Asked on Dec 12, 2018

How do I hide brown wall paneling?

WilliamKathy Gunter LawLinda Sikut


I’m renting a cute lake cottage but the brown wood paneling is too dark for the room and the landlord says no painting it. Are there any temporary solutions?

7 answers
  • Try hanging a large light colored wall tapestry. Urban Outfitters has some nice ones. You can also use peel and stick wall paper. Check out Walls Need Love for lots of cute options that won't damage the wall underneath

  • William
    on Dec 12, 2018


    Make sure the paneling is clean and dry. Prime with a good stain blocking primer like Kilz. Then paint like painting regular walls. Acrilyc latex paint will work. If the paneling has grooves you can fill them with non shrink drywall patching compound. Just put on enough to fill the grooves. Let it dry overnight. Next day use a damp sponge to smooth the patch. Then prime and paint.

    • Thelma
      on Dec 12, 2018

      Sorry William, Sue said her landlord said no painting. She'll have to use something that's temporary, like peel & stick wallpaper that can be easily removed.

  • JW
    on Dec 12, 2018

    Have you seen the photographic back drops on sale all over the internet and ebay ? There are lots with a Christmas theme, perfect for the season, but others with a cabin wall look, planked wall look, scenic forests, flowers, city scapes, basically, anything you can think of. They come in sizes 1 meter up to 8 meters square and are really not very expensive. They could be pinned to your wall or hung on a tension wire [so as not to upset your landlord !! ] Also, because they are printed on canvas they can easily be cut to fit around doors and windows.

  • John Grimley
    on Dec 12, 2018

    Personally, I wouldn't trust anything that you stick to the wall. If it's there for any length of time, the sticky tends to leave a residue or bond with the wall! My advice would be to follow JW's advice & look to buying a backdrop. If you aren't allowed hooks etc to hang it, you might consider erecting a 'floating' stud wall - Normally the top & bottom 'plates' are fixed before inserting the uprights but with a floating studwork, the whole thing is erected so it's tight to the gap but not permanently fixed.

    You could even go down the route of free standing room dividers - usually two or three large panels that stand alone in a zigzag pattern such as

  • Linda Sikut
    on Dec 12, 2018

    Hi Sue,

    My name is Linda. You could also hang a light colored fabric across your walls. You could drape part of it and hang pictures in that part. With the peel & stick tiles and wallpaper available today, there are a lot of solutions to this problem. Just make sure that anything you purchase states that it is removable on the packaging. I had vinyl removable wallpaper that looked like corduroy (sort of). When I wanted to remove it, all I had to do was pull a corner and it came off easily. So that's another option. You could do it in "stripes" to make it look unique. Do a stripe of wallpaper, then measure the same width to leave as is, then add another stripe of wallpaper. Hang pictures on the wall part. It should lighten up your room and give it a unique look. Good luck. Wishing you the best.

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    on Dec 12, 2018

    Add mirrors and lighting to brighten the room. Hang something like a tapestry. Maybe a screen that is free standing near the wall. Landscape pictures to make it look like a window looking outside.

  • William
    on Dec 13, 2018

    You can use fabric as wallpaper. Soak fabric in liquid starch and apply like wallpaper. Just peels off and all you need to do is wash the walls.

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