What to do with the paneling in my den!
September 18, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My "60s" den has wood paneling on 3 walls with a long fireplace/ brick mantel on the 4th wall. I am updating the rest of the house and want to do the den but don't know if I should keep the paneling and how to update the fireplace wall. Is 'paneling' out or should I keep it? Can you please help? Many thanks. Nel
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Photos would be helpful.
September 18, 2013 at 11:56am   
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If it's typical 60s style plywood paneling, it can be painted and will look very nice, as it is a clean look with a bit of texture and interest.
September 18, 2013 at 12:10pm   
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Beth Scheel
Yeah, if it is plywood paneling, definitely out. I've seen other people on here complain about paneling, though, and it is a nice wood paneling that I would keep. But I enjoy real wood. I have a wall of cheap plywood paneling and someday I'll paint it. I have read to start with Zinsser primer and then paint over it. Maybe scuff it up first so the primer will stick.
September 18, 2013 at 12:54pm   
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Pure Home
Hi Nel,

Though real wood paneling can have a classic feel, the artificial panels can make a room look somewhat dated. There are some easy solutions for this if you are not looking to invest the time into completely tearing the panels out and repainting. I will attach some inspiration images below.

1. Paint the panels white. Follow this step with white-washing the brick. All the brightness will modernize, brighten, and clean up your space. You will be amazed at how refreshed it feels.

2. Paint the panels a neutral color, and paint the trim white. For the fireplace, you can add a white molding mantle; this will really bring a sense of traditional and classy up your space.

3. You can give your panels a beachy, white-washed look. You could follow with a nautical design, and paint the fireplace white, with driftwood accents on the mantle.

Also, what is the flooring like in your basement? If there is dated, worn, or oddly colored carpet in there, we can find solutions for you there, also.

DC Design House 2012

July Rug Living Room

Loft-Like Basement Renovation

Bastrop County Plantation House


Andie, ASID
September 18, 2013 at 3:23pm   
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Thanks, I like the DC Design House 2012 . Am thinking: How would a light orange fireplace look along that 4th wall with the other 3 painted offwhite? The adjoining room is newly painted RH 'glacier'. Maybe I could paint the paneling 'glacier' or even 'silver sage'. What do you think? Nel
September 18, 2013 at 5:02pm   
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Pure Home
I think that would be beautiful! Anything to brighten up your space is going to feel refreshed and new. What is the color of the light orange, exactly?
September 19, 2013 at 8:46am   
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Thanks. Now I am thinking of a bright orange for the fireplace 'wall' (the fireplace/brick wall is 16' across and 41/2' top to bottom) going all across the wall with 3' of paneling above it. I think it could be fabulous looking with the other 3 paneled-walls painted silver sage...There is also a built-in bookshelf that covers about half of one of the walls (there are drawers and cabinets with doors on the bottom). Would I maybe paint the back wall of the shelves with the orange? Would the trim around the room be white? Sorry I can't send a picture (not sure how to do it....) The room measures 20'x16' with a french door on one wall, opening to the kitchen on the wall with the bookshelf and the other wall has a door to the front room. What do you think. I so appreciate your help. Nel
September 19, 2013 at 12:38pm   
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