Any suggestions for this ugly 50's plywood paneling?

I just bought this house and was going to remove the paneling but got a big surprise -there's nothing behind the plywood - just studs. I'd drywall it but the rest of the room has textured plaster so no matter what, this wall will not be the same as the rest of them.

I've thought about doing shiplap but it's not really my style. Aside from painting it, is there anything else I can do? I will be having a proper mantel installed and painting the fireplace.
q any suggestions for this ugly 50 s plywood paneling
  28 answers
  • Mlj16074185 Mlj16074185 on Oct 14, 2017
    We painted our panneling the same color as the walls - a light tan. I copied the idea from my neighbor. It certainly made the room brighter.

  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Oct 14, 2017
    you can buy textured paint to make the paneling look like the other walls, hope this helps xx

  • Brian Brian on Oct 14, 2017
    I would remove the panelling, install drywall , extend the brick work to the ceiling and paint white just my personal tastes

    • Gail Willson Gail Willson on Oct 14, 2017
      Thanks for your tip.

      I won't be able to extend the brickwork because it will be impossible to find the same style of bricks.

  • Susan Susan on Oct 14, 2017
    Paint it! Sounds weird, but prime and paint is cheap

  • Bijous Bijous on Oct 14, 2017
    You can stain it very dark. Will complement the fireplace and make the paneling "fall back". It would be gorgeous!

    • Gail Willson Gail Willson on Oct 14, 2017
      Thanks for the tip.

      I don't think I'm adventurous enough to go really dark, but I could always try it and if I didn't like it, I could paint over it.

  • Sharon Sharon on Oct 14, 2017
    I wouldn't let the problem with texture prevent me from removing the plywood and putting up drywall, you can buy rollers to do texture and also Homex makes a product to do texture, or you can also use pre-mix joint compound watered down also....
    You can also just do the plywood by priming it first with Zinseer or Kilz primer to block the stain, then paint it white to match the wall, then do a coat with the texture roller. I like to use thickened paint by adding 1/2c plaster of paris to semi-gloss paint. Practice on a piece of cardboard till you get the hang of it. If you mess up, just wipe off with a damp car sponge, wait til it dries and do again.
    You can get some pretty subtle effects by using a flat latex paint as the base coat, and then use a satin finish for the texture, it will show the texture effect off when the light hits it.

    • Gail Willson Gail Willson on Oct 14, 2017
      Thanks for your tips.

      I clicked the link and the first roller that was displayed would probably produce a pattern similar to the texture on the other walls.

  • Monicae Monicae on Oct 14, 2017
    Paint it or stain it a darker color and use it for an accent wall.

  • Big lulu Big lulu on Oct 14, 2017
    To me the biggest offenders in the room are the blue carpet and the mauve fireplace brick. Replace the carpet in a neutral color and paint the fireplace or re-surface the brick.
    Your home has a nice mid-century modern vibe. The wood paneling in not the problem but it doesn't go with the blues and pinks of the carpet and brick.

    • Gail Willson Gail Willson on Oct 14, 2017
      LOL - the first thing I did even before moving into the house was rip up that awful carpet and have the floors refinished. The floors are absolutely gorgeous now. Painting the walls is next on the list and I will also paint the fireplace.

  • William William on Oct 14, 2017
    I had that in my basement. All medium dark paneling over studs. No insulation. Who does that. DIY fail. I removed the paneling, insulated and put up drywall. You can paint the paneling with texture paint. Or remove it, add insulation (if you need to), put up drywall, and texture paint it. All depends on your skill and budget.

    • Gail Willson Gail Willson on Oct 14, 2017
      Same thing in my basement. 'Finished' space with no insulation on the outside walls.
      You're right - I need to check to see if there is any insulation behind this paneling. If not, then dry-walling is probably the answer.

  • Kim Holly McCoy Kim Holly McCoy on Oct 14, 2017
    I love it it is not ugly. You can always sand it lightly use painter rape and tape it off from bootom to top making the letter V then v they get smaller and smaller as you tape up then use different color stains painting each exposed area with a different color. Let dry pull off tape and wallah. Beautiful feature wall

    • Gail Willson Gail Willson on Oct 14, 2017
      It looks a lot better in the picture than in reality.

      I like your idea. I will have to get someone to help me with the taping because I'm a real klutz and would mess it up on my own.

  • Millie Millie on Oct 14, 2017
    I Like it also. I would get rid of the mirror; I do not think a mirror belongs over fire place, Nice place to hang art objects, Millie

    • Gail Willson Gail Willson on Oct 14, 2017
      I agree; the mirror is already gone and will be replaced by a piece of artwork.

  • Inetia Inetia on Oct 14, 2017
    Chalk paint; stressed if you like that look.

  • Bar10780531 Bar10780531 on Oct 14, 2017
    paint it; cover with decorative glass tiles

  • Bijous Bijous on Oct 14, 2017
    It would pair well with the black granite hearth. Go for it!

  • Barb Barb on Oct 14, 2017
    I personally would get rid of the left shelves and add bookcase on both sides with bottom doors, then paint the entire wall and fireplace white and add that mantle and the gold mirror is dated. Here’s a few photo ideas for mantle decorating.

    • Gail Willson Gail Willson on Oct 15, 2017
      Love these photos, especially the one at the top. Maybe shiplap is not such a bad idea after all.

      Thanks for your ideas.

  • Ellis Ellis on Oct 14, 2017
    I have painted paneling, and it turned out quite nicely. One coat of primer, then the top coat, and it covered quite well.

    On the other hand, it bothers me that you're in Canada and there's just studs. No insulation? If that's the case, I'd consider doing the drywall just so I could insulate that wall!

  • Big lulu Big lulu on Oct 15, 2017
    Great to hear. Go ahead with your plans and then see if you still think the wood paneling needs to be fixed. You can always paint it.

  • Millie Millie on Oct 15, 2017
    Gail. Not a piece of art work but a couple or more . Also
    Maybe a few small shelves to hold art. i would love to get my hands on that wall.
    LOL Millie

  • Darlene Darlene on Oct 15, 2017
    When I moved, I had a painter paint over the paneling. It look's great! Not sure if he used KILZ first or not. You could ask at the paint store.

  • Gail Willson Gail Willson on Oct 15, 2017
    Fortunately, I live on Vancouver Island and the winters are very mild here. :)

    Paint is probably the way I will go.


  • Barb Barb on Oct 15, 2017
    Yeah, that’s why I added that photo, alot people think shiplap and what comes to mind is beachy theme, it works in a lot of tends of updating without all the mess😊📌🎃

  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Oct 16, 2017
    One thing you might consider is to use beadboard wallpaper over the plywood. It would provide a bit of a focal point, along with some textural interest.

  • Saira V Hurtado Saira V Hurtado on Oct 16, 2017
    Our daughters room has wood panel walls! We both hated it. But we found a great color we liked and just decided to buy a paint/primer combo. Now it's our favorite room in the house!

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Oct 16, 2017
    Paint the paneling, the brick and the textured walls the same neutral wall color. Then install window treatments that coordinate with that color. Finally, add accessories that play up all of these colors.

  • Shirley Gottron Shirley Gottron on Oct 16, 2017
    I would wall paper it.

  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Oct 16, 2017
    Wow what a beautiful room. I too have paneling. I sanded it down, put on a coat of primer, then painted it a beautiful pastel yellow. Very light light yellow. I would love to see the fireplace when you’re done. I can never see any ugly in mid century homes. Yours is a beauty!

  • Pjo26908388 Pjo26908388 on Oct 16, 2017
    I love the fireplace as is and the paneling. Since you've gone to the trouble of refinishing the floors perhaps a refinish of the paneling to keep in line with the midcentury styling of your home.

    Straight up midcentury homes are easy to live in and warm wood colors are fabulous in the region where you live. Pleases maintain the current styling of your home- modern esthetic.

    I would spruce up the paneling and add midcentury lighting (sconces) and modern artwork. The paneling and fireplace are assets!

  • Kfc7963750 Kfc7963750 on Oct 16, 2017
    Shiplap over it, paint it white.