Painting Over Wallpaper and Wood Paneling

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

I was talking with a friend this weekend who told me she was tackling a paint project in her home.  I was so excited for her because I KNOW the power of a good paint job.  We moved into our 1980's colonial home a little over three years ago, and the mantra all along was 'paint, flooring, and lighting'.  We knew the bones of the home were good.  We also knew that if we could update the paint, flooring, and lighting, most rooms would be brought into the 21st century.

From start to finish this paint project took me about nine days.  This includes prepwork.  Below is a photo of the room when we toured the home.  One of the things I liked about the home was that it didn't have any cosmetic updates.  The green wallpaper was actually sort of charming.

(before moving in)

I say sort of...I knew it was going to go though!  Originally, I thought I would remove the wallpaper before painting, but we had just unsuccessfully tackled removing the wallpaper in the bathroom, and I wasn't up for the battle again.  Besides, if a paper is very-well adhered to the wall, why not just paint over it?!   I also found that Benjamin Moore sells a primer specifically for wallpaper called Fresh Start.  So that's what I used.  But before priming, I needed to prep the walls.  That included removing the outlet and vent covers, filling the nail holes, and caulking ALL of the seams of wood paneling and crown molding.  I never find the prep work to be all that fun, but it's imperative to get a seamless paint job.

Paint Prep   

Once the prep work was done, I primed and painted all of the wood molding.  Next, it was on to the primer coat for the wallpaper. I did two coats of primer to be on the safe side. What a difference just primer made.  The space was already so much brighter!

Wood Paneling primed and painted | Wallpaper primed

After priming, I painted the walls with two coats of paint.  I chose Sherwin Williams Silver Strand.

Paint Color- SW Silver Strand

After | Wallpaper and Wood Paneling Painted

I know I sometimes hesitate to start on projects thinking that I don't have time.  But I look back now, and the nine days of work was totally worth it. If you're on the fence about starting a paint project of your own, I hope you feel inspired to give it a go whether it's dated or you just want a change.  I think you'll agree that it was worth it once it's done!

I'll be back to share what the space looks like now that I've added some artwork and we've (mostly) refinished the kitchen!

Wall Color-Sherwin Williams Silver Strand
Wood Paneling Color- Benjamin Moore Simply White
Light Fixture- Ballards Design Outlet | Piedmont 4-light Lantern
Chairs- Ikea
Table-Vintage (Craiglist find)


  1. Such a lovely dining room and a lovely paint color, too.
    I just used BM Healing Aloe in our dining room, very similar.

    1. Why thank-you! I'll have to check out that sounds very soothing!