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  • Writer's pictureCarol Ruth Weber

Cover Ugly Old Wood Paneling: Decorating Tricks and Tips

At some point, most have run head on to that hideous cheap 70’s wall paneling. Maybe you are buying your first house and there it is staring you in the face, or mom might still have that cheezy paneling in her basement. How do you get rid of this ugliness within your tight budget?

This is one of those challenges that you need to accept and conquer.

Easy Ideas to Update Old Wood Paneling

There are several choices one can do that will create a new, up to date, décor that will not break the bank. Make sure that the paneling is firmly attached to the walls before beginning the updated look; you do not want your efforts to be in vain if the panels start falling off the walls. Have fun and be creative.

  • Paint - The obvious is to simply paint the paneling. Remember that it is important to sand and prime the paneling before paint is applied.

Grooves in the paneling can be filled to create a smooth surface: After priming apply joint compound to the entire wall, then sand lightly, prime again, and paint. The grooves should become invisible. Since this is not a sheetrock wall, give the wall a lift by using paint with some sheen to it, as in a satin or semi-gloss finish.

  • Wall liners - There are wall liners that are specifically made to be applied over imperfect walls and paneling in order to have a smooth surface to paint or wall cover. Cavalier wall liner is a heavy duty non-woven wall liner (also known as bridging material) that is paintable, covers wall imperfections and textured surfaces, such as brick and paneling.

  • Paintable wall covering - Paintable wallcovering is available in many patterns and textures manufactured to hide cracked walls, old paneling, and cinder block. It is a wall covering that is pre-pasted to simply wet and hang as one would with any wallpaper.

The raised pattern and texture makes it a great cover-up for old wood paneling. After the wall covering is hung, paint it in a color choice that will enhance and renew the decor. Use a semi-gloss paint to add depth and elegance. The paintable wall covering can also be used on ceilings to hide imperfections or just to add new decor excitement.

Cover Ugly Old Wood Paneling: Decorating Tricks and Tips

Paintable wall covering is cost-effective, easy to apply, and adds a new beauty element to the decor

Make the Paneling Disappear As If By Magic
PaperIllusion wallpaper by Village

PaperIllusion is a wonderful product that is easily applied and the end result is a beautiful decor with the disappearance of the paneling. According to the website: “PaperIllusion can be applied over any clean, flat, dry surface. Including walls & doors, ceilings & floors, furniture & fixtures, countertops & cabinets and even sheetrock & paneling!"

Cover Ugly Old Wood Paneling: Decorating Tricks and Tips

No need for a wall liner or painting the wall covering after: "The paper is pre-painted with various faux finish effects, such as faux marbleized stone and Florentine marble. And there's a textured effect built into the application as a result of overlapping the torn pieces...So, unlike regular faux finish wallpaper, uneven, cracked or damaged walls are no problem for PaperIllusion."

Cover Ugly Old Wood Paneling: Decorating Tricks and Tips

Paperillusions is a perfectly easy solution for covering paneling.

Paperillusions is fun for all to help apply to the walls. It works very easy similar to decoupage. In just three simple steps the décor will be transformed.

  1. Tear specially formulated faux finish wallpaper randomly into irregular shapes.

  2. Dip each piece of this unique faux finish wallpaper into warm water.

  3. Apply the torn wet paper in an overlapping manner to your clean, flat dry surface.

Flexi-wall Systems Products

Check out Flexi-wall systems products; Plaster in a Roll and Faster Plaster.

  • "Plaster In A Roll is a one-step wall finish that covers concrete block, old plaster, existing paneling, and more."

  • "Faster Plaster is a paintable wall covering which covers paneling, ceramic tile, cracked plaster, and new or old gypsum board. It may be finished with paint or another wall covering on top. After installation, it cures to be even stronger than conventional plaster!"

FibreDecor Designer Wall Coating

FibreDecor is a designer wall coating that is very easy to apply and is flexible to cover cracks and paneling.

Cover Ugly Old Wood Paneling: Decorating Tricks and Tips

Fibredecor covers wood paneling and cracks with beauty and elegance.

  • FibreDecor Designer Wall Coatings are a great alternative when renovating. The one-step finishes are attractive, durable, cost-effective, and come in a variety of finishes and colors.

There is always an alternative when wishing to redecorate, even on a tight budget. Make it a family activity, or a decorating party with dinner and drinks. Take turns with friends working on each other’s abodes. Turn up the music, rock n roll, and never be afraid to dance!

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