Can I Paint My Wood Paneling?

Home Stager with Rooms With Style

Yes....please do! :)  I will qualify that with it depends a little on the paneling but if it is the large sheets from the 60's and 70's usually yes. 

Paneling is dated, dark and not wanted by buyers. Painting you dated paneling is a way to update your current home right now and have it pay off in selling later. 

It is more economical than tearing it down and replacing drywall but that may need to be done if you are looking for a clean lines. 

Here is a recent project I did of a 1960's lake cabin. In a couple rooms the paneling had been painted but stark white. A couple of the rooms still had the dark paneling.

This is a small (emphasis on small) 1960s rambler that the owner plans to enjoy for a couple years and then sell. They wanted it updated but without any major renovation and furniture purchased that would fit the beachy lake side setting yet be comfortable for a family of four. That is doable! 

So let's see what I did:

The room that was built as the Dining Room in the back of the house was in my opinion the best place for the family to hang out and watch movies. 



So with some color that was a bit darker for that movie area yet fun for the beach, and a small comfy sectional added the room comes to life. 






So let's check out those kitchen cabinets........not so attractive. The paneling is even on the refrigerator!! 


4 renovations of any kind. Just some paint and new cabinet pulls and here is the kitchen now.





This room was originally the living room. WAY to small to get any kind of comfortable furniture for four people in here so I decided to mix it up and have this room become the dining room. The odd shape and weird space at the end also needed to be addressed as well as storage. The small house has no storage to speak of.

 Here are a series of before and afters and my solution.



























Paneling? What Paneling?? The ceiling beams and fireplace were previously lost in a sea of wood. Look at those stunning ceiling beams and fireplace now!! 






Let check out the bedrooms that had been both been painted white. The little boys room I decided to keep white and bring in bright colors with the fishing that they love. 














 The Master Bedroom was way too stark in white:





With the walls painted Sea Salt this Master Bedroom is now a tranquil lake side room to retreat to after a full day in the sun: 







One more room. The sun porch overlooking the lake. This dark dated paneling was not the light airy spot it should be. 





By brining in a soft blue, there is now no better place to watch the sun set over the lake:






Are you still wondering if you can paint your wood paneling? Yes please do!! And go ahead and paint those dated wood kitchen cabinets too! 


 Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN.

CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer




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Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Just a sea of wood & then your transformation. Great job.

Aug 17, 2015 10:20 AM #24
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

The wood floors and wood beams were enough wood in this one Doyle Lee Austin Davison Iv ! They actually stand out more now without the knotty pine.

Thank you Kate McQueen, REALTOR® !

Exactly Jeff Dowler CRS . This was a much cheaper and faster fix than ripping out all that paneling and it actually has a nautical feel with the lines, etc.

Thanks Julia van Mook !

Yes this was a little overkill on the wood Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner . :)


Aug 17, 2015 11:19 AM #25
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Thanks Marti Garaughty . I sure do love being a Sharp Cookie!

I am so thankful they were okay with the beachy colors and gray worn furniture to pull it all together Nancy Chenevey . Afterall it is a lake home!

Good for you Ginger Harper . So many people are too scared to do it.

LOL, that is hysterical Nina Hollander .

Thanks so much Chris and Dick Dovorany .


Aug 17, 2015 11:19 AM #26
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

It is an easy fix Olga Simoncelli but one that so many people are not willing to make.

Thanks VBVFF Roger D. Mucci . And of course you were doing it years know your stuff!

A sea of wood was not a good thing here Lyn Sims ! :)



Aug 17, 2015 11:19 AM #27
Kim Boekholder Utah Real Estate
Results Real Estate 801.580.5624 - Draper, UT
Broker, Results Real Estate

Oh my gosh! I love love love this!  Best before and afters I've ever seen.  Thank you for sharing 

Aug 17, 2015 11:50 AM #28
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Photos say everything without you whispering a word. That's a beautiful transformation. Just beautiful and inspiring.

Aug 17, 2015 11:55 AM #29
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Shar Sitter beautiful pictures do show that somethings are easy to do - painting a wood panel is one of those things.

Aug 17, 2015 04:12 PM #30
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Shar, as you well know houses built at a certain time did have wood panelling, but before that house and since I've never seen a home panelled everywhere! It was the days before smart phones, so I'm sorry I couldn't get pictures.

Aug 17, 2015 09:28 PM #31
Mary Stewart
Keller Williams Atlantic Partners/Southside - Jacksonville, FL

I am really impressed.  Great job!

Aug 17, 2015 09:36 PM #32
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Those are beautiful "after" photos - the paint really does make a huge difference.

Aug 17, 2015 10:05 PM #33
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

This post is like a visit to panel heaven...thank you for sharing

Aug 17, 2015 11:36 PM #34
Morris Massre
Pembroke Pines, FL
Real Estate Instructor Broward County Florida

The real question is why would anyone even have paneling in the first place? 

Aug 18, 2015 03:40 AM #35
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Wow Shar! What a difference, and just for dollars! I love seeing the old and then the new.  You can talk all day, but you gotta show me something for me to really get the picture. Thanks!

Aug 18, 2015 11:41 AM #36
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Why thank you Kim Boekholder Utah Real Estate , that is so sweet of you to say.

Thanks Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents . As they say, pictures speak a thousand words!

Exactly Praful Thakkar !

But it is a memory you will always cherish Nina Hollander ! :)

Thanks so much Mary.

Paint makes such a difference Kat Palmiotti  and so many people are fearful to use it .



Aug 18, 2015 09:49 PM #37
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

There is a panel heaven Richie Alan Naggar ? :)

It was the groovy thing to do in it's time I guess Morris Massre ! LOL

Yes pictures are so helpful to clients for sure Evelyn Johnston .

Aug 18, 2015 09:49 PM #38
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Painting over that dated paneling is definitely an easy update!  You did an amazing transformation in this home! Can you share your tips for the best way to paint the paneling Shar Sitter

Aug 20, 2015 03:11 AM #39
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Yes Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging , hire a very good professtional painter! LOL. Seriously though. They know the best products to use, they have done it alot and know what they are doing. Not to say you can't do it yourself as the paint stores are always helpful to give you the right products. But make sure you use a good paint store rather than a big box store. You need the best product and experts.

Aug 20, 2015 07:36 AM #40
Allison Bernard
Keller Williams Central Rhode Island - East Greenwich, RI
Real Estate & Relocation Services 401-533-6916

Beautiful eye.

Sep 05, 2015 12:09 PM #41
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Shar, I enjoyed every photo!  What an enormous difference the painted walls made in this house!

Sep 12, 2015 03:37 PM #42
elizabeth Jackson

Painting wood panels is a cost effective solution!

Sep 28, 2015 12:46 PM #43
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Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M
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