What can I do with these dark walls? Paint white?????

Maria Leighton
March 3, 2015
Need some advice on what to do with these walls. The floors are also a dark wood which makes the living space quite dark. We've been considering painting the walls white?
Any advice

Comments (24)

  • pompom_
    I'm a bit torn with this. I love the idea of this room painted white but, I also love the texture of the timber that continues onto the floor.

    If this were my living room, I would paint the walls a warm white. I would also get a linen curtain, maybe in a light grey, and use some nice white frames up in different sizes. I would also consider painting my furniture a lighter colour and getting a rug. These are cute -
    Tiny Dots Floor Rug in Grey · More Info

    Marle Collections · More Info

    That's just me though :D Hope this is helpful anyway!
  • K Mh
    Our small guest bedroom had the same sort of wood panelling. We didn't want to go to the expense of ripping it all out before the major reno in a few years time so we painted it a beige colour with white trim and it came out fantastic. If you paint it yourself make sure you use a good primer (we used zinnser) to block any kind of oil/stain that may be in the wood.
  • Natalie

    Hi-yes paint would do wonders. Check Elmira White and Collingwood. Good Luck!

  • Alicia Toner
    I think white would look beautiful. Very beachy looking with the panels in a vertical position.
  • olldroo
    If that is real timber and not just a veneer, it seems such a shame to paint it. There is so little maintenance with stained timber, but painting is a regular chore. Is it possible to sand it back and stain it a lighter shade? There are even soft coloured stains on the market now.
  • Maria Leighton
    Yes it's red cedar
  • olldroo
    It looks like it is ship-lapped which could make it easy to remove. I wonder if you could sell it and then finish the walls with gyprock. Almost seems a crime to paint beautiful timber like that.
  • Hugh Maguire
    Try a white oil before you paint, to maintain a hint of the timber grain. Google livos.
  • Dawn Collins
    When we moved into our present home we had veneer wall board it was alful
  • Dawn Collins
    Sorry I under coated with two coats and then painted two coats of soft gray. I love antique white USA !!! And do what u want to do!!!!
  • lynnh100
    pale grey sounds good with a trim of crisp white - like the Selling Aust show and they have done this with good result - in one other deco show they tried 2 types of paint on a timber wall - one worked fine the other not so get advice from the paint people!
  • kezanova
    Maria, we have the same timber walls in our house. I personally would love to paint them but my husband thinks it would be a crime! So ..... what I've done is to hang a few large paintings here and there to add color and distract from the wood.
  • Nicole Tottle
    Our hallway had timber lining and we painted it white....after much deliberation!!!! It looks fabulous now and the skeptical husband now asks why we waited so long to do it!
  • fianou
    what about a white wash or limewash look? So you still get that timber detail?
  • Rose M
    @karrina: Wow - you did a great job - that lols great, very understated and elegant.
  • PRO
    Zest Interior Design

    Hi Maria, I would recommend having a look at Porter's Wood Wash paint. This will soften the overall look, and maintain the look of timber. It will lighten and uplift the entire space.

  • PRO
    Feast Watson

    Hi Maria, we love the wood but it is a little overwhelming in that space with the timber floor. A liming white is a great idea as mentioned by a few people here. This will let you have the best of both worlds, a lighter, brighter finish while still allowing the wood grain to show through. You could try Feast Watson Liming White Floor Finish (yes, it's not a floor but it has the size of a floor!) and build up the number of coats until you are happy with the amount of timber grain showing through. You'll probably need to give it a light sand first as it's most likely already got some type of coating on it.

    The other option would be to leave the walls as is and consider a large, light neutral coloured rug as pompom suggested on the timber floor and perhaps a good sized piece of art on the wall or white wall shelving instead of the dark side unit you have to reduce the amount of timber in the room.

  • 2dogssashatess

    I personally would cover up most of the floor with a light colored rug and see how I felt about the room after doing that. If I still was unhappy I would put a large mirror opposite the window to bounce light around the room. Putting up a large mirror lightens the room and covers up a good deal of the wood. :) it looks like the mirror would go over the sideboard/console thing you have, you just need to take done those little photos. As other posters have mentioned a few large artworks would cover up a lot of the wood and brighten the room. If you must pain the walls you could leave the wall behind the tv as the wood, as a feature. really does seem a shame to paint it.

  • 2dogssashatess

    ps as another poster said, if you feel the room is dark get lighter colored furniture, it would make a HUGE differece

  • wuff
    I love what karrina did with her wood. Looks fabulous. The floors are beautiful, I would keep them and paint the walls.
  • Connie

    paint it-you wont regret it

  • mrjudsonjames

    Im agree with a lot of the PRO suggestions of liming or oiling the wood in a whitewash to maintain a natural beautiful wood grain but get the light look, best of both worlds, then paint ALL the window & door trims & skirtings in a soft white for a crisp contrast. Will look great as the walls won't be as white.

    I've included a pic to help you visualise.

    Whatever you decide, good luck and enjoy!

  • Jackie Pye
    Lime wash first because then you still have the opportunity to paint if it's not to your liking, mind you people keep asking if it's finished!