Paint my original woodwork?
Elizabeth Hertweck
August 7, 2014
I just bought a 1950's -60's ranch that has incredible custom woodwork throughout. I feel like the natural wood (knotty pine??) is outdated, but it kills me to paint over it as it is in such good shape. This picture was taken before we moved in. Since then, we have pulled up the carpet and have the original pine floors. I am also attaching another picture from this website that I am using as inspiration for the room. Any advice? Thanks in advance!
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You won't be able to exactly duplicate the airiness of your inspiration photo, however, using lots of white and light airy fabrics and accessories will help. You don't have an entire room of brown wood, that's a plus. White washing will retain some of the characteristics of wood but not cover completely like paint.

4 Likes    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:00AM
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Maybe you could paint the wall and built-in on the opposite side of the fireplace, as well as the french doors, and leave the rest alone? These are all a little more rustic than what you have but support the general idea. You might also consider a new mantle.
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:11AM
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Jennifer Hulse Design
You're in good company when it comes to feeling that wood paneling shouldn't be painted over because it's expensive, or too nice. Rest assured, there are no Paneling Police!

I say go ahead and paint. A wash could be good, as the previous commenter said. It depends on the look you're going for. From the inspiration photo, I'd say paint would look great. It will also add more contrast since the floor is also pine.

Go for it! Post an "after" photo so we can see the finished project. Good luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:19AM
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Elizabeth Hertweck
thanks for all the comments! I wish I had an alternate view of the room to show. The other side of the room is mostly windows with a large bay window opposite the fireplace. There are also a couple of rose colored stained glass windows that match the glasswork on the cabinetry next to the fireplace. I'm not into the rustic look much. So I think I am leaning towards painting the woodwork the cream trim color in the inspiration photo. I like the idea of changing up the mantel. Thanks again for all the great advice! This was first time posting a discussion and I'm super pleased with the responses!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:28AM
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Your inspiration photo seems to suggest you'd like to paint it. I say go with your gut!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:50AM
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I'm having the same dilemma! We have lots so beautiful (I think) tongue and groove wood paneling in the living room and we like it but, we have the house for sale and everyone says the house is too dark :( I'm getting very motivated to sell and I'm ready to paint it for more of a beach cottage feel. Ne also have a lot of stone around the fire place and on another wall and I'd like to paint that too.
    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:49PM
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Jennifer Hulse Design
Where do you live? If the beach is a lake shore in Michigan, you'll want to paint it a warm color, such as a warm white. If it's on the ocean, paint it a cooler white, a "white white". The white will reflect the daylight. You also may need some additional lighting. Without photos it's hard to give you solid advice.
    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:46AM
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