How to update hardwood walls?


Old 12-10-08, 08:10 AM
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How to update hardwood walls?

My home was built in 1961. The back den is floor to ceiling hardwood. It's definitely not paneling. It's very solid hard wood on the walls. The room stays very dark b/c of this and appears very outdated. I don't know if painting it is the answer. All the trim in the room is the same hardwood and there are stairs leading to the upstairs that are the same hardwood floors and walls. Is there anything I can do to bring this room out of the 60's? Can the hard wood be replaced with sheet rock by a contractor and if so what is the cost of a project of that nature?

This is an image with the walls in the background...
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Old 12-10-08, 12:58 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

The wood can be removed and drywall installed, it might even be possible to install drywall over the wood. Labor prices can vary greatly in different regions. It is always best to get multiple quotes and always check references!!!

The only other 2 options are paint - clean and coat wood with a solvent based primer first, or add more lighting to give the impression of a brighter room.

Is santa's little helper camera shy?
Old 12-11-08, 02:06 PM
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Why would you change anything? You have a maintenance free room. There is nothing to do but dust it. The 60s were ok as I remember them but you know what they say. If you remember the 60s, you really weren't there.
Old 12-11-08, 03:21 PM
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I am old and grew up with pine paneling. That is not a hardwood, but is solid wood, 3/4 tonque&groove pine. Technically, pine is classified as a softwood, non-diciduous.

I can understand that younger people do not appreciate what we liked. Hard to tell what is under that paneling. There may be nothing but studs, plaster, or that new invention, drywall. If nothing but studs, pull it out and install drywall below to match the wall above. If plaster or drywall, fix the holes and paint or paper. Or wait a few years when everyone will say, "You have the old original paneling, cool".

Just for laughs, see what it would cost to duplicate that in another room.
Old 12-11-08, 06:24 PM
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This is obviously a custom job and not your run-of-the-mill pine panel job. It is absolutely beautiful. I'd go with improved lighting and lighter fabrics and furnishings to lighten and brighten the room. Improve window treatments to allow more light in rooms during the day and improve lighting for after hours. If in doubt, consult with a lighting engineer.
Old 12-12-08, 03:55 AM
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Just a nail driver's opinion, so take it or leave it. The woodwork is (for what I could see) absolutely beautiful! How we survived the '60s?...who knows? I remember it...vaguely. I remember the 50s better, but that was different.
If you just can't live with that beautiful wood, call someone who would appreciate it, and have them remove it carefully, leaving you with whatever is under it. Then you can do whatever you wanted to with it. Marksr is a top notch paint guy, and I deeply respect that...he is good, and his advice is always right on....I love unpainted wood, so my leaning is toward enjoying it.
Old 12-12-08, 08:05 AM
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We had a hunting cabin when I was a kid that had the same warm pine interior. Great memories but tastes change. I suspect that all of us that appreciate the look of your pine walls are a little grey on top. If you want a new look, remove the pine and replace with a wall material of your choice.

I would be willing to bet you could find someone to remove the wood for free as long as they get to keep the wood.
Old 12-12-08, 08:14 AM
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I would be willing to bet you could find someone to remove the wood for free as long as they get to keep the wood.
I would imagine you could sell it , I paid $100 for a room full or T&G Cyprus and spent the day pulling it
Old 12-12-08, 09:49 AM
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If it's like others I've seen of the same era, the color is achieved with amber shellac.

It can be removed with denatured alcohol.

It is tedious, time-consuming, and messy. I know it can be done because I have done it.
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