Decorating & Furniture/Wall Panel


My den is so dated. The walls are dark wood paneling and the room is appx 12x15.  Its so dark and I want to brighten the room without tearing down the paneling. The top portion is of a decorating grain its actually nice, just dark and it makes the room look smaller. I have tried bright colored furniture covers and curtains, what else would brighten it up.  

Hi Marsha,

Thanks for writing.  I have a solution for you that you can accomplish yourself in a weekend.  Paint.  Wonderful paint.  It's the most economical design tool there is.  Here's a specific "how to" so that you can get started right away, and brighten your dull den.

Lightly sand the panelled surface, then remove dust with a tack or cheese cloth.  Prime the surface with KILZ (available in a water-based version as well as oil-based; water-based preferred for easy clean up).  After you've applied the KILZ, allow it to dry overnight for best results.  

Apply two coats of your favorite color latex (water-based) paint over the primed surface.  Use a satin finish rather than flat.  Voila!  New, bright, happy den.


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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


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