Living Room | Before & After

8:46 PM

Maybe it was some crazy nesting instincts.. maybe I had dealt with the wood paneling for too long.. maybe this old house just needed a living room face lift..

Our little house was built in 1970.. and we're renting. One outweighs the other, but both mean we are limited in what we can do to this house, but I can say I have never had such satisfaction come from a gallon of paint.

I don't think I will ever understand what made wood paneling popular.. dark, smelly and just ugly. On top of it, the fireplace had an a little accident at some point in time leaving the bricks stained with soot.  As a note, when we moved in the fireplace veneer was actually old brass.. I took a little High Heat Rustoleum to that for a quick fix.

A trip to Home Depot preceded the painting supplies. I chose Behr Ultra Premium Stain Blocking paint in Swiss Coffee for my color.

For the wood paneling:

You will need:
Sanding block or sandpaper, fine grit
sponge or damp rag
Paint that contains stain-blocking primer such as Behr Ultra Premium
(or Kilz)
Paint roller & tray
1 1/4" paint brush for flat surfaces

I purchased a sanding block and spent about an hour going over every inch of board to take off the top layer. Be sure to use a mask for dust.

Wipe down all the wood with a damp rag after sanding, let dry.

A stain-blocking primer or paint is important when painting wood. If you already have paint you want to use that is not a stain-blocker, apply a layer of Kilz and let dry prior to painting.

Apply your first layer of paint (or primer if using). Apply in "W" motion for best coverage. Let dry overnight.

Apply the next layer and touch up any thin areas.

Next, (if you don't do if first) paint the trim. The trim still took two coats, but I find it's easier to do at the end and use the brush to blend into the rest of the painted surface.

To paint a brick fireplace:

You will need:
Wire bristle brush
spray bottle
white vinegar
painters tape
1 1/4" paint brushes

Similar to the wood paneling, you have to clean the surface first. I bought a wire bristle brush and went over all the bricks, reaching in to the grooves as best I could to remove dust, ash and soot.

Vacuum the brick to remove excess dust.

Using a spray bottle, fill with 1 part white vinegar, 2 parts water and spray brick until damp. Using a soft sponge, wipe down the entire surface. Let dry.

Using painter's tape, tape off the entire perimeter - carpet, walls, trim, metal from fireplace (or remove if you can). Using your paintbrushes, apply your first coat of paint, making sure to just get in all the grooves, you will go back over this with a second coat for better coverage.

Once painted, remove all your tape and enjoy your new fireplace - or entire room! I know we love it, it brightened the space immensely and updated the look a bit too.

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