| Blog ,Creativity ,DIY

Painting Wood Paneling Perils

So, as some of you may know, I bought my first home back in August of 2012 and there are a million projects I have been wanting to tackle around the house.  A couple of weeks ago I finally got up the nerve to do something about the awful wood paneling that flanks the walls of our entryway.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against wood paneling in the right environment– aka Kyle’s man-cave downstairs.

IMG_0432Here’s the issue, we have a split level house, so the entryway stretches from the very bottom of the downstairs to the top of the upstairs and completely surrounds you when you walk in the front door!  Something had to be done. Period.  Unfortunately I am also on a budget and had to come up with a plan B, since plan A would be to take the paneling down all together and replace it with sheet rock and be done with it– pricey!


So my brilliant plan was to go with painted wood paneling, DIY style by yours truly.  I know, what was I thinking?  Not only was it hellish trying to find the right primer to lock in the natural oils from the wood so they wouldn’t bleed through, but I realized AFTER I bought all of the painting supplies that the adjustable ladder we borrowed, although very large, wasn’t tall enough to reach from the very bottom to the tippy top of the longest wall.

I had to improvise! What choice did I have other than to only paint the two walls I could actually reach! I could make that cute right?! Like an accent wall!? Maybe!?  Well, the verdict is still out on that one.  I had originally planned to only paint the top half of the walls since it is divided by chair rail, (or molding halfway up the wall), and continued with said plan even though I couldn’t get to the third wall.  Not sure if that was the right idea or not!

As you can see, this was the beginning stages of priming.  I made the mistake of not listening to my mother (yes I know, mother knows best) and buying a less expensive bonding primer rather than an oil based primer to fight off the natural OILS in the wood.  Well after the first coat, and the second coat, there were visible areas where the tan colored oils were seeping through the primer.  So after using latex paint it was too late to switch to oil based so I bought a stain blocking primer and did a THIRD coat.

Painted Wood Paneling PerilAt that point things were looking pretty good, until I started painting.  Well I made the mistake of buying a “light and airy” color of beige and it ended up being almost identical to the primer.  Nonetheless I did two coats of the paint (and primer-in-one I discovered later – holy primer!).  WORD TO THE WISE: if you ever think about switching to painted wood paneling, remember you have lots of little cracks in between the panels that need to be primed and painted too… very tedious work, but necessary.

So in the end this is what I ended up with.  It definitely brightened the room up a ton!  And that’s what I wanted after all.  I still dream of replacing all of that paneling with sheetrock, but that’s far off!  For now, I am faced with the task of accessorizing!  I bought this coat rack/picture frame from Home Depot when we bought the house and wasn’t sure where to put it!

So… we will have to see how everything looks once we add a few accessories to the walls.  More on that, once I can get my fiance to help me hang them 🙂