Painting wood paneling to brighten our dark family room

Family room update

We knew when we moved in that we wanted to paint the paneling in our new family room. The room seemed pretty small and dark with the wood paneling on the walls.

New family room with dark wood paneling
Our new family room with dark wood paneling

The room before painting was just dated and dark. We painted the paneling at our last house in a small family room and it made a HUGE difference. We knew we wanted to do the same here. We tested one end of the room to see what it would look like painting the paneling but leaving the trim as is.

We decided to go with that look since it was easier and took less time. I didn’t bother to sand the paneling since it was already pretty rough and didn’t really need it. I did prime, but I got the primer tinted, so it only took one coat of paint.

Family room after painting!
Family room after painting! And with furniture

One of the reasons it took so long to update with new photos is because we moved in the rest of our furniture. The house was a mess of boxes and I wasn’t willing to put up photos until the room was more presentable. I’m pleased with the results. Makes the room seem brighter, bigger, and not so seventies.

The paint is actually darker than we had intended. I chose Olympus white, but we also had lazy gray for a hallway. I accidentally grabbed the lazy gray. Oops. It’s still a pretty light color, so I’m just going to leave it. Now the hallway will be Olympus white instead.

Geek child’s contribution

The end of the room not in the above pictures has a fireplace. It’s sort of messy on that end of the room right now, so no painted pictures, but Geek Child did some decorating, and I do have a picture of that.

Geeky toys to decorate a fireplace. Tres chic.
Most of the geeky tchotchkes we’ve collected, now in one place!


(Relatively) quick and easy kitchen update with new paint and new hardware

The kitchen update has taken a lot longer than we thought it would. That is all on the ridiculous amount of time it took to take down all that wallpaper.

Here is a reminder pic of what it looked like before:

Very 90s kitchen
The kitchen before we got started on updates.

In progress

Here are a few in progress photos:

Wallpaper partially down and priming in progress
Top layer of wallpaper is off! And priming is in progress.
Partially updated kitchen
Took a break after painting the soffit to work on the bedrooms.

We tentatively plan on doing a full kitchen remodel in the next 5 years. We didn’t want to make any drastic changes to the kitchen when we plan to tear out all of it so soon. And I say tentatively because this kitchen is surprisingly functional for one that’s so small. We didn’t like the color of the kitchen cabinets, the cabinet hardware, or the wallpaper, though, so we made a bunch of cosmetic changes.

We got some fairly plain brushed satin nickel cabinet hardware from Home Depot. I think they’re these ones. Like I said, we plan to tear it all out fairly soon, so we went with something simple and cheap. And they look pretty great.

And here it is (mostly) done!

Mostly updated kitchen
New hardware and new paint!

Next steps

We still have some touching up to do. We painted the cabinet doors in the basement since it was too cold to do it in the garage. The lighting down there isn’t very good so there are quite a few places that need to be touched up. The upper cabinets in particular need touching up since the paint color isn’t that much darker than the primer.

We also left the rest of the window to be painted when it’s warm enough outside to crack the window while we paint it.

And those bananas sitting on the counter are now ripe enough to make my favorite banana bread recipe. So that’s happening today or tomorrow.