I need some ideas what to do with paneled walls and suspended ceiling.

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My kitchen has medium-brown, wood-paneled walls and oak cabinets. I want to freshen up the place without spending a lot of money. So we are thinking about painting the cabinets. It's too much work to rip down the walls. Ideas and pictures, anyone? Also, how about ways to update a suspended ceiling without removing it? I'm pretty sure that there are more modern light fixtures I can but to replace the standard florescents. But anything else? Again, can't really remove it at this time.
Thank you for your help!
Carol Anne

  7 answers
  • Gk Gk on Apr 11, 2018
    You could paint your wood paneled walls. Ship lap is so popular now--usually painted white. Perhaps you could mimic the idea and paint your wood paneling white. I painted my oak cabinets a medium gray color and replaced some of my laminate countertops with butcher block. You could buy new panels/tiles for your suspended ceiling. They have a few more different textures available now compared to a few years back. You might also consider tin tiles.
    • Carol Anne Carol Anne on Apr 11, 2018
      Thank you. Great ideas. I was thinking that white paint on the paneling may make it look a bit like ship lap. I'll have to check out the options for the ceiling panels and their cost.
  • Ken Ken on Apr 11, 2018
    Sounds like you want to paint. As for suspended ceiling, there are different styles of panels available but if I understand what you are saying you don't want to invest in replacing those. The lights used in suspended ceilings are called "troffers" and you can obtain those with LED lighting. They will still look the same but use less electricity.

    Perhaps your best course is to do the paint, perhaps adding some brightly colored accents and make a plan for when you can afford to remove the paneling and suspended ceiling and repair the walls and ceiling they are hiding.

    Were I you, I'd head on over to Pinterest. Spend some time with different search terms and you will eventually come across a kitchen similar to your but with an appearance that you find more appealing.
  • Ginny Ginny on Apr 11, 2018
    I have the old, old plastic paneling in my TV rm. which was installed by the previous owner of my house. I had a painter spray primer and then apply two coats of cream paint and paint the trim white. There is a suspended tile ceiling but that doesn't bother me. Had that replaced with new tiles as I used to smoke and tiles were stained. I am more interested in the looks of the walls...they turned out great.
  • Jim Cox Jim Cox on Apr 11, 2018
    The wall on the left (gray) and to the left of the fireplace (tan) are both paneling. Previous owners were nail happy and hung way too many things on them. I filled the holes, and then mudded the seams and decorative lines in the paneling, let dry, sanded, refilled, let dry, and sanded again. Now they're painted, and I doubt I ever mess with drywall.
  • Carol Anne Carol Anne on Apr 12, 2018
    Wow, looks beautiful! Thank you.
    I think you just gave me my solution!
  • DesertRose DesertRose on Apr 12, 2018
    One idea is to paint over those paneled walls. It is inexpensive and not hard. First we calked the cracks, painted with aroma free Kilz primer, then painted the color we chose over the primer. It really turned out well too! We also put a wallpaper border along the ceiling. Hope this helps.
  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Apr 12, 2018
    I would paint out the panelling. Seal the lines with crack compound. Clean the walls thoroughly with a solution of baking soda, borax and hot water. Let dry, Prime with Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 primer and then put on your final coat. Your primer can be tinted to the same color as your finish coat. You can always do the ceiling later as you may wish to remove the suspended ceiling. If and when you do you can then change out your lighting.
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