Easy Ways To Transform Wood Paneling

Sarah Robinson - O2E Brands Copywriter

Ah, wood paneling. It’s every disco lover’s dream (it’s so very ‘70s!) but to the rest of us, it’s a bit of a nightmare. What makes it truly terrible is that it’s quite difficult to remove, and the process can be costly. The good news is, there are plenty of other ways to ditch that dated look without spending a small fortune.

Paint it white

A fresh coat of white paint will instantly elevate the look of your wood paneling. While the natural wood color can tend to make a room feel darker, white paint will make your space look bright, fresh, and clean. This option still lets you show off the texture of the wood, which keeps a bit of that rustic element in play.

Go dark

While white paint will help you show off the paneling, going with a darker paint color will truly help you cover it up. A rich navy or dark gray works wonders, especially when paired with bright white accents like shelving or a wall unit. Your focus will go to the white elements, which helps to hide the panels.

Lighten up with whitewashing

Whitewashing is a happy medium between going dark and going with solid white. It certainly helps to tone down the extreme look of floor to ceiling wood on every wall, while still showcasing the natural tones and textures of the wood. It’s the perfect way to embrace the look while making it much more modern.

Be smart with art

If you ultimately decide to keep a wall or two with the original wood paneling, you can help to tone it down a bit with some cleverly placed artwork. Choose pieces that complement each other, and hang them in interesting arrangements. Mix up shapes and sizes to create a look that helps to take the focus away from the wood.

Get clever with accents

Once you’ve painted, there are several great ways to help hide that pesky paneling even more. For a large wall, consider adding in some built-in shelving in a contrasting tone. This lets you show off some panels if you want to, and if you want to totally cover them, you can just fill the shelves up with books. (Which, as a bonus, will make you look really smart!

You can also soften the look of the space by adding long, flowing drapes, cozy chairs, and a big, soft sofa. This helps to create a better balance of textures, creating a warm and welcoming feeling in the room.

So if you’ve got some wonderful wood paneling in your home, there’s no need to run from it. In fact, you should embrace it! Try out some of these techniques and turn your outdated space into a chic, modern space.