FAQ #3 Should I remove the Dark Wood Paneling or just paint over it?

Home Stager with Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging

FAQ #3 Should I remove the Dark Wood Paneling or just paint over it?

Many homes from the 50's and 60's still have dark wood paneling on the walls and I am often asked do I think that it is necessary to take it down.  In most cases I say yes...  but there are exceptions.  I would not recommend taking it down if it was not feasible for a client to do so because of their budget or if they were unable to physically do it themselves.  Each home staging project is unique and is handled differently.  No one staging project is ever the same.  As a home stager I must take into consideration each client's concerns, need's and desires but also be flexible if things are not possible to do. 

Here are three reason's why I do not recommend keeping it.  1.) It makes a room look very dark2.)  It dates the home.  3.)  The majority of buyers do not care for it and more importantly is spells WORK to any buyer that walks through the door.  Taking down the paneling will lighten and brighten the room it will also make it look and fell larger.

The other question I have also been asked is if painting over the paneling would be OK as it is less work than taring the paneling down and taking off the glue that is left behind.  Again my recommendation is to not paint over it, just take it down if you are going to put your house on the market.  Paneling is paneling and buyers are aware that it is paneling...  plain and simple there is no way to hide that fact.  On the other hand I have seen painted over paneling that was tastefully done to a home and it looked good with the style of the house.  My best advice is to call in a professional who can give you the correct answer and that answer should be based on that particular home and the area it is in and the potential buyers that would be interested in the home.

Calling in a Home Stager who is trained to look at your home with buyers eyes and can help take the stress out of preparing your home for sale before it goes on the market.  Home Stager's can give you sound advice and will listen to your concerns, need's and desires without breaking your budget. 

Show your home off to it's best potential...  let it be the one that everyone desires.  Let your home look clean, clutter free and look light and bright with a nice neutral color on the walls.


Can potential buyers see themselves living in your home?

You never get a second chance...  to make a Great First Impression!

Linda D. Pufford, ASPM

With Divine Style

Home Staging ~ Interior Redesign ~ Color Consulting




Serving the Greater San Francisco Bay Area



Comments (4)

Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

Hi Linda! Wood paneling does present a problem, but like you said, it just depends on the situation. As always, your eye for beautiful design is spot on!

Jun 09, 2012 02:14 PM
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTORĀ®

I would prefer it to be taken down too. But most people in our market simply paint over it. :(

Jun 09, 2012 02:32 PM
Annette Sievert
CB Valley Broker - Corvallis, OR
Corvallis, Oregon

I have seen wood painted over in a light sage green that allowed the grain to show, looked great! if the panels are in good shape, not warped etc, I'd say go for it

Jun 09, 2012 02:44 PM
Anna Dovger
Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607 - The Woodlands, TX
Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX

Linda, very good question to answer. The wood paneling does date the house. I agree it depends on the budget to make a decision to paint or to take them off. I also have questions about dark wood trim and doors. I suggest to paint it white and leave only ceiling beams dark stain.

Jun 10, 2012 04:20 AM