constantly surprised by how easy it is to damage wallboard walls. Just look at a house with an active family and notice the dings and dents where people have carried items, usually most noticeable through a hallway and on the stairway walls.

I would paint the hallway and see how it transforms the look of the house then decide how to proceed. If you choose to fill the grooves, be absolutely certain that the paneling is not coming loose or subject to movement. You may need to resecure some seams before filling.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 7:03PM
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Barby
I think I had that EXACT paneling in my basement. It is 1/4 in plywood base with an oak veneer. Yes - it was a little higher quality than the picture of wood stuff out there at the time- I know because I put it up in 1987 in our house because we figured real tongue and groove wood which was in the rest of our house, would never hold up to the humidity down there. Last year we ripped it all out and it was the BEST thing I ever did. We replaced it with drywall that we had textured to look like old plaster then attached solid natural cherry rails and stiles in a half timber/Arts and Craft look with a gallery rail for artwork. It is STUNNING.. that paneling served a purpose but in my humble opinion you need to just rip it out and do a nice texture drywall with maybe some nice wood trim or crown. Call me a wood snob but I just can't live with things that pretend to be something else and that stuff is just not worth keeping. It would not be a loss to humanity to remove it. Its a thin veneer - it is NOT solid wood. and don't even think about putting dry wall over it - it will never sit right. do it right the first time, don't take any shortcuts and you will love it. We did our job in the fall (I live up north where Oct is almost winter) when I did not have the time or place to varnish myself so all the doors and trim were made by a master woodworker offsite but a lot of this you could do yourself with the right tools. at least the rails you could.....
4 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 8:38PM
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Barby
Jeez...as bad as facebook....here is another better image.....
6 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 8:41PM
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kitasei
I lived in a town in the Hudson Valley where there were many homes (including mine) that were saturated with pine paneling The style was so intrinsic to the architectural and cultural history of the area that it was highly appreciated. Nevertheless it did present each homeowner with a challenge to make work with their personal taste. One friend sandblasted hers for a light, pickled look, which was very modern/rustic and attractive. Another hung many large kilim that made it colorful yet cathedral like. Mine worked with a Japanese farmhouse aesthetic, which embraced the darkness as a backdrop for sisal, lanterns, laquerware, etc. I saw these walls even work with art deco homes. I think the key in every case was to be very careful to keep it simple and the surface either buffed or roughed as you want. Treat it as a single, strong element of its own, not like a sheetrock wall that calls for diverse decoration. The grain, color, and seams work against attempts to hang small things on it (as I feel you have done). Here's my suggestion: clear everything away from it, and spend a day rubbing it with wax or lemon oil. Fall in love with the woodiness of it! Then think again about how you feel about it. (I disagree with the commenters who called it cheap or non-historic. There are many of us who might say the same for sheetrock :))
7 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 6:33AM
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mschambers
We just purchased a large 1960's multi-level home that was had plenty of paneling, some already painted and some left unpainted. We were not confident about the insulation so we had a contractor come in and check behind one sheet. Since we had sufficient insulation and the paneling was secured, we opted to have the room drywalled right over the paneling. It was very easy to tear out the trim (since we were already planning to remove and update with higher baseboards), the contractor used thin drywall, then we added the trim back to the room. It looks completely updated and bright. We did 2 fairly large rooms (family room and dining room) for not too much more than what it would cost to have it professionally painted. Of course, painting yourself would save you and I would almost always recommend having a professional do the drywall (unless you have done it before) so that your walls are smooth. Best of luck!
3 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 7:56AM
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oldblackdog
I especially like kitasei's suggestions, along with the other suggestions for covering it up, if you decide that is your desire. I wouldn't jump to pulling it off the walls either! A friend recently painted paneling in a small den - to appease a realtor - and to my surprise, it looked just fine ( with careful prep). And I know that the heavy paintable paper can work.

In one room in my own home - I had thin 1/4" wallboard installed over wallpapered sheetrock because removing the wallpaper would have destroyed the old sheetrock - just as removing panels may - and I didn't want to go through mass removal. It would seem that might work as well on paneling But probably if you can do it or have it done well, applying a mud coating would be ideal.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 10:54AM
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Tarey Cullen
Early in this discussion you indicated: "It does have sheet rock behind it but the paneling has been up for 40 years so who knows what condition it will be in and the paneling is very secure."
It would be to your advantage and most cost efficient to remove a section of the wood and inspect the drywall beneath. I believe you will find the drywall is decent and preparing the drywall with a coat of primer and fill the nail holes from the wood panels is not difficult and will provide the wall finish you desire.
If... there is drywall throughout, your test patch on ,for example the hall, will give you a sense of the work / effort required for the remaining panels. The toughest part of the project is removing the door trim and base moldings "carefully" and replacing them after the panels are removed.You will ,unfortunately , damage some of the trim and then have to try and match the replacements.

I believe you would find an attempt to fill/ smooth those vertical surface grooves on the paneling both tedious and difficult to accomplish. ( I have done both ) I also like the suggestion to consider finishing the upper portion with under-paper which will smooth the panels. and leaving the panels as wainscoting with the addition of trim molding at 36 ".
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 11:19AM
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snowball_369
Start in a closet if possible and build up your confidence. If there is sheetrock behind the paneling and it has been untouched for 40 years it just might be in tiptop condition. For texturing the walls if that is what you want - I have spent the last few days looking at DIY videos on YouTube for a project I am doing and gotten some great ideas. I also had panneling throughout in a house - no sheetrock behind. I decided it was too much work to replace everything necessary to change over. I painted - 3 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint. Lots of work but it turned out nice. Oh I tried to fill the vertical lines in one section. I don't recommend it. That wall is covered in photos and a bookshelf. Good Luck Have faith one room at a time.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 11:33AM
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PRO
Lucianna Samu - Color and Design
Not sure of your style, but for a modern look you might consider concealing some of the top portion only with square cut birch plywood and attach it in a uniform way with an interesting screw pattern. Or say down to a picture rail height, just drywall that part, glued and screwed. For either, you'd only need to add a simple mouldling detail to make the transition betwwen the high part and the remaining paneling. I'd paint if for sure and not bother texturing it at all you will surely loose your mind! You could apply a transparent glaze in a simple stire finish after it's painted if you think the walls need more interest. I've done a lot of this glazed paneling work it's always a beautiful look. Paint is cheap by comparison and quick-why not enjoy your new home awhile-you can start tearing things out later! Don't forget to prime-snowball is correct-2 coats at least.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 12:09PM
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baybaysmom
We bought our home 7 years ago, and at the time it was much like yours. There was drywall behind paneling. We removed a piece or two of paneling and peeked behind. What we found was crumbling drywall. Not good. However, there was nothing wrong with the paneling. At the time we couldn't afford to put up new drywall, so we opted to paint. The dark paneling kept me feeling blah. I had enough and we decided to give it a try. I have to say, it done wonders. It might not be the look one would just say, "In my dream home I would love to have painted paneling". But, I think you will be much more pleased with the results than you are right now. I know I certainly was. Last year we were able to rip out the old paneling and put up new drywall. Until we could afford to do that, painted paneling for us was much, much, better than the dark paneling. Just wanted to give you my account of things. :) By the way, I would also recommend a good primer such as Kiltz or Bullseye 123.
5 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 12:41PM
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marlaney
I had cheap horrible paneling glued and nailed to plywood in my basement rec room. I wish that there was Houzz and a community of people with ideas 40 years ago. i knew it looked bad, but I didn't know what to do.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 1:30PM
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feeny
As a teenager I moved in a room that had been added to our CA ranch house in the early 1970's (not a good era) that had cheap plywood paneling on all the walls. I absolutely hated it and begged my mother to let me paint it white. She kept saying that the wood paneling would be more valuable for resale. So I lived with it for years, chafing. The minute after she sold the house (long after I was out of it), the new owners painted the paneling white (and it looked SO much better)!
3 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 1:39PM
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Susan Flowers
I added beadboard paneling in white to my halls and stairs....I don't know your family situation, but with kids and dogs .....I love the easy cleaning...my taste is simple and modern....but easy to clean ranks ahead of "dream look"
1 Like   January 8, 2013 at 2:04PM
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Toxchick
Maybe you could buy a sheet of paneling and give a couple of things a try, like painting or texturing. Then you can see how it looks and how hard it is. Good luck!
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Jack Mathew
What you do to this area depends on the style of the house and what the other rooms look like and even the furniture you have can determine what you do in it , are you renovating to sell?plan on staying for a while because if your planning on selling you need to look at the houses around you .and renovate to suit the market that works for this area.Personally I see you have standard height ceilings with small height trim(architrave to us aussies)so whether you paint over or tear it apart and re sheet doesn't matter too much because the key is to use a neutral color that will open the area up and make it seem bigger and I wouldn't change the color of the trim either it should be the same as the walls,I wish you good luck and remember whatever you decide can never be wrong if you like the end result
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 7:55PM
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eckjunebug
Here is my before/after painted paneling. We painted all of it. It's in the kitchen as well. It was a pain in the XXX to clean/paint and I eventually hired someone to finish it all. I love having the texture on the walls. I would go for trying to paint it. But get help ;).
For me, the cleaning was never ending... And the paint just seemed to get sucked into the wood. Best money I may have ever spent was to hire people who knew what to do, had a team, and all the right tools. Good luck!
18 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 8:23PM
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taptoesena
My parents bought an outdated house 20 years ago with this same paneling. They painted it white at first and after ten years switched to neutral paint. It looked very nice.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 8:45PM
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gustave007
You are the homeowner, the woman who lived in the house before you probably hated the paneling and couldn't wait to move because of the very dull & dated walls. The previous owners, the people who sold it & no longer wanted the house, no longer figure into this in anyway. I love my painted paneled walls. If you decide to paint be sure to Kiltz it or use some other primer, (not just a paint with primer mixed in) or it will take a half dozen coats to cover it. Try running a chair rail down the hall & paint the bottom a shade are two darker then the top. I didn't read all the comments so sorry if I'm repeating anyone.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 9:01PM
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kathleen MK
ECKJUNEBUG, i love your before and after pics ! we have a similar fireplace and i can't convince husband to paint that dark depressing oak paneling. I don't care if it is picture frame paneling and real oak. It was not set symmetrically so the cheap stuff would have looked better. I finally got him to agreed to painting the wainscot in the kitchen and it was a huge improvement. In a neighborhood filled with1970's paneling, i've never met anyone who regretted painting the paneling.
1 Like   January 8, 2013 at 9:45PM
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designideas4me
damn this is a long thread............................lol......................kathleen.. you said you want to pursue selling your art. can you share some with me. You can post it on your homepage or send me some pics. Thanks. Oh I loved your comment. It is crack. I have been using too much today..............lol...nothing else is getting done.
1 Like   January 8, 2013 at 11:47PM
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hamburgerbudget
My thought is, to estimate the cost of all the mud, paint, that you would need to cover the area. Drywall and paint cost less in the end. You would be perhaps, learning a new skill while covering up the paneling, maybe worth learning how to drywall the area instead. It is not as difficult as it looks, and may give you confidence, when the time is right, to drywall other areas of your home. Youtube has been my best source for learning and even relearning skills, that I have. Mostly, try to enjoy the learning process while doing the job.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 12:49AM
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jillgriffin
Love the transformation of eckjunebug's living room after painting the paneling. I also painted similar paneling in a former house and it looked great. The key for a really great cottage look is plenty of white accents in the trim. I would replace your baseboards and the trim around your doors with a much wider variety (at least 4 inches wide) and paint it a glossy white to contrast (or match) the painted paneling. You can do the painting yourself and you can buy inexpensive pressboard trim that is already primed. Once it is painted it looks fabulous. Good luck!
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 2:15AM
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Maria Deschamps Design
I would apply dry wall ON TOP of the panelling along the SIDES of the corridor, and keep the back wall original. Perhaps update some mouldings to integrate the drywall with the original panelling. You can also add some interesting indirect lighting under the mouldings and carry them towards the back to really emphasis that back wall.

This way, you have an easy solution to get rid of most of the panelling, keep some of the originality of the home, update it to be more modern, and create a focal point and design element. It's easy, inexpensive and will look great!
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 2:45AM
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kitasei
If you go with the above recommendation, take some good photos of the room with the original paneling (minus pictures and furniture) for reference by future homeowners and maybe your children, who may one day be thrilled to reveal it!
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 5:00AM
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Maria Deschamps Design
Yes! I agree with the above comment! And that was the other point, by putting dry wall on top of this you keep the possibility of revealing it at a later date! it's like finding a wood floor under an old carpet!
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 5:12AM
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Agnes Willcox, ASID
I have had success with a simple glazing over the paneling, giving it a weathered gray look but with the wood grain and warm undertones ghosting through. I just purchased a quart of clear glazing compound, added a gray tint and using a small army of paint brushes, I brushed on the glaze one board at a time and then brushed it off with a dry brush, continuously moving down the wall. Gray is THE color right now and painting the trim an accent white looks great. Also using an opaque ebony or burgundy stain on the trim looks good too.
2 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 5:18AM
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ikwewe
We have real wood paneling in our house, too, and found it was not too hard to take down. We took down one whole wall, preserving it to use elsewhere. If you do take it down, you may well be able to gift or sell it to people who would love to have the real stuff. The picture shows our paneling. The wall was removed where the bar is now, and the paneling was saved to use on the bar. You can see it is intact.
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 5:34AM
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Beth Matthews
I have the same type of paneling in our family room. We chose to paint the paneling AND the horrible 3-tone brick fireplace. I distresses the brick and painted the backs of the book shelves a contrasting color. Light color with warm white trim give the room a cottage-feel with out the huge expense of gutting.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 5:35AM
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bellasmile2
Sounds like you are on a strict budget. I agree with Natalie's idea and fill in the grooves with calk. It is very easy. I did it with great success. I used painters tube calk. They are inexpensive. Make sure it is not silicone because paint will not adhere properly. Go ahead and calk the lines between the boards. Dont worry if some of the calk pills or spills onto the panel.Use a rubber putty knife and skim, slowly downward. The calk will even out. Use a damp rag to remove excess on panel. Make sure the calk is slow drying. It helps in the skimming process and if you make mistakes. You will be amazed at how easy it becomes after a few sections. Let dry 24 hours. Use primer and then paint. If this is too daunting a task, I would buy very large art work/picture frames of similar frame and color. Put in an outdoors type of chandelier for added visual and a simple colorful rug runner. This will take the eyes off the panelling. Good luck.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 5:37AM
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susan
I didn't read all the comments and maybe someone already suggested this. I believe you can drywall over paneling. Another idea (and this would be based on the look you want). You can lightly sand down all the finish, then take regular, flat, latex paint, thinned down with ample H2O. Wash over the sand wood then wipe off immediately (one board at a time but the job goes very fast). I have done this and the paint sinks into the bare wood and looks a bit like driftwood (I used off white but you can use any color you wish).
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 5:43AM
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Agnes Willcox, ASID
Be careful about drywalling over - you lose the trim reveals unless you remove the trim and reinstall it.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 5:48AM
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Jodi Blackmon
It's simple. Fill the lines with joint compound. Then have someone come in and do knockdown texture. It looks like a hall, so don't listen to the people talking about you need to check the insulation...there's none in there. Re drywalling the whole thing would be a pain, and an unnecessary expense. I ripped down a paneled wall and there was thick glue lines all across it, a ton of nail holes and chunks of wall missing from pulling it down and it being glued. Since it was an accent wall, I textured it by hand with joint compound and a crumpled plastic bag. I up cycled it by turning it into wainscoting for my guest bath. It works well for that. If you wanted to go for that look, you would only have to knockdown texture the top half of the wall...
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 6:46AM
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Sarah Long
I have had the same dilemma. Bought a house that had the paneling every where! So dark, I didn't fill in the grooves with calk. I sanded the walls to remove oils. Then I primed with flat white, then painted with color. I love Sherwin Williams paints! The only paint I found that is really one coat. I found that your cool colors look the best. Hope this helps.
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 6:48AM
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redesign-gallery
The only solution here is XStone or Laminam. You will find it very easy to install or have paper hanger do it.......will look like the mason just left. You will have the result of a fabulous interior surface.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 6:57AM
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lyn3690
I would either paint it -- I painted the cheap paneling at my cottage pale green and love it -- or cover it with grasscloth -- which I did in the library in my basement at home and I love it, too. I would not go to all the trouble, mess, and expense of ripping out or filling cracks and resurfacing. Painted paneling looks like plaster or drywall, but better; grasscloth over paneling is stiff enough not to hug the joints. You could try the paint solution in one room and the grasscloth in another, as the latter can be quite expensive! And who knows? Maybe high-quality wood paneling like yours will be the next best design craze . . .
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 7:01AM
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1sully7
I agree with kitasai's first comment. Embrace it! I think it could look great with the right objects hung on the walls. It looks like quality paneling. Everything does not have to be painted or drywall or plaster to be unique and gorgeous!
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 7:08AM
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sarath1954
Easier in the long run ,and quicker to take it off, sell it, plasterboard and then skim,looks awful I think of a Swedish Sauna when i look at it. it is also narrow so needs light, in addition to plastering, paint neutral colour plus recessed floor up lights would give a fab effect to the area.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 7:51AM
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Jodi Blackmon
Does no one listen to people's requests? She doesn't want to paint it or wallpaper it.
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 7:53AM
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sarath1954
good on you Jodi !!!! its best gone and a new start, no problems in the future to look forward to.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 7:59AM
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ricia
We bought a 1970's house that looks very much like yours. It was entirely paneled and was very dark. We removed it in the great room and replaced it with birch plywood installed in a Japanese manor with 1 x 4 trim. We couldn't afford to do that everywhere so we painted the rest of the house and are VERY happy with it! This is 10 years later and it has held up very well. Another step that made a HUGE difference was to replace all of the dated molding with 1 x 4 primed MDF before painting.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 8:04AM
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Christine
Embrace it!. Paint all that stuff WHITE and go with a cottage/beach/cozy theme. I would paint it all a warm white, take down all that popcorn ceiling and then put a pale sea blue on the ceilings and then modernize in small ways (upgrade door handles to brushed or polished nickel. Put down some colorful runners and area rugs, create some more modern photo walls, get in a few inexpensive pieces of artwork). Just have fun, create a plan for how you want your space to feel and beg, borrow and steal ideas to get you there. There are so many small ways we can git er done.

Good luck.
2 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 8:18AM
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Diana Kubista
I just recently bought a house that was very 70's, and did a panel transformation....filled in the panel with sheetrock 90 compound and a few coats of paint
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 8:23AM
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Diana Kubista
here's the before-after pictures
3 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 8:28AM
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khartman
What does the back of the paneling look like? If the drywall is a mess could you flip the paneling over and reattach it to the walls? That would get rid of the grooves,at least. It would be cheap, but not without labor. K
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 8:34AM
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annatoppii
I bought a house that was all paneling, I painted everything. I even stenciled one bedroom. I loved it. It brightened up the whole house and it was the cheapest way to go..
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 8:51AM
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aamosburg
Wow! I'm amazed with all of the suggestions! My color scheme in my living room and kitchen is red, black, white, and some silver. I'm not sure that this would work with the cottage look?! Could anyone give me suggestions how I could "embrace" the paneling in those area and also the hall without having to change my whole decor? I've also contacted a company about coming in and giving some suggestions so I guess we will see if I hear back from them. Thank you all for taking your time to help!
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 8:51AM
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Natalie
The colors are fine---but what is your design style???
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 9:04AM
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kveljkovic
just paint it, wood, even thin veneer, is better than drywall any day.
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 9:27AM
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aamosburg
This probably sounds horrible but I don't know what my decorating style is?!
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 9:32AM
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jtravln
I would recommend 2 inch crown moulding and paint. You won't believe the difference and the paneling gives it a texture that is much cooler than plain wall. I painted out kitchen and dining paneling and love it. I removed my paneling in the bedroom easily (but carefully) and replaced it with sheetrock. Because it was thick wood like yours, it came off in one piece and didn't splinter or rip like cheap paneling would. I recycled it to a couple who was using it for their cabin. Definitely paint it. It will look terrific. Make sure you prep it correctly, though.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 9:41AM
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susan
You can also drywall over popcorn ceiling with 1/4 " drywall. Huge difference!
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 9:50AM
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susan
Be careful if you opt for taking down the popcorn ceiling. If the house was built before 1978, it might have asbestos in the popcorn.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 9:52AM
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susan
Very nice Sarah.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 9:54AM
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pinkturnip
I think you are fortunate that you have some wonderful texture to add to otherwise bare, flat, plain walls! Do not fear the paint can. You will need to prep the walls well by cleaning off any oils, dirt, dust-then use a wall prep paint that you local paint store can recommend (PAINT store, not Lowes, Home Depot, etc.). Then choose a neutral paint in the gray, greige, or white family and go to town! It will take awhile to get all the paint into the vertical grooves, but when you are finished-Voila! YOu will be amazed with the results.
you could even save one wall in a dining room, den, or living room and leave the beautiful wood as an accent wall, if you wanted to warm the room up a bit. Good luck!
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 9:56AM
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Karen Stahler
Someone mentioned this was possibly insulting to the homeowner. Isn't that you? If it's your house, never think about them. What do you want? I had a house full of 4x8 paneling. I drywalled 3 rooms and primed and painted the rest. I love it!
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 9:59AM
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Natalie
aamosburg---go browse through some pictures of different styles to narrow down your likes/dislikes... Post once you've determined your preferences.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 10:00AM
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Doreen Schweitzer Interiors, Ltd.
You have ruled out the 2 best possibilities, painting and wallpaper. I have had many people say they did not believe how much better their paneling looks when they paint it a lighter color. This is especially good look if you like a traditional style. The secret is preparation especially if the wood has been oiled or polished. If you decide on this option go to a good paint store so they can reccommend proper prep before painting. This is essential. Although the paneling is wood it is a very thin top layer and I would not reccommend sanding beyond a very light sanding just to give tooth for painting. Refinishing will not work because of this and I would not further divide up the space with a chair rail. This will make the space feel smaller and it is already a narrow space. Generally when people have this wood paneling they want to lighten up the space. I agree the texture paint is not a good option because it will crack, Wallpaper can be contemporary or just a texture so you might want to rethink this option. There is some essential prep involved in this as well. The only other option is removing the paneling and redoing the drywall. This is messy but may be worth the effort if you really don't like the paint or wallpaper option. You might want to start by figuring out what style you like. This is the place to look.
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 10:10AM
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susan
The magic of white walls is returning
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Cheryll Ann
Saw this technique for covering wood paneling on a design show a few years ago and loved it. I googled it for you> http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=253716.0 If you google "craft paper walls", you'll find link for other techniques using the same paper. Easy and inexpensive. I prefer the crumpled paper myself but you can go smooth as well. Good luck!
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 10:36AM
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rwendy
I say go for painting. I've seen it a couple times, am NOT into country type decor, but thought it looked very classy. Pick light colors so it makes hallway & rooms look bigger. The wall I remember seeing was pained in a light grey. Looks awesome! Good Luck!
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 11:50AM
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aamosburg
I'm going to say my style is contemporary...?
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 12:05PM
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susan
Actually, rwendy, I am not into "country" either. This was taken at a beach cottage.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 12:08PM
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ikwewe
My furniture came with the house so it is mid century. The sofa and chairs have a modern look, while the dining set is, ummmm, crafty? Worker chic? The colors are not the same as yours,. but I think the style works well with the paneling. But then, I LIKE paneling. :)
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 12:11PM
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101design101
I actually had a family room and hall with the same sheets of 'real wood' from back in the 70's. I didn't want the expense of having someone rip it out and repair the walls underneath, so I figured before I did that I could try painting it white first. I knew if it didn't look good I would have at least tried before I had it taken out! It looks fantastic and changed the entire look of the room. It's so much brighter now and actually looks good with contemporary furnishings. Try painting it first.....I think you will be quite pleased and surprised at the transformation.
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 12:21PM
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lizmaguire
I'd attempt to take down that panel at the end of the hall (the one with the cross) or some other small section to see just how hard it is to get it down and also see what's going on behind it. If any part of that process truly rules out removal, then put the panel back up. If there's adhesive, it may seem secure, but it's old and may pop off with the help of some sort of scraper. It's worth the effort to know for sure, considering how much of it there is in the house. Good luck.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 12:42PM
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Ramona
I searched contemporary hallway right here on houzz

[houzz=
]
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Natalie
Could you live with this??? [houzz=Algoma Retreat][houzz=Master Bedroom Barnwood][houzz=DKOR Interiors - Interior Design at the Beach Club, Miami Beach, FL]

Let's be perfectly honest, it won't look Exactly like any of those pics because of the grooves/gaps, but you can give your paneling that ashen/aged look and incorporate into your contemporary style.

Here are links with info on how to do it. It requires some time and effort, but for a look that's current and contemporary it just might be your best option... You'll have to strip it first, then do the color wash techniques... Good Luck!
Links: http://www.ehow.com/how_5149771_refinish-pine-paneling.html http://www.ehow.com/way_5427114_distressed-wood-finishing.html http://www.ehow.com/way_5194283_painting-techniques-weathering.html[houzz=]
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 1:13PM
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Natalie
If you like warmer wood, you could mix a little honey/khaki hue with the ash---look at this palette...
[houzz=Rustic Dining Room][houzz=EDDIE House]
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 1:19PM
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gagnondebra
Hi, we redid a house this summer and the hallway and kitchen had wood panelling. I wanted to tear it down but my husband didn't. He and my daughter talked me into putting up a chair rail and painting. As you can see it came out very nice and I was very pleased with it. We used Zinzer Shellac (very expensive but totally worth it) for the primer because there is no need for sanding. I got some samples of the paint I wanted and discovered that it was a little too shiny (satin) for the panelling and looked better with the eggshell finish instead. Use modern colors as we did here and you will probably love the results. We finished with a true white trim (get a good one such as Benjamin Moore, one or two coats instead of 3 or 4). Good luck!
3 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 2:02PM
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aamosburg
I love that look! Is that paneling like I have with the lines? I really like the colors!
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Lenna Halkes
I would say paint it in the bedrooms and rip it out everwhere else, drywall and put up some tounge and groove pine in the entryway to keep the character.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 2:23PM
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jeanneskana
I filled in the lines with drywall mud and then applied lovely textured wall paper and a chair molding with different colors above and below chair molding and it looks great!
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 3:26PM
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Caribbean Awnings
If you want it done correct the first time just drywall it in the long run it might be more expensive but you will only do it once rather than spend it on wallpaper or wall finishes that you might not be happy with
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 3:40PM
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jacalyna
I like the textured wallpaper idea I have used it and it works good and has enough give to it to cover cracks. I used a brick pattern and layered the paint to resemble real brick and then in another room I just painted it flat white on one wall. first you might have to cover the groves in the paneling. Might be good in the kitchen or other room.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 4:15PM
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Sandra Whittier
Why would anyone buy a house full of wood paneling?? (I ask my kids the same question) Sell or give it to a decorator that will use it as it should be. Don't ruin it by painting it!!~ A real decorator will pay you for it.. Thank You Ikwewe for helping with my explaination.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 4:52PM
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jeanneskana
In this case it was my office and it needed some decorating.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 5:07PM
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aamosburg
Are you "a real decorator"? Would you like to buy my home and treat the paneling how it deserves bahaha! It is a wonderfully built house and a great find in our small town with a population of 1,200. Should I have not bought the house because paneling is not my favorite? Isn't that the fun in owning a home? Making it yours?!
5 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 6:08PM
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ikwewe
Maybe Sandra meant the paneling, not the house. I think it is a good idea to let someone have the paneling who would like that in their house. It isn't easy to find good paneling at a decent price. If they know what they are doing, maybe they could even take it off the walls for you.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 6:22PM
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gmorton
I had sheet panneling in my house all over. I got a quote to have it all removed but the company I used said hanging drywall right over it would be no problem. It took 3 guys, 5 days and $2000 and it looks fantastic!
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 6:31PM
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susan

- I borrowed this picture from Houzz but I did this in my home. These tonge-and-groove boards can be purchased at home improvement stores in bundles. They are sanded smooth and easy to install over paneling. I painted mine with very thin watered-down latex in off-white. It is a very contemporary look. You may not want to do it in your entire house but it is just one more idea
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Jayme H.
I love this site, but one thing I have found is that at times, people over- do and over- suggest forcefully if another opinion is expressed. Not everyone has a ton of cash, nor do they want to completely change their style to suit others. Let's speak to each other how we would like to be spoken to, even if they do not share our viewpoint and/or have thousands of $ with which to achieve their decorating goals. Rant over, thankyou and Blessings to u all.
p.s. some of my best family memories were made in a little tiny house that costed $22,000 & it was FULL of wood !!
3 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 6:45PM
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lhburns
The people I bought my house from painted over paneling in the kitchen with a sage green paint. I love it! It's not as bland as plain walls...
1 Like   January 9, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Danielle Wheeler
I painted the paneling in my living room and taped off party to form a tree. I posted about it on my blog. http://wheelersturning.blogspot.com/2012/01/another-year-new-goals.html?m=1
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 7:33PM
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Danielle Wheeler
Here's a photo. The leaves are paper from november (we put things we were thankful for on them). I just haven't taken them down yet.
4 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 7:36PM
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gagnondebra
Hi, yes, the picture I sent above is panelling with the lines. The lines will be less visible if you paint it an eggshell instead of a glossier paint. Glad you like it!
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 8:51PM
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cindygrosch
I have a moderate amount of painted paneling in my house and it looks great. A nice, creamy off-white, matte. That's what I'd vote for. It was that way when we bought the house. I never wanted it any other way.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 8:57PM
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liannetraynor
We had a wall of wood panelling in our living room which we painted 13 years ago and it still looks great. first we primed it with a product called BIN, and then filled the cracks with drywall plaster. No one knows it is panelling because it is now completely smooth under the paint.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 9:05PM
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Ms. Elizabeth
I would add more lighting, ie..track lighing or small can lights.

Use wider base trim.

Change pictures frames that match (or paint).

Remove carpet but use a nice dark color rug runner

Most importantly, I would place a large mirror at the end of the hall, so it doesn't feel so closed in.

Or go crazy and paint each divided panel a different color, depending on your color personality. I would use neutral colors like beige, cream, taupe, coffee, slate. I wish I had a pic to show you but it's stuck in my brain. Or maybe I saw it somewhere. I wil post it if I find one.

Wish you the best.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 9:12PM
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designideas4me
Thats so cute. I think that aamosburg should sell his paneling to people ( garage sale or craigslist) and show them how they can make this tree for a low cost. Than you can buy what you want with the money.
0 Likes   January 9, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Lizabeth
Lollipopluv,

It is not solid wood. Wood does not come in 4 x 8 sheets with grooves in it. Solid wood paneling would be made of tongue and groove pine or fir or some such wood that is 1 x 4 or 1 x 5 with grooves and installed piece by piece.. Sheet goods such as wood paneling which the poster has stated this is in fact 1/4 inch sheets, are made of wood veneers laminated onto wood pulp. Legally they are allowed to say something is solid wood if if is wood fiber and veneers.

Most of us think "solid wood" are individual planks of wood. That is not the case here. Often the solid wood paneling was knotty pine and you can tell by the regularity of the pieces and the depth of the grooves.

Fake wood paneling would be a photo printed onto plastic and that would be laminated onto wood pulp.
2 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 8:30AM
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rhona35
I paneled my family room over sheet rock walls many years ago. Although it stood up very well, it was very outdated, so I removed the paneling and refinished the walls. A little labor intensive, but well worth the final result.
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 9:09AM
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Janesplace
I had/have this issue with my current home. For cost reasons I was unable to replace it all but!, I did a grass cloth wallpaper over some of it, no real prep except a drywall primer paint. It has been almost two years and it still looks great. I chose a heavy paper, no grooves show through. I tore some paneling out and dry walled, very easy, save the trim. As was mentioned, this was a good way to check insulation on exterior walls, I was able to upgrade that. On some walls I just painted. Yes, it looks like painted paneling but it REALLY isn't that bad. Eventualy I will tear it out but in the mean time it has a lighter and fresher look. I did texture w/ drywall mud directly over the paneling in one room and it has held up surprizingly well. The corner has cracked a little but that is after almost 2 years. I just repainted and you don't even notice it. I did nothing to prep the walls for this, just started rolling it on. Labor intensive, several coats of mud, but it looks great and it has not chipped off or cracked anywhere except the corner, and a fraction of the cost of all drywall. Good Luck.
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 10:07AM
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caligirlsmom
I have done the "fill-in-the-grooves-with-joint-compound" suggestion in a small 10x10 room in a former home and I would never do it again! It was tedious and very messy. We did end up wallpapering over it, but living in Maine, the house was subject to extremes in temperature and humidity and the wallpaper alternately buckled and stretched at the joints. Previous suggestions to use the thinnest sheetrock and cover it up area by area as you can afford it is the way that I would go if I had to do it again. In the meantime, just paint it (after a light sanding to give the paneling some "tooth"). The change in color alone would perk everything ...and you..up!
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Janesplace
I would never fill in the grooves, I think you would really have the issue of chipping out and shrinkage.
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 12:16PM
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Aja Mazin
Can this effect [pickling or whitewashing - see attached photo ] be achieved on this type of paneling and if so, how?
1 Like   January 10, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Agnes Willcox, ASID
The method that I suggested earlier in the thread of replies creates the look in the photo that is whitewashed. You control the finished look by how you color the glazing compound as well as how much of the paint you brush on and brush off as you go. Glazing works well on wood that hasn't been stripped and will even adhere to some prefinished cabinet doors. However, it's important to clean the surface extremely well with 100-ought steel wool and alcohol to remove the years of dirt and oily residue before beginning. On a personal note, I am disappointed to see so many designers that do not recognize the value of the solid wood paneling from yesteryear. It's a superior material by far to sheetrock, and inevitably will be as sought after as antique hardwood floors are now. I don't like how dark it makes a room and would also want to lighten it up through the ghosting technique or painting, but I would never remove it. It's like throwing out your sterling silver to make room for your stainless cutlery. Just saying...
2 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 1:08PM
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Aja Mazin
Agnes Willcox, ASID,

Thank you.

I had already saved your comment on glaze.
[I don't know what glaze is, but I will google]

Can it be achieved with latex paint mixed with water?

You see, I thought pickling referred to white washing or lime washing , applying a paint alternative made from lime powder or putty, milk powder or diluted white paint.

New to paints and finishes, I am only trying to understand.
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 1:29PM
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Lizabeth
Dear Agnes,
As a third generation home builder that grew up in a house built my my grandfather in the 1920s that was remuddled by my mother with sheet goods called solid wood paneling that was exactly like this stuff, I can tell you that it does not come in 4 x 8 sheets off the tree. .

What you are calling solid wood is simply a marketing ploy by GP Georgia Pacific and Louisiana Pacific who began an extensive marketing of both plywood and wood paneling in the 1950's. Prior to the 1950's ,homes were built with real solid lumber. All that changed after 1945. My family owned lumberyards and the big vendors brought out sheet material that were simply layers of wood ( plywood) or masonite or glued up sawdust with veneers on the surface. This product is a glued up sandwich with a tiny less than 1/16 of an inch of "real wood" on the surface.

I wish this were "real solid wood" but I can tell you by looking at it that it is not.
2 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 1:29PM
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Aja Mazin
Lizabeth,

Exactly!

Most wood paneling is plywood with a thin veneer of wood

However, some very inexpensive wood paneling uses nothing more than a decal applied to the surface.
1 Like   January 10, 2013 at 1:34PM
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Lizabeth
Yes I agree Aja,

There is worse stuff out there. Some of of the stuff is just a photo of wood glued to a backing. But is a misnomer to call this "real solid wood". Legally they are allowed to call it wood because it consists of layers of wood and/or sawdust and veneers.

Solid wood should be planks of nothing but wood, no glue, nothing else but wood as it came off the tree. That indeed should be saved and valued.. Solid wood paneling is generally at least 3/4 of inch thick it it was installed prior to 1945.
2 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 1:40PM
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Agnes Willcox, ASID
Hi Lizabeth,
I realize that the photos of aamosburg's walls suggest that the paneling is not solid wood tongue in groove pine boards, and is very likely the 4 x 8 sheets of plywood paneling. I was really responding more to the barrage of responses that immediately assumed the paneling was worthless when it may be the "real thing". Most of the homes in my area have the actual solid wood paneling from the 1940's through the 1960's. But, the ghosting/painting technique will also work on the "cheap" stuff which can still give a great look and provides a wall covering that easily holds nails to hang accessories, avoids the additional cost of tearing our and installing dry wall, and keeps you from losing the trim reveals if you install the plywood over the paneling.
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Barby
Amen. No matter what your budget is this stuff is just not worth saving in any form. I feel like the 60s and 70s when this "wood" product flourished was the design era from Hell. Nothing compares with a real piece of T&G solid 3/4 in wood. And I just cringe every time some "expert" on HGTV wants to paint it white to brighten it up....vintage, stained and varnished wood T&G should not be painted...that is just wrong....but this stuff....it is not wood, no solid anything. It just needs to go and I have never been a fan of dry wall either unless you do it right and make it look like real plaster. any effort made on trying to cover up this stuff is a waste of time and I don't think that is insulting to the homeowner - they did not install it...and they are smart enough to be looking for alternative. Just be clear - it is just not wood.
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 1:49PM
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Aja Mazin
Lizabeth,

Yes!

My great grandparents built a large 2 story colonial style house in Florida in the late 1930's

It has red oak floors that are still beautiful today.

The siding is cypress and was painted white.

[it even has a real elevator]

It would cost a fortune to duplicate today.
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Aja Mazin
Barby Bennett,

In today's economy, many people can not afford to remove "this stuff" and replace with plaster walls.

Creative painting techniques are a viable alternative.
1 Like   January 10, 2013 at 2:01PM
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Lizabeth
Aja,

That house sounds wonderful. Is it still in your family? My family had a stunning English Tudor with diamond paned Leaded glass windows, qtr saw oak floors that they had to sell in the 1930's and the buyer insisted the Steinway D Grand had to stay in the house. Sheesh hard times.

Barby,

Yup the real T & G paneling should be stripped and saved. My granddad stripped all the dark molding in his home after he retired. Sanded everything and it was so much lighter and lovely.

Agnes,

The original poster mentioned that it was 1/4 inch and later said it is in sheets. But hey there has been a lot of comments. Lots of interesting views here.
1 Like   January 10, 2013 at 2:07PM
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Agnes Willcox, ASID
Glazing compound comes in quart cans and is a thick glue-like substance that you mix with paint, either oil base or latex. Most faux finishers would recommend using oil base over the wood paneling and it is also easier to work with since it doesn't dry as quickly. The glazing compound is sold in all of your big box stores such as Lowes, Home Depot, etc. as well as paint stores. I think I usually have mixed it with oil based paint about 50/50, but it's been a good while since I did it myself so googling is a great idea!
1 Like   January 10, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Agnes Willcox, ASID
Glazing compound comes in quart cans and is a thick glue-like substance that you mix with paint, either oil base or latex. Most faux finishers would recommend using oil base over the wood paneling and it is also easier to work with since it doesn't dry as quickly. The glazing compound is sold in all of your big box stores such as Lowes, Home Depot, etc. as well as paint stores. I think I usually have mixed it with oil based paint about 50/50, but it's been a good while since I did it myself so googling is a great idea!
1 Like   January 10, 2013 at 2:20PM
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Aja Mazin
Lizabeth,

Yes!
It is in Saint Petersburg and built on land that is 54' above sea level ~ a rarity in itself.

However , the orange grove was sold.
As the town became a city, developers were willing to pay top dollar for the land.

It sits on a double lot under a canopy provided by 5 oaks.
[oaks provide shade for english ivy and oak leaves make the perfect mulch for acid loving azaleas ]

The property is surrounded by a 12' ligustrum hedge.

It has a brick and glass solarium and a WOOD paneled library.

It must have been heartbreaking to sell the English Tudor home, but I have heard stories of life in the 1930's.

I think Florida fared better than the other states.
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 2:32PM
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Aja Mazin
Agnes Willcox, ASID,

Thank you!
0 Likes   January 10, 2013 at 2:36PM
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jynxporter
At the office we had some of this wood paneling. We filled the grooves, painted 2 coats of OIL BASED Kilz, then painted with a latex paint. It looks great.
0 Likes   January 11, 2013 at 1:25PM
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dadonald
I was horrified when professionals suggested that I paint my wood, rather than removing, because of the nail damage that had been done to the plaster walls underneath. No filling grooves, just painting! Guess what. I loved it and got compliments for years. Try painting a bit. You just might like it in some of the areas.
1 Like   January 11, 2013 at 1:51PM
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Jayme H.
Agreed that painting techniques can be a very good option for people who do not plan to either rip out/or resurface the walls in some way. It is economic to paint it and achieve a great result. As I have mentioned before, some people have economic reasons for wanting to work with what they have! I have seen some wonderful results from painting surfaces!
1 Like   January 11, 2013 at 6:55PM
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chikachika
Just paint it! I had the same problem in a house and I just painted it white, looked great!
0 Likes   January 11, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Shelley E.
White washed paneling! It looks great . I saw Feeny posted some pics the one with the sailboat is a dream! i love it. if you dont like it you can always go over it. its easy if your into this kind of thing!
1 Like   January 11, 2013 at 7:16PM
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Aja Mazin
Feeny ~ 32 likes for the white wash!

It must be a new record!!!!
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 6:49PM
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houssaon
I doubt that this shiny paneling will take a white wash.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Aja Mazin
houssaon,

Let's ask a landscape architect.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:04PM
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houssaon
What???
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 8:13PM
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PRO
Go Nautical Collections
If you love the sea and boating, why not bring your passion into your home with a nautical decor scheme? Here some product ideas.
0 Likes   January 18, 2013 at 7:40AM
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Galleria Place
That wood will be very difficult to remove and replace w/drywall.
We have a great nautical collection that will go well with the wood throughout the house; http://www.bargainbacker.com/Nautical-Accents_c_2707.html
0 Likes   February 1, 2013 at 10:06PM
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karelina
My contractor checked. The paneling in my house is nailed and glued, which he said was not unusual. He said it would be expensive and time consuming to remove and recommended painting. Haven't done it yet, but the photos above are charming, so I think I'll try it. The ceiling in my DR is also paneled. Should I paint the same color or a different color?
0 Likes   February 4, 2013 at 12:24AM
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Agnes Willcox, ASID
If you're going with the nautical theme, I would suggest adding a drop or two of blue pigment to tint a mix of glazing compound and white oil base paint. I have used this treatment on prefinished wood paneling and it works nicely. Don't forget to have lots of extra dry brushes to brush off the paint while it's still wet to get the desired effect - you don't want to do a large area at one time. Before starting, be sure to thoroughly clean the paneling of all residue - I use a wet 100-ought steel wool pad with a little alcohol and just keep rinsing it out with clean water and let it dry well. It will surprise you how much grime has collected on the surface over the years! As to the ceiling, you may want to wait before painting. Often, the warm wood paneling is a very nice touch for the ceiling. The wood will be a lot brighter after cleaning.
1 Like   February 4, 2013 at 5:32AM
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jake2000
Just a thought to those that are considering the paneling and have good drywall underneath. Yes, you may discover that you have minimal damage to the drywall underneath and that you can tape, fill, and sand the drywall joints and holes and then paint. But here is something else to investigate before you get too carried away. Were your electical outlet boxes installed to be level with the panelling? In other words, when you get that 1/4" of paneling off, are the outlet boxes sticking out from the wall by a 1/4"? That may sound to some like a minor problem, but it is not if you are doing a quality job. If you don't reposition those boxes, your wall may look great, but your outlets will be sticking out from the wall by 1/4". To do it right, you will probably have to cut a small section out of the drywall, pry out the mounting nails that hold the box in, reattach the box so that it is even with the front of the wall, then repair the wall section. It is do-able, but more work that you first counted on. In this situation, it may be easier to install a second layer of drywall over the original layer. If you do that, you end up with outlet boxes that are are recessed into the wall a 1/4" more than what they should be. But that is a small problem, similar to what you encounter when you tile a wall behind a kitchen counter. You can shim out your outlet and use longer screws in your cover plate. Also investigate how your window and door trim is going to mate up if you remove or add thickness to the wall.
So, if you are a do it yourselfer, like many of us have to be...investigate before you get too carried away. And don't forget the previous dicussions about painting the paneling.
1 Like   February 23, 2013 at 6:25AM
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handymam
I have filled the grooves, and papered over my paneling with heavy embossed paper and it has been up for 16 years. Have repainted at least 3 times, without it coming off. No one has ever asked what is underneath, but they do like the colors I have used. The paper is not as important as the ending color. I believe they carry very plain versions of this paper, to look like linen, so it would work in a contemporary home.
0 Likes   February 23, 2013 at 6:40AM
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justin1985
As a contractor who has been through this (I have the exact same panels as you do), I agree with many of the comments above. This stuff is about $ 13.00 per 4x8 sheet, so don't worry about "ruining" any type of high-end finishes. Paint it first, and you'll be out a hundred bucks. If that doesn't suit your taste, remove it. It's 1/4" thick and typically installed with finish brads / nails - it will come down in a matter of minutes. Carefully remove trim which can be re-used with some minor cuts. Insulate if you don't have it, and go drywall. You can use 1/2" GWB if you like to save some money. If you have never done drywall, pay someone. You will thank me later for that :) - you should be able to get our for under $ 1.00 / SF for buying, hanging and filling the GWB. It's worth it. Think it through and move electrical items while the panels are down - they are just nailed to studs so it's easy if you have access (as jake said). Note - you CAN fill the grooves and paint. I do NOT recommend that. The "average eye" will likely never notice and it does look nice in photos, but the perfectionist will not likely be happy. If you don't know what I mean, look at the existing wood panels at the joints and you'll notice slight bows or gaps. You will likely end up skimming the entire walls with filler to even it all out. As wood is not made for this application, humidity variations may cause issues down the road. I'm about to renovate for a nursery at my home, and I'm struggling over the "what to do" myself .. more like "how far do I take this". Best of luck. Note - I am fairly happy with how raw wood panel turns out just painted. It's best to sand them some, but it's not necessary for flat paint. Eggshell/satin needs sanding just enough to help it adhere.
1 Like   March 6, 2014 at 7:47AM
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decoenthusiaste
Very old dead thread but it is full of options for those stuck with paneling.
0 Likes   March 6, 2014 at 7:54AM
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justin1985
edit - just saw yours is glued. Painting it as is, or filling it then painting may be your best bet. With glue, your humidity issue may be minimized more.
0 Likes   March 6, 2014 at 7:55AM
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goodnpl3nty
I have a "fake" wood looking paneled home with these panels being 16" wide. They are everywhere! I liked a wood look to my home at first even though it was fake, but I finally had to admit to myself that it was old and outdated and cheesy looking. I am wondering if all these suggestions for camouflaging this paneling would also work on this fake cheesy looking stuff. I live in the mountains but a cottage style of home is what I have on the outside and am redoing my kitchen now in an antiquey, cottage style. I emphasize that the surface of these panels are not wood.
0 Likes   April 22, 2014 at 3:29PM
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laurabristow
This was all a ton of help. Thank you everyone who had ideas I had not considered. I have three different paneling in my mother in-law's house, which we bought. The normal one shown here, and smooth sheet room, and lastly a 60s addition with plastic, bumpy, vein-y, textured style--guess it is trying to look like real bark? For the smooth paneling, it that a good candidate for the thin layer of not-wallpaper? Then you paint over that?
0 Likes   August 22, 2014 at 3:02PM
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karenginas
What did you end up doing...one room at a time in hope!
0 Likes   August 22, 2014 at 8:38PM
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