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We’re Painting the Roses Red

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With inspiration from articles like this from Apartment Therapy, my husband and I decided to paint the ugly wood paneling in our upstairs hallway. Failing to take “before” pictures, I have an “after” shot and a shot of the paneling by the stairs that we have yet to finish (we’re still trying to figure out how to paint that high up).

This gives you an idea of what the wood paneling looked like before:

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And the finished hallway after:

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Yeah, that’s how dramatic it was! Our wood paneling was as ugly as is imaginable. It was old, cheap, thin and smudged. There were random nail holes probably from the previous owner’s picture montage or something. We weren’t sure whether painting wood paneling would look rather grungy-hotel cheap or not. We talked in passing about drywalling over it, but that seemed even more daunting.

So, we went for it. All we did was prime the walls with two coats and paint it. We used about two coats of low VOC white gloss paint straight from the can, since white is the furthest thing from dark deathlike wood. (Gloss is also easier to clean, and should we need to touch anything up, we obviously won’t have to worry about getting the exact shade right.) The amount of light that now penetrates the hallway is about 50-fold. I’m not even exaggerating. It was so dark and stagnant up there before. We use the same single hall light as before. Previously, you could barely see what was on the floor. Now, the timid hall light actually seems super bright.
Before, we had to open several doors so light from the windows would lighten the dark. In fact, I was sure that nothing short of carving a skylight in the ceiling would cure the darkness. Now, we can have all the doors closed and still see the sun on the walls. And it looks rather tasteful. No dingy motel vibe whatsoever.

This has got to be my favorite home project yet. And I have to say, painting is one of my least favorite things to do in life. Actually I hate it almost as much as going to the dentist. But this project likened me to it again in a big way. If feng shui has any merit, the chi is totally flowing in a tangible way through this hallway now. It looks bigger, I can breathe stronger in it, and the light of the sun is penetrating in such a healing way.

Yes, you CAN paint over wood paneling!
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2 comments

  1. Karina says:

    Im really considering doing my room,and i love your reaction to how u felt in it after you where done haha im convinced. just seems like so much work but the wood paneling has to go! 🙂

  2. Welcome Karina! Thanks for the feedback. You'll love it if you do it! Yes, thinking about the work overwhelmed me at first, but once we got into it, it was energizing!

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