The Wood Panelling Room – Before and In Progess

1Office after paintI realized I never showed you guys the wood panelling room before it got painted.  Luckily, I took some photos to memorialize the original-to-the-1958-house wood that engulfed this room I use as my office.  Here is what this room looked like before:2Office Before 3Office BeforeOur house was listed as a 3 bedroom but this room (the third “bedroom”) is totally not a bedroom.  I guess it could be in a pinch, but it has two entrances, one of which opens in to the dining area by the kitchen and the other in to the back hallway, making it a room that you pass through to get to the other side of the house.  There is another way around if this were to be used as a bedroom, but that would be annoying.  There’s also a closet in this room, just in case it had to be used as such…but I mean, I can’t imagine ever having it be a bedroom.  We removed the doors leading in and out of the room since I never intend on using them and it really chops up the space having them there.
Office BeforeCheck out those spots on the wall where the sun aged everything but what was against the wall.  Ha!4Office BeforeMy eyes! No, it wasn’t THAT terrible and in fact the wood was in excellent condition.  Each board was placed by hand, so it’s not that terrible fake wood that you lay on like sheets of beadboard.  It’s definitely a look, but not a look I was super excited by.  Also that ceiling fan.  Good gravy, I hate ceiling fans and especially in this small room it seemed to take up half the ceiling.
3Office in Progress 4Office in Progress 5Office in Progress Office in ProgressOooooh seeing these pictures takes me back to memories I had tried to suppress.  Painting this room was a BEAST.  It didn’t really seem like it at the time because I was just concerned with the job in front of me, but looking back I realize how much work went in to it.  Two coats of primer, and two coats (or three?  Actually I think it was three…) coats of paint plus cutting in all the lines between the boards and the top and bottom trim between each coat.  And since I’m not tall enough to reach, I had to go around with a ladder to reach the top to do the last foot or so, plus trim and ceiling.  Oh yeah, the ceiling got painted too (two coats).
caulk beforeBut I think the most time consuming part of the whole job was the caulking (or maybe it just seemed like it).  I think I spent at least two full days caulking each and every line in the room, plus all the knots in the wood and the gaps at the top and bottom where the boards met the trim. It really made SUCH a huge difference though!  It was satisfying work, despite how tedious the process was (caulk, smooth with finger, run over with a rag, repeat….eleventy billion times). more caulkcaulk after copyI did two coats of caulk in between each line and gap because it needed two coats.  There were still noticeable gaps after the first go round and at that point all I could see was GAPS EVERYWHERE so I went over it again and it was worth it.  Like, if I had just done it once, I would look at the finished project think, “Man, all that caulking sucked and you can still see shadows where the gaps are.”  But instead I think nothing.  I don’t notice any cracks or shadows in the panelling where the individual planks meet so I don’t ever think about how long it took (see how I suppressed those memories?).  And to me, the peace of mind of a job well done is worth what it took to get there.

Now let’s get to the good pictures!  Here is what the room looks like currently.  It’s still in progress, but it’s lightyears away from where it started.
1Office after paintPretty bare bones still, but I’m actually in love with it having such a clean, open space.  All my office “stuff” is still in the basement and I may find a permanent home for everything down there so I can have a clutter-free space in the office and just bring things up as I need them.3Office after paintIf you look back up at the before picture of this angle, you’ll notice the wall that we took down was right outside this doorway.  Now I can see all the way in to to the living room and the windows in there.  Makes the room feel even bigger.  (Also…those are our Ikea countertops stacked up against the wall.  Still waiting on the installation but that should be happening this week!)6Office after paintI have plans to make a real seating area here in this little nook.  It’s an odd size, about 4.5 feet, so a small settee and coffee table would be ideal, but I may go for a mid century lounge chair and ottoman if I find the right ones.  There’s a great view of the enchanted forrest (er, the woods) behind our house so I’d like to be able to sit here and drink coffee while looking outside.  And I really need a rug in here so Frank can lay beside me more comfortably.  I’m thinking of cowhide!6T5C6884I’m going to install some kind of shelving system in the closet so I don’t have to keep all my office and crafty “stuff” in the basement and be able to hide some of it in here.  And I need to replace the closet door, but it’s not ready yet.  I looked at replacing all the doors in the house, but it was cost prohibitive (read: THOUSANDS of dollars, installed and painted, but still).  So my dad and I are actually taking the existing doors and adding shaker style panels and painting them.  I’ve done one already and it looks awesome, I can’t wait to share that.
5Office after paintI have great windows in this room and they let in a lot of light so I’m not sure what to do about window treatments or if I should do even anything at all.  I don’t want to obstruct the light at all so roman shades might not work, and I don’t really want to have curtains hang to the floor (hardwoods = lots and lots of sweeping) so I’m not quite sure what to do.  For now, they’ll stay bare.barn lampThat’s right, folks.  I replaced that fan with this light all by myself.  Well, technically, my dad took down the ceiling fan for me, but THEN I installed the light all by myself. (And yes, you may have noticed that the shape around the bottom is a little wonky, or “caddywhompus” as my dad said.  My arms got sore and I dropped it during installation.  Whatever, it’s up there.)  I picked up the barn light at Scott Antique Market for $20 (a steal!!) and just had to buy the ceiling medallion to cover the hole.  And the Edison bulb, which puts out a nice, romantic and soft light.  The whole thing probably cost $40 or so.

painted wood panelling - before and afterSo in conclusion, paint and caulk are amazing inventions and can completely transform a room but it may require many hours of work and 10-12 laps around the room on a ladder.  Also!  Use semi-gloss paint over wood panelling, if you ever find yourself painting a wood panelled room.  I started with flat paint, like the rest of the walls in the house, but the panelling needs semi gloss to really look sexy.

PS – Those chairs are from Overstock.com (these are them).  They’re only sold in sets of two, but for $165 for the  pair, that’s a real bargain.  I know it’s a total rip off of Eames, but the real Eames ones are $500 EACH and I have champagne taste on a beer budget so they’ll have to do.  Also, I decided to spray paint one black (flat paint, it really needs a flat finish to look sexy) and at that price, I didn’t have heart palpitations in doing so.  My desk is a full on Ikea mashup of the lerberg legs ($10 each) and the pragel countertop ($60) cut to size by my dad.  I’m not in love with it and will probably replace it with a parsons desk at some point, but for now it works!

PSS – I would like to send a HUGE shout out to my Aunt Susan who drove all the way from Virginia to help me paint!  What a saint.  She put in three solid days of work and helped me knock out the painting in this room and the rest of the house.  Thanks, Susan! :)  Also, my mom helped out too for a few hours after we hit it big at Scott’s and bless her heart (and short, little legs) she had to reach on her tippy toes to paint the trim around the windows.  Thanks, Momma!

Check out the before pictures of the kitchen and the living room.

38 Responses to “The Wood Panelling Room – Before and In Progess”

  1. Susan Atwood

    Thanks, it was fun to work with you and help a little. This is going to be such an incredible house for the two of you and all the more so because of the blood, sweat and tears that you have invested!

    Reply
    • Katy

      I can attest that we have in fact invested blood, sweat and (lots of) tears during this process. :) But it’s already worth it. I love living here!

      Reply
  2. Kate (@shoegirlinDE)

    Whoa, that looks like A LOT of work, but boy is the result worth it! It looks so fantastic! We had partial white paneling like this on one wall of our new apartment, but they took down in construction and I’m actually kind of sad about it. It’s such a nice look. I’m right there with you on the chairs – $500 is just crazy talk for a plastic chair and a design that was originally created to be ‘affordable’. I’m buying knock-offs for our new place too. Good luck with the rest of your home projects! I look forward to seeing your progress…

    Reply
    • Katy

      “$500 is just crazy talk for a plastic chair and a design that was originally created to be ‘affordable’ ” <- AMEN, sister! :) Thanks for your sweet comment, Kate! I'm excited to show more progress pictures as the house progresses. Seems like we're moving slow as molasses though!

      Reply
  3. Audrey

    This is the naturally-lit white studio I’ve always dreamed of. I LOVE how open and fresh it looks, even without pictures or curtains. If you do a curtain, keep it light and airy maybe? That window is to die for :)

    Reply
    • Katy

      Aw, thanks Audrey! It’s a small space, so I like the idea of keeping it open and light. I know I’ll have to put something on the walls, but I’m kind of loving blank space right now. Is that totally boring?! :)

      Reply
  4. Kelsey @ Pinegate Road

    Love love love! You have me dreaming about starting my own home reno, hah. Also, if you’re looking for an affordable cowhide rug, I got one for my living room on amazon for around $200 — much better than the one I wanted at crate & barrel for over $500. Great quality too. Here’s the link if you’re interested! http://amzn.to/19GFZQo End ad ;)

    Reply
    • Katy

      Thanks, Kelsey!! Yeah Ikea started selling cowhides too for aroud $200 but I saw a dealer at Scott Atiques Market who has a huge selection for the same price that I think I’m going to buy from. That way I can pick which cow I get! I really like the brown and white ones :)

      Reply
  5. Rachel

    I’m about to start this difficult task… Wooooo……. Lol What color and brands of paint did you use?

    Reply
    • Katy

      Oh good luck! I used Sherwin Williams super paint in dover white. That super paint is pricey but it’s really good quality – and SW has a lot of sales so wait until they have one if you can! Also check their site for coupons. And if you caulk, use one that expands and contracts with the wood throughout the season. I made the mistake of just using regular caulk and found that once winter hit, there were lots of cracks so I had to go back and re-caulk a lot of spaces. The brand I used was GE and it says “extra flex” on the tube.

      Reply
  6. Darlene

    Well I just moved into an apt with the living room paneled in a blond color, the kitchen is really dark paneling with really dark cabinets, and my living room is so dark. These apts are so outdated but I am going to have to work around it because I don’t think my new landlord will allow me to paint, and I so want to paint!!!! LOL

    Reply
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  8. Ross Cameron

    This looks great. I really prefer the look of painted wood panels vs plain sheetrock. I think the the texture is more interesting and feels more old world. Great job on this project!

    Reply
  9. Alexa

    Your walls look very similar to mine and I had a professional come out and say they could not be painted unless they were heavily sanded. They are glossy with lacquer, but yours look glossy as well and it looks like you went straight to priming without doing any stripping. Was your wood lacquered? Did you do any sort of prep before priming and caulking?

    Reply
    • Katy

      Zinzer bullseye primer – it’s good stuff. My walls were high gloss lacquer but the primer stuck to it just fine.

      Reply
  10. Danielle

    This room turned out beautifully! Apologies for the amateur-hour question but why did you need to use caulking in between the boards? My husband and I just bought a house and are seriously considering this project in our office, and I want to make sure I understand the right process! Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Katy

      If it’s like ours, the boards are placed individually so there’s a gap between them, creating a shadow. No matter how much paint you try to get in between the boards you will always have that shadow which is distracting and sloppy. Caulking seals the gap to give it a much cleaner appearance.

      Reply
  11. Andy Capelluto

    What a magnificent job you’ve done –

    I’d love to feature your before and after pics of wood panneling in the courses I offer to real estate professionals on home staging. I’m happy to give you credit or pay if the cost you if isn’t too high

    Thank you

    Andy Capelluto

    Reply
  12. dreedbox

    When we painted our paneling the paint came off if you wiped it after it dried? What did you do diff?

    Reply
    • Katy

      Weird…maybe you didn’t prep the surface well enough. I primed and then did several coats of paint and after two years have not had any chipping anywhere.

      Reply
  13. Rachel

    Hi, was wondering what kind of caulk you used? we are in the process of painting our wood paneling and noticed the cracks between each panel. We definitely need caulk!

    Reply
  14. tess

    Your room looks great!, perfect size for an office space.
    What kind of Zinsser primer did you use, latex or oil based?
    Any sanding in between coats? what grade of sand paper did you use? and what type of SW super paint did you use latex or oil based? Just wanting a bit more detailed information, since I have a living room that is all tongue and groove and badly need a color change, thanks!

    Reply
  15. julie

    Would you be willing to share the brand name of the paint and the name of the color choice? It’s a beautiful white.

    Reply
  16. julie

    I just found the name of the color which was posted April 4, 2014. Sorry! No need to reply.

    Reply
  17. Cynthia

    I think you could use Roman shades if you installed them at the ceiling- that would accommodate most of the “stack”, and whatever was left would not inhibit the wonderful light or view. That treatment would also add to the illusion of height in the room-
    Great job!

    Reply
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