Home Interior Decorating: Liven Dreary Wall Paneling

Home interior decorating: Tired of that old, dreary wall paneling? Make it look new by refinishing it following these steps using sandpaper, primer and paint.

When we moved into out home just about every room was covered in old and scratched, dark and dreary wall paneling. To be perfectly honest - most of it is now gone. But, when I was decorating one of my children's rooms I got an idea.

I wanted to break up the monotony. I decided to try and do something a little different with the paneling. What did I have to lose? I figured that if I didn't like the way it turned out I would simply tear it all down which was what I had originally planned to do anyway. I decided to try leaving the bottom three feet of the walls covered in paneling.

With a tape measure and chalk line I measured the paneling three feet up from the floor and marked my line. Taking a carpenter's knife I scored the paneling on this line several times. With a flat head screwdriver I pried the upper part of the paneling that I was removing away from the wall and the paneling popped apart smoothly at the line I had scored.

I was very pleased with myself, however no one's perfect. My next step was to paint the paneling but I'm afraid to say I found out the hard way that paint does not stick well to the veneer finish most paneling is coated with. It looked beautiful - for about two days until it started to peel. Frustrated I racked my brain. SANDPAPER! I sanded the paneling lightly using a fine grit sandpaper to "roughen up" the finish. This time before painting I also applied a coat of primer. The result was beautiful! Not only did the paint stick but by sanding and priming the paneling first it made any scratches on the paneling all but disappear. It looked brand new. Use your imagination. Paint your paneling any color you'd like. If you want add even more detail by painting the grooves and ridges on the paneling in contrasting or coordinating colors. Experiment with different colors, paint finishes and even textures. Try your hand at sponge or rag painting. You'll be amazed! It's really quite easy - just remember these simple steps:

1. Cut paneling. (if desired)

2. Sand lightly with fine grit sanpaper to "roughen up" the finish.

3. Prime paneling using interior primer.

4. Paint, texture, decorate as desired.

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