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Usually, there’s nothing that will update a room faster than painting the dated wood paneling. Last week I did a design/color consultation with one of my readers, who had written me for help with her dark paneled den.She felt she might be ready to take the plunge and paint it – if I thought it would improve the space.This is what I had envisioned her den might look like: You see, her den was panelled in barn wood and was stained blue when it was installed 35 years ago.The color has patinaed over time and it now resembles the hugely on-trend silvery, limed wood that’s showing up in every design magazine out there.Do this step only if you want to minimize the appearance of the grooves (1/8" deep or less).To fill, apply lightweight spackle with a putty knife..Be careful not to let the brush strokes dry in the grooves before smoothing with the roller.I bet you’d never thought I’d say this, but there are situations where you should NOT paint that old wood paneling.
If your walls have a vinyl or thin veneer finish, you'll need to take extra care when painting them.The bookcases flanking the fireplace are painted in an off-white with a peachy undertone (hard to tell in this photo, but it’s peachy), and the backs are painted cinnamon.The rest of the trim in the room is stained with the same blue stain that is on the wood paneling. I decided that all the stained trim should be painted white (around all the 4 openings into the room), as well as the currently peachy-white bookcases.” But since the room feels a little heavy, she wonders if she should paint her 2-story brick fireplace. Upon inspection, I see that her fireplace brick is quite fabulous – very nice red, not a hint of orange.And the bricks are larger than normal – she informs me it is “queen’s brick” that is no longer manufactured and was brought to Nashville from Virginia all those years ago. You will regret it in 10 years.” So how will we lighten up this room and make it feel fresh and current?