How can I make over old 1970's panelled walls without painting?


My question is how can I turn my bedroom into a spot where I can relax and decorate to my liking when the walls are old 1970s dark brown paneling..I can't exactly paint right now because I have a 9 month old but if there's any other ideas out there I'd be glad to hear about them.

  5 answers
  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Sep 25, 2019

    Hi Alisha,

    I wallpapered one wall with that old paneling. First I cleaned it well then filled in all of the grooves with Spackle made for dry wall and wood. I did it as even with the panels as I could, but I did have to touch it up when it dried. It also needs to be smoothed out and feathered so you don't even know that it's there when it's covered. It can be hand sanded however, one thing that helped was a damp sponge to remove the excess. It takes time to do this but it could be done a little at a time - while your 9 month old is taking a nap. I used a strippable wallpaper so that it would come off easily when I wanted to change it. Of course, your other option would be to wait until your baby is older or hire a teenager to babysit while you work, then you could paint, if that is what you really want. I'd still fill in the grooves though. I hope this gives you some options to think about. Wishing you the best!

    • Alisha Kennedy Alisha Kennedy on Sep 26, 2019

      Thank you so much for your ideas. I really like the idea of being able to change out the wallpaper. I've seen painted paneling with the grooves still there but I haven't personally seen someone fill them in and even it out. Thank you for your time and help.

  • Shay Shay on Sep 25, 2019

    I would wallpaper over the paneling.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Sep 25, 2019

    Are you afraid of the fumes or you just don't have time? I'd suggest when you are able take the baby to granmas for a weekend so you can paint. You've waited this long a bit more won't hurt. You have your hands full now anyway.

    • Alisha Kennedy Alisha Kennedy on Sep 26, 2019

      Gramma actually lives with us. But your right I've lived here for 30 years so I can definitely wait, I just wanted to get some ideas going because its just so gloomy and I really feel if the walls were lighter it would look better and not feel as tomb like. Lol.

  • Andrea Kalpakoff Andrea Kalpakoff on Sep 26, 2019


  • Rymea Rymea on Sep 27, 2019

    You could try to cover them with fabric or wallpaper. Both more expensive and more trouble than painting.

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