My wall needs help!

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This area used to have a sliding door going to a screened in porch many years ago. My husband's Uncle enclosed it for his mom and turned it into a bedroom. The door leads into my stepsons old room. I want to do something with this wall. It's ugly paneling that the boys busted when they were young. This is part of my living room wall. I thought about opening it up with a wider doorway and put barn doors on both sides. Sorry about the clutter in the picture.

q my wall needs help
q my wall needs help

I can't paint all the walls. Maybe the ugly cheap panel by the door.

  14 answers
  • FrugalFamilyTimes.com FrugalFamilyTimes.com on Feb 16, 2021

    Your door idea sounds great! I think painting the panelling will make the room fresh looking too!

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Feb 16, 2021

    you could white wash the paneling or paint it to brighten it up -you could open it up into the other room or you could just add a wider door like you are talking about - as far as the busted paneling you would have to repair or replace it too

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Feb 16, 2021

    Paint would definitely make that paneling look great! Like a white washed cottage :) As for places its "busted" if you plan to paint it you can patch wood paneling with sheetrock mud just like you can to sheet rock.

    A wider opening would be great too I think, because there was already an opening all of the supports should still be in place so you can just remove what he used to cover it up and then add barn doors of sliders etc.

  • Em Em on Feb 16, 2021

    Brighten the whole area by painting it a light color. Clean well with TSP OR if it is glossy a light sanding may be necessary for even a primer to stick. Then go for two coats of latex. I love the look of painted paneling. Give the door a pop of color with your favorite. What a huge difference it will make.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Feb 16, 2021

    I had an old bedroom that was paneled with dark wood and also a family room. I scuff sanded the paneling, primed and painted. Doing the steps allowed the paint to hold up quite well and it totally changes the look from the dark, dingy 70's paneling. I think you also should paint the entire room and that a wider door or replacing the slider would be great!

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 16, 2021

    You can patch the paneling and paint it if you don't want to get into an extensive renovation to replace it all. I like the barn door idea but I'm not sure how you would be able to secure it, in case you use it for a bedroom. You could always remove the entire opening back to the original and use it as a bonus room.

  • Maura White Maura White on Feb 16, 2021

    I love your idea! That would look fabulous!!!

  • Wow, I think that sounds awesome. We painted our paneling and we love it...https://www.exquisitelyunremarkable.com/2020/10/living-room-makeover-on-a-budget.html

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Feb 16, 2021

    Hello. Are you happy with the wood tone? We have a log cabin and too much wood is dark and dreary.

    We are quite pleased the previous homeowner placed paneling over natural cedar logs in two bedrooms and painted it a light color. I would suggest not to hesitate to your paint paneling for a room brightening update. Our paneling grooves are not filled and I feel its a huge improvement.


    I think you’ll be really pleased with your results. Best wishes in your wall rehab adventure!

    Heres helpful links!

    I hope this helps!

    https://www.hometalk.com/2530308/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-painting-wood-paneling


    https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/painting-wood-paneling

  • GeorgiaBulldogsFan GeorgiaBulldogsFan on Feb 16, 2021

    When we purchased our home several years ago, it had an office are with dark paneling. We used TSP to clean the paneling and painted the wall first with a primer and then added a calming soft yellow paint. It made a huge difference in this room. Good luck with your project.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 17, 2021

    You could white wash or paint the paneling. For a more updated look bead board would make the space look modern.

  • Janice Janice on Feb 17, 2021

    Your door widening and barn door idea sounds like a worthwhile change. You can clean the paneled walls well and then paint it in a light color that will certainly brighten the room and make it more pleasant. Use a good primer such as Zinsser 123 to prep the paneling before painting.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Feb 19, 2021

    Barn doors would look great, but a fresh coat of white paint would really make a huge difference in that room and brighten it up.

  • Denise Denise on Feb 23, 2021

    In my previous home, I had planned to remove the wall between the home office and the mud room, which was the only wall in the entire house that had paneling. I found out that the paneling WAS the wall! To save myself time and money, I bought some thin batting and several yards of burlap in a light color. I stapled up the batting and covered it with the burlap, using only about a quarter inch overlap to staple it to the paneling. I then used sisal rope as a border around the wall and over the seams. It looked pretty good and provided some much needed insulation on that wall. You could, of course, use any fabric that is heavy duty, and you could trim it out in some nice gimp in a matching color for a more elegant look. This took me two days for an 11' X 8' wall, without help from family members who thought it was a crazy idea. They ate their words when it was finished. Victory was mine.

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