Step 1




See the Before and After

It would cost a bundle to rip out paneling in this space (Image 1). DIY experts give the space a bright new look by simply painting the paneling and hearth to make the most of the natural light (Image 2). They also add plenty of wooden storage units with a light, nontoxic tung oil finish.

Step 2

Sand the Walls

Sand the walls lightly with 100-grit sandpaper, wiping away any dust with a dry cloth. This is important to give the primer a clean surface and also to remove any glossy finish from the paneling.

Clean the hearth bricks, using a stiff nylon brush to remove any loose dirt or debris.

Step 3

Fill the Grooves with Putty

Decide whether to fill the grooves in the paneling. To fill grooves (if desired), use a putty knife to spread putty or drywall compound. Let dry and sand smooth before priming. For this project, the crew chose not to fill the grooves.

Step 4



Cover Floor and Prime the Walls

Lay down drop cloths and mask any areas, such as windows, that won't be painted. Prime the walls and hearth with a latex primer and spray gun. Keep the nozzle at least 6 inches away from the wall to prevent overspray. Let the primer dry completely. If the finish coat will be a dark color, use a tinted primer for better coverage.

Safety Alert: Make sure to wear eye protection and a breathing mask when working with any kind of sprayer.

Step 5

Apply the Final Coats of Paint

Use thick-nap rollers to apply the thicker finish coats of paint. For a subtle striping effect, mix the final coat with a glaze and paint every other panel

When painting the brick hearth, start with a thick roller and follow up with a brush to get paint into the deepest crevices. Match the color to the wall color for a hearth that fades into the background, or highlight it by picking a bolder, contrasting hue