Ideas for updating wood paneling
It’s enviable when I’m staging homes, that every once in a while, I’m going to come across a room, usually a family room or a basement, that has dated dark old wood paneling. NOT only does wood paneling date a house it devalues the home as well.
Sure, you probably will find a potential home buyer that would be willing to take it on and put in an offer, but be warned that they are taking $$ off their offer to compensate for the work that awaits them.
Painting the walls is the fastest and most economical way of updating the look of wood paneling.
Whether the paneling is wood or veneer, it’s an easy fix and will give your walls a fresh updated look.
Preparing the walls for painting There are two options to prepare your walls for painting: Option #1 – Sanding: The paneling will have some type of varnish or stain on it even if it has worn a little over the years.
Fill the grooves and any holes with caulking or wood putty to create a smooth surface.
A smooth wall will give the room a sleek and modern look.
Leaving the groves will be visible and is a more suitable style for a cottage or country home, not a city or suburban home.
Clean the wall with a damp rag to remove any dust before painting.
For either laminate or a wood panel, priming with a primer like Zinsser will give your wall the grip it needs for paint. You can expect at least two coats of paint to cover the dark wood. Choose a fresh trendy color to give your space a new look. Option #2 – Plaster or Drywall finish: Applying a drywall finish or plaster over your wood paneling will give it a smooth polished finish. Applying a plaster or drywall finish can be applied right over wood paneling with the right preparation.
Regular plaster takes some skill to apply so it may not be a good option for the first timer.
Read the manufacturer’s directions on the package and ask a friend who has experience to help if it’s your first time.
However, if you feel confident that you can do a professional looking job, applying plaster or a drywall finish over the paneling will not only look sleek and contemporary, it will increase the value in your home.In one house I staged, I suggested to the homeowners that they remove the wood paneling.The paneling was on the main floor and was giving their city home a country look.They knew that under the paneling it was just 2″ x 4″boards, not drywall, so it would have been an enormous undertaking. Before you remove the paneling, know what you are getting into.