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How To: Wake Up from a Knotty Pine Nightmare

created on: 08/29/08

Help!!!! My sewing studio (basement) is a knotty pine nightmare.  The room where I teach sewing is large, low ceilings and KNOTTY PINE everywhere.  In two weeks the ladies will return to make their children's custom Halloween costumes.  They prefer sewing in my studio, don't ask me why, but it's got to get better than this for me to get excited about it.  I reviewed online comments this morning about painting the paneling and, from what I read, I may end up shoveling coal in Hell if I paint it. 

I need advice, opinions, ideas, to make this spacious room more inviting and functional. I can't even see it's potential anymore.  I'm blinded by it's limitations.  It's full of mismatched chairs, lamps, a t.v.--ughhh!!! 

Is there a Decorator 911 out there?

created on: 08/29/08

created on: 08/29/08

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kitty771 on Aug 31, 2008:

The same thing happened to my friend Lynn. She bought an older home and it was a notty pine nightmare from hell!


She got right on it and bought herself loads of wood filler and filled in the gaps between the boards and then she smoothed it down and painted it with this really nice textured paint.


THe only way that you would of known that there had been a really ugly wall there before was if she had told you.


I'd say look up how to change a knotty pine wall into a flat wall online.


Youcan get some really great pointers and stuff.


Good luck!


DIY Maven on Aug 29, 2008:

Do I have a knotty pine story for you. I'll tell you about it in an e-mail. You'll find out why....


dewonangus on Aug 29, 2008:

We are renovating a house that had wood panelling in the basement.  We ripped it out and covered up the damaged drywall with paintable wainscotting.  Our basement ceiling is only 7 and 1/2 feet so the vertical lines in the wainscotting help with the illusion of a higher ceiling.  We added a 5-6" crown moulding and I think it looks fabulous.  We also added new  4" baseboards and quarter round.  If I was better at all this, I would attach a photo so that you could see how it looked before and after. 


lilyrose on Aug 29, 2008:

I had this problem in a couple of the never remodelled parts of my house.  I live in a very, very, very humid part of the USA.  Old wood panelling is really difficult to cover with paint.  If you sand it sucks up primer like you wouldn't believe.  If you don't sand it the primer peels off.  One of the panels actually loosened up from the wall and buckled outward from the difference in moisture...


If the sheets of panelling are nice and level and don't overlap in any kind of an obvious way you can sand it and cover it with a thin layer of plaster texturing.  Then you can paint it if you want.  I did this in a guest room until I had enough $$$ set aside to put up new wallboard.


If the sheets are level and tightly bound to the wall you can cover them with pre-painted beadboard which looks really pretty and can be done (depending on the size of the room) in an afternoon or two.


ModHomeEcTeacher on Aug 29, 2008:

That's a great idea.  The ceiling is low, though.


dewonangus on Aug 29, 2008:

A coat of paint would go a long way.  The only thing you need to remember is to put some stain killer/blocker on the knots or the colour will eventually bleed through.  You could even add a smaller moulding trim just below the moulding at the top and then paint both mouldings and the wall in between the same colour to give the illusion of a crown moulding.  I would also paint the baseboard the same colour as the moulding at the top.


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