I 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: Our 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.
Check out those spots on the wall where the sun aged everything but what was against the wall. Ha!My 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.
Oooooh 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).
But 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). I 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.
Pretty 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.If 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!)I 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!I’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.
I 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.That’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.
So 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!