What to do with PANELING — Page 2 — Forums

What to do with PANELING - Page 2 - Forums

Decorating Woes — Paneling

Hello from Oklahoma. I’ve owned everything from a mobile home to major fixer-uppers to a brand-new house, and the ideas in this thread are all excellent! They all work well. But I found the most important things to do before putting any color, wallpaper, or whatever on the walls were:

1. Make sure the paneling is securely anchored to the walls. Check top and bottom, all the corners, and the seams. If necessary, reinforce with paneling (or just small skinny nails about 2 inches long and sink the head of the nail in and spackle over it).

2. Then, wash the paneling down with soap and water. A sponge mop works great! You’d be surprised at the dirt on some paneling.

3. Fill in all holes, lines, patterns in the paneling, etc. that you do NOT want to show.

4. Prime it. Seriously, use the cheap flat white primer and put several coats on the whole thing. Then you have a blank slate essentially from which to start.

I did a wall in the living room in a house we owned when we were first married that had been paneled. I used the above techniques, even though I’d never done it before, and wallpapered over it. The wallpaper had an off-white background and because of the good preparation beforehand, none of the dark color bled through or showed anywhere. I also recommend that if you do panel, put molding at the top and bottom — like new baseboard type molding. This helps to anchor the paper (or whatever texturing material you put on if it is not paint) to the wall. Also, make sure the wallpaper seams are smooth. You can get a roller, but anything that would flatten the seams will work.

If you do wallpaper and find a place here and there where a seam likes to separate, just use simple white Elmer’s glue (or a comparable brand). Works like a charm!

I got the above wallpapering tips from a couple in our church that are professional wallpaperers, and the job turned out great!

Seriously, I think that if it were my place, and since you are not planning to live there for a long time, I’d prime and paint everything or almost everything. You could use wallpaper on one wall to accent it, as I did; or just paint and then get creative with the paint you put on; i.e. sponge painting, some texture, etc. Whatever you like that would be neutral and also something you and your family can live with. Nothing wild — you do need to think of resale, and you’re very smart to be looking at the redecorating that way already.

Something I just thought of regarding the carpet: The light, neutral carpeting is a very good idea. That’s what we’ve used. However, do NOT just get the cheap plush. Spend a little more and get the type that doesn’t show every footprint! What happens is, say you just vacuumed. Now you have to cross the room to pick something up or whatever. Your footprints show. Don’t you just hate that. I sure do, so we went with an oatmeal type carpet that does not show anything! Oh, it helps to have carpet with a slight bit of variation in the color of the threads. Example: ours is predominately the neutral oatmeal/ beige type carpet, but it has some darker threads of browns here and there. Very, very subtle. And believe me, you can’t see anything on this carpet. I love it! And I have to have a low-maintenance house because I have health problems and am disabled. So I needed floor and wall coverings that would not show footprints, dirt, etc. much at all.

What to do with PANELING - Page 2 - Forums

I absolutely love to decorate and wish I could come and help you! But the people that have been posting to this thread have given you a wealth of information and I’m sure there’ll be more gems posted.

Oh, about furniture: yes, you can paint over almost anything, but again, use primer or sand the finish so it’s slightly rough and will take the paint or whatever you decide to put on it, like a crackled glaze paint.

Side note: the stencils are a great idea. Lots of people like them. However, even though I could do that in the past, I sure can’t now. Well, there are some stores (in our area it’s Family Dollar and Dollar General) that have wallpaper border for $1 or $2 per roll (depending on whether it’s wide or narrow). In keeping with the neutral theme, we bought rolls of wallpaper that look like ivy was stenciled about a foot down from our living room and entryway ceiling. It took about 8 rolls at $2 per roll — a bargain! Everyone that’s come over asks if we stenciled it! And the living room and entry are quite large, so figure that we spent less than $20 for that accent for the rooms!

I have found that it works out far better in decorating to keep your background (floor coverings and paint) fairly neutral because it’s (1) easier to re-sell; (2) if you did do some personalization it’s easy to cover it up; and (3) you then have a basically neutral palette for whatever you have in the way of furniture, pictures, and other accent pieces.

Sorry this got to be so long — I’m on a roll. Seriously, I will be praying that it all works out so keep us informed on what you do if you have time, and God Bless!

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