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Decorating & Furniture/painting a wood ceiling


Hi Toni, My question in a nutshell. Should I paint over knotty pine ceiling? I just inherited a house ( 1000 sq ft) by the beach. Its been lived in and smoked in for 40  yrs. Gets no direct sun, front faces north. Very dark inside w/ paneled walls, knotty pine beamed ceilings. I am going for cottage style. I want to paint the ceilings white as well as the walls and use lots of fun color in decorating. My family says no painting the ceiling. One of my concerns is the nicotine that surly has been imbedded in the ceiling. Priming and painting I hope would cover future odors. What do you think?

Hi Betsy,
White is the perfect color to paint; especially since you are going for a Cottage style. I recently moved into a finished attic space that presented the same problem; old dated and dark paneling, I painted it. The white will work wonders in lightning the space. Bringing in blues, greens, yellows and even more white is the perfect backdrop for a beach house. You can also use grays, taupes and blues in your design to pick up on the surroundings (sand, water, sky.) Using baskets, rattan, wicker and bamboo are also great choices to further emphasize the cottage feel, and bring in much needed texture. Prime and paint away! Hope this helps. Good luck.

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Toni Gibbs


I can't answer any questions in regards to structural, or commercial space planning. I can assist in choosing furniture, accessories, color choices, lighting, recommending resources to find what you are looking for.


My experience comes from a passion for decorating, and an inherent understanding of the "art of Interior Design."

Dress for Success (Professional Womens's Group)

I attempted to obtain a certificate in Interior Design from Sheffied School of Interior Design, but, did not complete the course. I realized that there were many areas that felt remedial to me, while there are many other areas that are helping me to continually expand my level of expertise.

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