DIY: How to Gray-Wash Wood Paneling
Gray-washed walls make our living room ten times brighter. Also, ignore the in-progress boxes and décor – and, well, furniture.
I should preface our first DIY post by talking a bit about our experience. Most of the projects I plan to share here are for the beginner to intermediate craftsman. If it takes a more skilled hand, I’ll clarify that in the beginning in big, can’t-miss letters. Please don’t attempt a project that uses tools or chemicals outside your skill-set without someone who knows what they’re doing.
That said, J and I both grew up watching Bob Villa and using tools with our dads and/or grandfathers. We’ve both been working with power tools and wood since before we were ten and thus have a high comfort level with taking on projects. If we haven’t done something personally, we have no discomfort in researching and applying the knowledge immediately. This particular project is for beginners: you just have to know how to sand and use a paintbrush. Oh, and you also need patience – a lot of it.
When we bought our house we knew one of the first projects would be the living room. It had great features: beautiful wood trim and window casings, a working brick fireplace, built-in bookshelves, and a wall-size window that looks out over old oak and pine trees. Unfortunately, the room was also covered wall-to-wall in wood paneling that made it look like a lodge or cabin – complete with the nail holes where animal heads once hung (or so our mailman says; thanks for the nightmares!). The paneling made the room feel dark despite the big window and also seemed to shrink it in size. There were two options: tear it out or whitewash it.