How Painting Wood Paneling Will Change Your Life!

blue and white kitchen

There is simply no reason you must live perpetually with a dated wood kitchen if you don’t want to. Or live in a dark, wood-paneled den just because your home contains one.  And, no, you don’t have to rip the wood paneling out.

blue pillow

Pull Up a Comfy Chair and Read This Post

You need to lighten up your life by painting wood paneling in your home. I know, I know:  your husband says “No way, Jose!” Men have lots of reasons for leaving wood in its natural state as I expounded upon in my post, “Why Men Fear Painting Wood.”

Men Think Wood Paneling is Sexy, But It’s Not

 

My clients spent 16 years with dark, dated wood cabinets and wood paneling in their kitchen and adjoining den. Because their Nashville home is a 1970’s ranch, they honestly believed that they had no other choice but to live in that era as long as they lived in that home. Not true!

dated wood 1970s kitchen

 Before of Kitchen with Dated Wood Cabinetry

Honestly, it took a bit of convincing to reassure my clients that painting wood paneling would work and not result in a half-baked result. They thought they needed to rip out all their cabinetry and start over, which would have been prohibitively expensive. They were paralyzed by fear and lack of vision. Once I gained their trust, we began moving forward towards an amazing outcome. The proof is in the photos. Get ready for the transformation . . .

blue and white kitchen

 After – Same Cabinets, Painted White

Note how the peninsula was really narrow and not terribly functional – that was about to change.  Here’s another angle of the “before” condition of the kitchen:

dated wood cabinets before

 Kitchen Before Design Intervention

Granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and updated lighting helped bring the kitchen into the 21st century, but the paint updates really make the biggest impact. The hutch you see to the left is great additional storage for a kitchen with no pantry. It was previously in the dining room, but I encouraged my clients to paint the dated oak piece white and move it into the kitchen. Notice the expanded coffee bar area with seating – the existing peninsula with an extended countertop created a new space for seating.

kitchen makeover by the decorologist

 Light and Bright Kitchen After Design Intervention

Shall we turn around and look at the “before” of the adjoining den? Definitely dated and underutilized:

before painting panelingWood Paneling Before

Painting wood paneling will change your life!  The paneling remains, but Benjamin Moore’s Woodlawn Blue transforms the look and feel of the space.

blue living room

 Painted Wood Paneling

Closer in now, another “before” shot of the adjoining den:

Den and Wood Paneling Before

The addition of black accents including the painted fireplace mantel, bar chairs, and drapery rod add sophistication and gravity to the airy and light room.

benjamin moore woodlawn blue

Den After

The before looks like circa 1974:

Wood Paneling Before

Dark days are over, now everything’s light and bright!  New furnishings and updated lighting make the den a family-friendly place to gather and watch television.

beautiful living roomBeautiful New Den

As an interior decorator my job was to cast the vision, specify the right colors, and provide expert shopping within their budget. These homeowners did most of the work in this lovely transformation themselves: painting, installing new hardwood floors, and installing the new beadboard backsplash. Their hands-on involvement resulted in a beautiful home that they can feel happy and proud to spend the next 16+ years in.

beadboard paneling

Expanded Counter and  Painted Beadboard Paneling

Really, do you need any better proof that you should paint your dated wood paneling?

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Barbara Jacobs
Guest

Great points, Kristie – just more excellent examples of why paint is the most economical way to get the greatest change.

kelly arent
Guest

Kristie…You did it again! Love following your work! I wish all clients were convinced that it could look this fabulous!! What a transformation!!

Jamie
Guest
Jamie

I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time scrolling between before and after pictures in any of your posts. Holy moly that looks amazing! Such a transformation and I love that they did most of it themselves. Definitely ogling that beadboard backsplash!

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

Love it!!! I would paint paneling in a heart beat…..the space is gorgeous now. What a complete transformation! Bravo Kristie!!!!

Leif
Guest
Leif

WOW!!!! I love it! I never get tired of seeing the before and after shots.

I love that you moved the light fixture from the center of the den and created that “off center” gathering place. I would never have thought that would work but it looks wonderful. So excited for your client. It is CHIC and refreshing! GOOD JOB my friend!

Kim Hoegger
Guest

Beautiful transformation! Great work Kristie, thanks for sharing. This gives us all hope for rooms with paneling!

Interior Painting Ideas
Guest

Such a difference that some lighter colors made in both rooms. Love the look. The white goes so well with the beach blue. Makes me wish I had some spare time to dive into my ugly outdated cabinets at home tonight!

Kelly Berg
Guest
Kelly Berg

Wow, Kristie! This is fantastic. You should be really excited about this project. Great job. (It’s so much more attractive to have the wood on the floor as opposed to the walls, isn’t it?)

liz
Guest
liz

Absolutely amazing!! I am always checking out before and afters and I am still always so surprised at how much difference a coat of paint can make. These rooms are so lovely and livable.

Linda
Guest
Linda

Yowzer!! What a beautiful difference paint made in this home. I can only imagine how very thrilled the clients must be. Bravo my friend!

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

It looks great and is adding to my inspiration!

I am planning on painting my kitchen this summer. It has knotty pine walls and NO ONE thinks I should paint it. I, however, can not live with it anymore! I can’t wait to do it and I hope it turns out as lovely as your project.

Stacy Naquin
Guest

Bravo Kristie! The space looks fantastic!!!

Phillip Barnett
Guest

Painting paneling and cabinets definitely worked for us!!!

Phillip Barnett
Guest

Painting cabinets and paneling definitely worked for us. Thanks Kristie

Maria Killam
Guest

Spectacular Kristie! Your clients must be soooo thrilled!
x
Maria

Julie
Guest

What a beautiful transformation! I’ve painted paneling but I’ve always gone with a “safe” color like white or gray but now I feel like even more options have opened up in front of me. This looks beautiful!

gertie @ The Old Block House
Guest
gertie @ The Old Block House

What a lovely transformation! Everything is just beautiful and fresh.

Cyndia
Guest
Cyndia

What is it about guys not wanting to paint either wood or brick? When we bought our home 13 years ago, one of the first things I wanted to do was paint the brick. Hubby was incredulous. I finally wore him down, but it took ten years. He even volunteered to paint it! And now it’s a lovely shade of warm green. He can’t believe he fought me on it for so long, and he loves it!
I’ve even convinced him to paint several pieces of wood furniture!

Jeanna
Guest

Wow! Great before & afters, what a refreshing color change, thanks for sharing your home! (found you from the inspired room!)

Susanne
Guest
Susanne

Wow…that’s great. It looks like a completely new home. I’m looking for a for just that very thing. However, I need a fairy godmother and a magic wand and some very hand mice..lol.

sonia
Guest

Wow, another amazing transformation, Bravo Kristie!
Happy Valentine to you and your love one, Sonia xo

dana tucker
Guest

Another amazing makeover. You are the guru, wizard, magician, maker of beautiful spaces 🙂

Dianne Tant
Guest
Dianne Tant

GREAT POST great job!

Christina
Guest
Christina

What about paneled walls with molding in the home office? House built circa 1999, we’ve lived here 9 months. The realtor said we should NEVER paint it because it adversely effects resale potential. I’m thinking I don’t care. It’s oak, not even quarter-sawn and the room is dark and dreary. I know painting it would make it a fabulous room.

Laura@Elegant Nest
Guest

Thanks for the amazing Before and After pictures! This is a perfect example of a house with “good bones” as they say…and just needing a little help to show them off!
Great Job!

patricia
Guest
patricia

This is quite possibly the BEST kitchen re-do I’ve *ever* seen! Spectacular! From a dark and dated cave to a beautiful light, modern, INVITING, happy space. LOVE IT! And love bistro table… perfect!

Sarah A.
Guest
Sarah A.

I, too, have dated ugly wood paneling. I’ve been waiting for an “ugliest kitchen contest”, but since I haven’t found one, I’ve just left the paneling. After seeing this, I want to cry! I am so excited to give it a try!

Kelley
Guest

This is amaziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing! Great job!

Donna@The Space Within
Guest

What a beautiful transformation! The colours are sublime. Just a question on whether you have any tips on preparation to ensure a long-lasting paint finish on the panelling? I’d love to recommend this to a few “clients” (read family!) to update their home.

Lorri M.
Guest
Lorri M.

Love this! This is one of my favorites!!

amy@maison decor
Guest

This is one of the best before and afters i have seen of wood paneling…bravo!!! I am amazed at how fabulous it turned out…they must be in awe of you!

Ragan Corliss
Guest

Great job…. Love that fireplace hearth!

joy
Guest
joy

wow, really nice…I wonder where they got that leather sofa, looks good. great transformation.

Shari
Guest
Shari

All I can say is, “WOW!” Kristie, this has to be your most stunning reveal yet! Like a previous responder, I just kept scrolling back and forth to really soak in the ‘before’ and ‘after.’ I would be looking for excuses to be in that kitchen and den now. Simply beautiful and very inspiring. Makes me want to create some bold and grown-up changes in my own house. Wonderful work. Thanks for posting.

Sheila Zeller
Guest

This doesn’t even look like the same place! Yet another Kristie-on-fire makeover!!! Practical perfection!

Andrea
Guest

This is gorgeous. Paint is something awesome. Now following you.

Rebecca Dumas
Guest

Kristie,
Wow, what a transformation! Your pictures are always so well done, they really show what is possible.
Very impressive, and I share your love of paint!!!!

Barb
Guest
Barb

Bravo! I say paint it, paint it, paint it! I just painted my kitchen, too. It’s amazing what a few cans of paint can do!

Mallory
Guest

Ohhhh my gosh! Simply adorable!!! Hope you’ll link this up at our new linky party! We feature our favorites each week! We’re your newest followers and we’d love to have you link up and follow if you’d like!

http://www.classyclutter.blogspot.com/2012/02/saturday-spotlight-2.html

Mallory @ Classy Clutter

Jacqueline
Guest

Wow!!! What an amazing transformation! I love the color combo and the fireplace brick looks great.

Aimee - ItsOverflowing
Guest

Beautiful! I’d love to have you join my party…it just opened!!! Thanks LOTS! XO, Aimee

Simone
Guest
Simone

Hi Kristie

This transformation is incredible. Do you have the instructions for painting 1970s style wooden cabinets?

Jen
Guest

Wow, that looks gorgeous! It really is amazing what a few cans of paint can do. Great job!

Tammy
Guest
Tammy

I just love this makeover, that blue on walls is beautiful . I ordered the chairs but without the arms. I was glad to see them here with a brown sofa. Do you recall where you got the rug from?

Karen
Guest
Karen

You are awesome. Do you work any in Georgia?

Diane
Guest

Hi, I’m moving into an apartment soon with paneling and will try and paint them. How do you make them look so smooth? Looks like regular dry walls. Any advice? Thanks a lot!

Teresa Dove
Guest
Teresa Dove

Have you been in my house? My house was built in 1970 and has that exact paneling on every wall, floor to ceiling, entire downstairs. The cabinets in the “before” pics look just like mine, and that boxy light fixture hangs over my sink!! I was happy to see the turquoise walls — I just painted my kitchen walls turquoise and green, and had already planned to paint my cabinets white! So nice to see an “after” pic before its done!! Thank you for the funny and inspiring website!

Danielle
Guest
Danielle

This is amazing!!!!! We are looking at buying a house that has a kitchen that looks almost identical to the before pictures. What was the budget for this amazing kitchen?

Allyson
Guest
Allyson

Hey Kristie,

This looks amazing. I have a living room and hallway of horrible wood. Is there any recommendations for colors I should use to cover the wood? Can I choose any color I want?

P.S. The wood walls have horizontal line design textures that will be noticed even after painting.

Holly
Guest
Holly

LOVE THIS KITCHEN! We’re going to duplicate but on a smaller scale in the house we just bought. Wondering though about the floors. Those changed as well. Do you know what kind of flooring that is?