Help us decide… (house-related)

So… the saga of the Bonus House continues. {I’m assuming y’all were readers from my Not Quite Betty Crocker days, but if you’re not, the “Bonus House” is our second house/ my husband’s bachelor pad/ the bane of our weekend existence.  We might someday rent or sell it, if only we can get around to FINISHING IT.}

We’ve now painted all baseboards white, and they look great.  However, we’re undecided as to how to handle the knotty pine paneling in the living room.


Now imagine the baseboards white (yea, weird, we agree, but it was hard to know when to just stop painting, ya know?).

Despite my terror at having to paint it fifteen times, I’m leaning toward painting (and I’ll remind us all that my husband hasn’t painted anything lately – painting is strictly my responsibility).

Here’s why:


Aaaaaand (After)


Yowza, right?  So, what should we do?


12 thoughts on “Help us decide… (house-related)

  1. If you intended to live there at some point, I’d say paint it. However, since you intend to rent/sell it, I’d suggest not messing with the coloring of the wood. It’ll be fairly expensive and potential buyers/renters may not have the same sense of style as you. The natural wood coloring would, I imagine, have more universal appeal.

    • Fair point, if only because I’m now finding out how much freaking work it is to paint over knotty pine. HOWEVER, the rest of the house is now more modern, after we’ve painted all trim (but not door frames), tiled the bathroom in marble, replaced the linoleum in the kitchen (I haven’t convinced Joey to do this yet, but it must be done)… so now I don’t know.

      It is rustic, but it also makes the (already small) house feel smaller. I think I’ll make Joey decide.

      • Makes sense. However, I’m just looking at it from a utility perspective. Will adding the color to that room really be worth the couple hundred dollars and 10-20 hours of work? The painted trim, replaced linoleum, etc. were necessary upgrades. Painting the entire wall a modern white seems more like a stylistic choice that may not have any effect on the bottom line, ie renting or selling the place. That’s just my 2 cents. Either way, it’s gonna look great 🙂

  2. So Rudy has a point… what if the ‘buyers’ dig the rustic look.

    What does the rest of the house ‘feel’ like. Is this the ONLY wood paneled room? If you are styling the remainder of the house to be more modern and fresh then I would suggest painting it so the flow stays the same. You’re also going to have potential buyers that want things move in ready and might not be able to get past the wood paneling.

    Just ideas 🙂

  3. I say paint it – I know some “might” want the wood paneling left as is, but most, like the second commenter above, often can’t get by something so large as that wood, if it’s not their cup of tea. So I say paint, paint, paint. Really. And you said it’s hard to figure out when to stop/start in terms of the trim? Paint it all baby! (And see Making It Lovely’s blog for further proof that wood paneling should be painted.)

    Happy Monday. (double ugh)

  4. Definitely paint it – even before I saw the before and after pictures I was going to say paint it! I am one of those people that can’t get past wood paneling… I hate it! Painting makes everything look “updated” and newer, and it will definitely be a selling (or renting) point later on.

    • Yes, exactly. If I were buying that house, I’d be put off by the mid-80’s-ness of it all. Having said that, I am in the south, and men (and southerners) seem to love the stuff.

      Nice thing about having a husband: he’ll have to decide.

  5. Just one word of warning… the knots will bleed through over time unless you use an oil based primer. We painted vertical wood paneling in our kitchen, and had to redo the whole thing after a few months cause the knots kept coming back! Now, with the new primer painted over them, no more knots. Good luck!

  6. hello ~ finally found the new blog via your post on thatwife today, glad to see you’re still around!

    re: painting paneling ~ I’m another pro-painting person. If you have not seen the blog Young House Love, check out their post on painting wood panels ~

    love that blog, and their updates to their house which had many 80s touches before their renovations. I think more modern is always better, especially if the rest of your place already looks more updated – better to maintain a cohesive feel throughout the whole house, I think. Plus makes it feel much bigger, as you said, which is always a good thing when trying to sell.

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