Dark wood paneling

I'm currently trying to decide what to do with dark wood paneling in the family room. I hate to paint it. The house was built in the early 1980's. There is dark paneling on all walls of the family room. Ideas would be appreciated. It is a narrow room, with a brick fireplace on the end and a sliding patio door on one side leading to the back yard.
  11 answers
  • Rachel Rachel on Feb 26, 2015
    how about wall paper
  • Casey Casey on Feb 26, 2015
    I am moving to a house with the wood paneling throughout the house. I have decided to put up thin drywall on its side from the ceiling. I am doing a chair rail where the drywall stops and leaving the wood the rest of the way to the floor to look like a wainscoting. My husband likes the paneling so i had to compromise. I have seen many pictures of this, and it brightens up nicely. I have also seen some pickling ideas that looked nice as well.
  • ...Some people dont ' like painting wood'...but often thats the best option. ..especially if it is not REAL wood paneling....which it usually isnt. Paint refreshes, brightens and adds light to dark rooms that are living in the 60's thru the 80's, and if done properly, looks nice. You could also do beadboard , which is thin enough to put right over the paneling if that is a look that you like.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Feb 27, 2015
    Not of a fan of panelling unless it's the real thing in an old English manor or French chateau. I would drywall over the top or paint it.
  • Carol Stehling Carol Stehling on Feb 27, 2015
    Painting is the easiest, cheapest solution. If you like the look of the paneling but not the dark shade, you can put a paint wash over it in a lighter color, like a tan. Sand the paneling, and using latex paint, thin it by half with water. Use a rag to "wash" on the paint mixture. This will allow the wood grain to still be seen but lighten things up.
  • Karen Karen on Feb 27, 2015
    I had the dark wood paneling also in my family room. Painted and added a crown molding.
  • Lori Lori on Feb 27, 2015
    Paint it. You will love it and won't believe the difference it will make. In my humble opinion.
  • Barb Barb on Feb 27, 2015
    I agree with Marion. Unless it is real wood and not the flimsy 4X8 sheets paint it or tear it out and put in drywall.
  • Melody Melody on Feb 27, 2015
    Your house sounds exactly like ours...we painted all of the paneled walls and the brick on the fireplace too and added crown and base moulding; what a difference!! Everyone that comes in compliments us on how much warmer the room looks! Good luck :)
  • Judy Judy on Feb 28, 2015
    Some great suggestions! Any more?
    • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Feb 28, 2015
      @Judy How about putting up a chair rail, leaving the bottom half paneled and painted, then fill in the grooves of the top half and paint or wallpaper that? So you have the look of wainscoting. I know that filling in the grooves can be very tedious, so you could use some textured paintable wallpaper and just paint right over that.
  • Vicki Cunningham Vicki Cunningham on Mar 02, 2015
    Lowe's and Home Depot have a wallpaper that is very heavy and paintable. It comes in several designs and textures. Because of it's thickness, it conceals the grooves in the paneling. Helped a friend do this in a paneled kitchen and dining room and what a difference it made. Much prettier and more updated than just painting the paneling.