DIY Network

Give Painted Bar Paneling the Look of Bamboo

Say goodbye to wood paneling and hello to an exotic wet bar. A wet bar from the '70s is lightened with paint and given the look of bamboo.

More in Painting

give painted bar paneling the look of bamboo
  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Sand the Base of the Bar

To update the look of a wet bar with 70's style paneling, first sand the paneling to remove the finish. Sanding for this piece is especially important: paneling has a slick finish that needs to be completely removed to create tooth, or scratch--texture that is needed to ensure the paint adheres properly to the surface.

give painted bar paneling the look of bamboo

Step 2: Apply the Primer

Apply Maidenhair Fern, a tinted oil-based primer designed for slick finishes, to be used as the base coat. The color is an effective base coat for lighter exotic woods like bamboo because the light undertone works in harmony with the pale colors that will be used for the top coat. Because oil-based primers can be toxic if absorbed into the skin. Be sure to wear gloves during the application.

Step 3: Mix the Paint and Powder Pigments

Combine lime paint and raw sienna natural powder pigments for the top coat. During the application, the ingredients in the pigment will break down and combine with the paint to produce a natural exotic texture and finish over the surface of the wood. The more pigment added to the paint, the more intense the color and textural variations; at completion, the primer can appear streaky on the wood surface.

Step 4: Apply the Varnish

When the finish dries, apply a varnish, also tinted with raw sienna. This will protect the surface and bring out the "wood grain."