I'm looking for an inexpensive way to cover wood paneling. My boyfriend and I found the best apartment, but unfortunately, the landlord has left the dark wood paneling from the 1970s. How do I cover it up/brighten the space without ruining the walls?This message has been edited. Last edited by: Elle_Gray,
Why don't you ask the landlord if you can paint/refinish the wall panelling. You might be surprised at his answer. If he perceives this to be an improvement to his property, he might just go for it and even spring for the materials, if you do the work.
If you think this is a pipe dream, it's not. I have successfully negotiated this type of deal with several landlords in the past. In one instance, in a gorgeous Brooklyn brownstone apartment, the landlord supplied the labor and we paid for the paint.
And, two years ago, my very sharp sister persuaded her landlord to replace all the dated windows in their two-story townhome with state of the art energy efficient windows -- AT HIS COST. How? She reminded him that he could get an Energy-Star t.ax deduction for doing so. He jumped at the opportunity. Of course, my sister and husband have been very good tenants for five years, so that was a factor in their favor.
Try it, you have nothing to lose.This message has been edited. Last edited by: aychihuahua,
This goes without saying, but when you offer to paint the paneling, reassure him it will be done in a white or off-white color. :>)
This may not be allowed or possible in your rental place but my sister had some paneling in her house first covered with a wallpaper type covering that is made to smooth over the groves in paneling before you paint. You can't even tell there was paneling there now.
Ramblin', as a matter of fact, years ago dear friends used a similar paper product w/ good results on their paneled walls.
Elle, welcome. If your landlord won't comply w/ your offer or request to paint the paneling, there are other tactics you can employ to downplay it. Some include...
~hanging large colorful objects on walls such as framed maps, quilts, rugs, posters, enlarged photography, tapestries, collages, framed papers or fabrics, painted canvases, upholstered headboards, etc.
~extending a rod, cord or wire and fishing panels of drapery to create a soft wall of color, lightness and/or pattern.
~downplaying the field of dark wood via colorful drapery (which can be extended beyond the window frames), upholstery, rugs, art and some painted furniture pieces. Re. the painted furniture, a tall piece such as a decorative screen, armoire or secretary desk can help.
~do maximize natural light while adding much needed artifical light to your spaces.
~colorful plants can add more pops of color to your space as well.
~create a canopy treatment over the headboard of your bed for color there.
~opt for other materials vs. wood for your furniture such as upholstered pieces, ironwork, glass, metals, lucite, etc.. Keep contrast to walls in mind.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Froo Froo,
Thanks for all the ideas! My boyfriend and I talked to the landlord again about painting and this time he said he'd think about it! If he says no again, at least this time we have ideas on how to make it work for us. Thanks everyone
Best of luck, Elle.
Oh that is a good sign that he is willing to 'think about it'! That was not a quick no!!!
When we had a temporary apartment between houses and moves, I used a large print on the wall that was light in color, this helped a lot. I will reuse that frame to stretch fabric over it for a guest room wall treatment (4'x5' size. Check Craigslist and online for ideas!
You can staple the fabric to a wood frame (made with 2X2" or use duct tape in the back to hold the fabric (no one sees it) if the fabric is heavy enough not to show the darker tape pieces. Sounds messy but hey duct tape holds the world together!
*****We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are! ***** (Anaias Nin)***** http://pinterest.com/mary_ruth/
A few houses back I had a 1970s house that was all paneling except for the bathrooms. It was just regular paneling and not solid knotty pine of anything so I didn't feel bad about doing, but I used the product Ramblin' Rose mentioned.
It's called liner paper and you apply it like wallpaper, but you hang it horizontally across the grooves instead of top to bottom like wallpaper. There are different types but the heavy duty stuff is fairly thick with fibers in it and it extremely easy to work with. You can get it prepasted and it doesn't cost a whole lot. The last time I got it it ran around $13 a roll in my area.
Before applying it, you will need to prime the walls. I can't think of a clear primer at the moment, but someone else around here probably knows of a product like that. If you don't prime it, it may not stick of may fail in a few years. Guess it depends on how long you want to stay there.
Once you have the liner hung and it has had time to dry and pulled tight across the seams, it's best to prime the it. You don't have to, but it can really suck up the paint if you don't. One of the paint + primer products may do the job.
If there are humps in the wall where two pieces of paneling meet, you may still see the hump, but the grooves in the paneling really do disappear with the heavy paper. Of course, buying primer, paint, plus several rolls of liner paper will cost more than just paint, but if you're planning to stay a long time, your enjoyment of your surroundings are likely to make it worth it if you aren't going to be allowed to paint.
This is a before and after of my home office at that house. I only painted this room after hanging the liner paper-all the other rooms were wallpapered once they were lined. If you look real hard, you might notice to the right of the filing cabinet the slight hump where two pieces of paneling met over a stud other than that there was no evidence of lines even if you ran your hand across it.
This was in the same house. This room was lined then papered. The change made a huge difference in how I felt about this room and how much time I wanted to spend in it. After turning it into my own style, it was my favorite room in the house. Changing the walls made a world of difference.
Elle, don't know if you're still around. Personally, I believe it looks terrific painted, if done properly.
If it were my place, I would ask the landlord to approve each and every material used and/or suggest alternatives, if necessary. Then, I would also ask him to inspect the space after each and every step, signing off (in writing) along the way.
As previously mentioned, don't skip the priming step. Besides being important for quality, it usually saves paint. Sorry, I don't believe the primer+paint products out there work as well, IME.
If you disagree and believe the approval and sign-off steps are unnecessary - no worries. It's you and your boyfriend's deposit **$ when you move out - if he then claims your job was inadequate and/or defective.
Oh, Bella, your room transformations are gorgeous! I LOVE the second set of photos. That room is just magnificent!
I often wonder if some of these landlords have the same decor in their private home. Why would they expect tenants to live in something outdated looking? They don't have to do a total renovation to make the rental somewhat pleasing. It all comes down to they want the monthly rent check w/o having to give much in return.
Bella, your rooms look fantastic. Where did you purchase the liner paper? I have a huge room with bad walls and think this would be the perfect solution. Sounds like a lot of work but the results are great (at least your's are) thanks
Bella that looks great - what is the name of that liner? We were planning on painting our dark panels as is but this liner paper option is worth exploring.
show him a pottery barn mag, he will see how nice it can look painted
JC-Back in the day, I got the liner paper at HD or Lowe's or my favorite wallpaper store. Wallpaper is getting hard to find (in our area at least) but it can be found on eBay both in pasted and unpasted varieties. The heavy duty type with the fibers in it worked much better than the cheaper type without the fibers and only cost a couple bucks more at the time.
Here's an eBay listing that actually has the label of the paper in the listing so you can get an idea of directions, etc. The pic doesn't show any real detail though. They might send you a sample if you ask.
The walls in my kitchen and MB are knotty pine panels. I painted them years ago. I don't mind the grooves at all. I'm a big fan of painted paneling. I would have liked it if the texture of the knots had shown thru, but alas, they don't show at all. I left the original paneling in the closet of the MB in case some future owner is curious about the walls.
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