Redecorating with wood-Opinions Wanted

I recently bought a house. Now most of the house is quite nice enough. Nearly all the decor is pleasant and executed well enough that I can live with it indefinitely, but would like to redo it someday. Some small things need to be done sooner. I have a closet that needs a new back as the back wall was removed in mold remediation, and a bathroom which needs the paint stripped and then repainted as it is peeling.

But then there is the smallest bedroom. I knew we had to do some work in there, but fooled myself that I would be able to mud up the one unfinished wallboard wall and repaint and replace a section of faux brick and that would be enough. There is no way though. I can’t live with such shoddy work in my house. The wall around the doorway is only four feet across, and it leads to a small 4’ x 4’ hallway between the family room and the laundry room. It looks like the door way was added later. In doing so, they put up drywall and cut the corners off of it so they could leave the existing ceiling molding in tact. Imagine that, the hallway ceiling molding pierces the doorway and continues into the room! On top of that little atrocity, the paneling, which has been painted bright melon, has been inexpertly installed. Some of the ceiling is above 8’ and so they just butted another piece of paneling up there, nearly lining it up with the one below it. There is nothing to cover the seams in the paneling.

Ok, so I decided that rather than repaint, I would panel the room. My plan is to remove the old paneling, put up new furring strips, (the house walls are cinder block or poured concrete) install tongue and groove knotty pine finished in tung oil for the ceiling and upper walls and aromatic cedar wainscoting finished with tung oil on the lower half of the walls. There is to be a knotty pine chair rail between the two. The ceiling will be done with long boards so there is one cross wise seam that I plan to cover with a small pine beam. Above the door to the room, I am going to build in a cabinet with pine doors. In the back corner near the ceiling is a pipe for the bathroom fan vent. I plan to build a pine cabinet around that to conceal it and to muffle the noise.

Does that sound nice to anyone but me? Any suggestions? It is to be used as a bedroom. I am also considering taking the cabinet over the vent down to the floor to make a very small closet.

There is currently a large window with white trim in one wall. I was thinking I will need to redo the trim in knotty pine.

I’ve got knotty rough cedar paneling and I fucking hate it. It makes the room dark, for one. And I’m bored to hell with it. I’d seriously re-think that if I were you. I really want to drywall my living room (I’m willing to leave it in my office, as I have a big stone fireplace and the rustic effect works). My husband and son say I’ll ruin the character of the room. That’s the point, gentlemen!

This is a very light pine with a medium amount of knots on the ceiling and upperwalls. It is lighter in color than the bright melon that the room is currently done in. I plan to give it a clear finish with about a satin luster. The cedar wainscoting is darker though, but still I am finishing it and not leaving it rough. I am avoiding rough textures–no bandsawn surfaces on the wood. All of the wood has smooth faces. Do you really think it will make the whole room look dark?

I would not want to redo my living room in it. I rather like the painted paneling (it is a warm beige) and white trim and white ceiling in there.

Well, it sounds much lighter than mine, so it’ll probably be ok, light-wise. Also, you can paint that wainscotting. We had stained and varnished wainscotting throughout our entire kitchen (going horizontal rather than vertical, walls and ceiling, with the exception of the two tiny walls). That drove me nuts, too…and I have a picture window in my kitchen!. I finally painted it celery green with a darker shade on the little walls (and 12" barnwood on the wall that houses the appliances). It’s much better. So, yeah…if you get sick of it, paint the lower half and it should be bearable. I trust you’ll post some pics when you’re done?

I’ve lived in houses with paneled rooms and they do end up looking dark. They also negatively affect the resale value of the house, because a lot of people when they see paneling instantly ask “when was the fire?” Paneling is often use as a quick fix to cover up serious wall damage.

If it were me, I would do the wood wainscoting on the bottom and drywall on the top half of the walls. You’ll get a nice contrast between the wood and the painted wall (keep the paint light or white) and the room will look a lot brighter. It also won’t look like someone tried to quickly cover up some wall damage with paneling.

Your ceiling sounds good.

Don’t cover up the floor vent when you bring the cabinet down. If it’s not practical to make a closet without covering up the floor vent, consider putting in shelves. Shelves with a wood finish will look good with the overall wood theme of the room.

Not sure what you mean about a cabinet over the door, but cabinets that high up don’t work for short people like me.

The window and door trim should be done in matching wood.

Just my 2 cents.

I did this quick sketch of what I planned. The wall that you don’t see has a triple window in it, which faces east and takes up most of the wall from knee height to ceiling. That is one reason I am not as concerned with it being too dark. The cabinet over the door is to be lined with cedar for blanket and seasonal clothing storage. I only anticipate it being used twice a year. Drywall is right out for this room. I do agree that the paneling could be painted if I got sick of it, but I am not going to put in drywall at this time. Out drywall skillz are not leet and I hate working with the stuff. Any drywalling will wait until I can pay a contractor to do it right.

There are no floor vents. The vent of which I spoke is a conduit from the wall the room shares with the bathroom, to the ceiling. It is for the vent in the bathroom, which is why it will be occasionally noisy. The room itself is heated with baseboard heat which will retain the same neutral beige metal screens it has now. In the drawing, the vent would be in the upper left hand corner near the ceiling.

I had a nice post all fixed up but the hamsters ate it. Grr.

I think your idea is fine. We did a portion of our dining area in bead board, and I think it looks great.

Pic 1
Pic 2
Pic 3

One thing I might change about your plan would be to have a white ceiling. With that and the triple window it shouldn’t be too cave-like.

Did you redo the window moldings when you installed the beadboard?

Yes, we had to because the ExWife had painted them navy blue and bright green. (The entire kitchen had been as well. You really had to see it to believe it.)

The molding itself came from Home Depot; I don’t know if it was specifically for window/door casings or not. A lot of places we used baseboard because it is wider and can cover up a multitude of sins. :wink:

Three pics of the window casing:




It being a different wood, it did not stain exactly to match the bead board, but I think the overall effect is very pleasing to the eye. It all sort of blends.

If I can get mine to look that nice, I will be quite happy.

Thank you. My Hubby and a friend of his did the work. It took them a long time, but the end result is well worth it. I believe he used a Minwax stain (Golden Pecan, perhaps?) which he then brushed polyurethane over. It really brought out the golden highlights of that oak bead board.

Let me show off our floorstoo. Remodeling is tough work but also very rewarding. Good luck with your project.

What kind of floors are those? I don’t recognize them. They do look nice.

These are stained concrete. In Hubby’s former life the house was carpeted. Sometime after the divorce the carpet had to be removed due to its condition. At that time he merely painted over the floors (he was low on money and time). That looked ok; it was a nice honey/peanut butter color; but it began to wear off and chip up. Before we got married he and I removed the paint by using power grinders with wire brushes. I then stained the floors with black stain and laid several coats of wax over. The light color did not come completely up (as you can see) but the swirls ended up making the whole effect similar to marble. Since we did all the labor ourselves, the cost was about 16 cents a square foot.