The Family Room Makeover

Without further ado, here are pictures from my family room makeover:

The Family Room Makeover

I like to describe this project as a rejuvenation, because I basically brought back to life some older features in the family room. Like many of my other projects, the star of this update is the paint.  I painted my wood paneling and it instantly modernized the space.

To be as helpful as possible, I tried to think of some questions you might have about how to paint wood paneling:



Did you sand the paneling?

Thankfully, no! I only sand when absolutely necessary since it gets into EVERYTHING! With two little girls at home, I try to minimize sanding as much as possible. Instead, I used Zinsser 1-2-3 primer.


It adheres to any surface so it replaces the need to sand. The results turned out amazing!

How about caulking? Do you need to caulk?

No, I spackled old holes and any big notches in the wall. But as far as caulking in between the panels- I did not have to do that. I used an angled brush to get the paint and primer between the seams and that did the trick.

Is painting wood paneling a lot harder than painting regular walls?

Nope, it’s really not that much harder! First, I applied one coat of the Zinsser 1-2-3 primer. I used an angled paint brush to get in between the seams and then used a roller to smooth everything out. I followed the same technique for the paint, and before I knew it, it was finished.


Use an angled brush to paint between the seams.


Then use a roller to smooth everything out. That’s it, folks!

How many coats of paint did you need?

I used one coat of the primer.  I waited a weekend, and I applied one coat of paint. I use  Home Depot Ultra Paint with the paint and primer together.  As I’ve said before, the ultra paint makes my life a ton easier!

What is the hardest part of painting the wood paneling?

For us, the hardest part was the height of the ceilings. Because of the height, my husband and I had to tag team the job. My awesome husband painted the highest points, while I held on the ladder.


Thank you awesome husband!

It took two weekends to finish. One weekend for the primer. And one weekend for the paint. Unless you have two story ceilings, painting over paneling is not a big deal and can be done solo. Don’t let it scare you off, proceed and have some fun.

What paint color did you use?

I used Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter for the wall, and Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray for the middle fireplace accent wall.


OK, so now that I have your FAQ out of the way, here are some other details you might enjoy about the renovation:

The Trim:

I’m a big fan of wood work.  I want to show it off whenever possible.  I painted all the trim a bright white to pop and I love how crisp it is.

paintedwhitetrimThe trim got a crisp, white makeover too!

As you can tell from my kitchen remodel, I love white. To paint the trim, I use one coat of the Zinsser 1-2-3 primer, and a two coats of the Home Depot Ultra Paint.

The Mantel: 

I’m generally not a fan of accent walls, but the painted accent in the middle was a means for me to decorate the mantel. Yes, a mantel is a huge focal point and to be honest, I was at a loss about how to decorate it.  Adding the paint definitely made it prominent and took away some decorating pressure.


A black and white family photo is always a good idea for the mantel!

If you are hesitant about how to decorate your mantel, a sure bet is to use a big, black and white photograph of the family. After all, what could be more of a focal point? Thank you Ikea for making this affordable! I bought a 20x 28 white Ribba frame for $20 and a 16×20 enlargement from Costco ($6.99). I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the larger Ribba frames. They did not come with glass like the smaller models do, but all in all, I am still happy with the result.

The fireplace screen:

What room remodel wouldn’t be complete without a spray paint project? Not one of my remodels :) I was super excited to breath new life into my old brass fireplace cover. I used Rust-Oleum high heat spray paint (the same stuff you could use on one of your old bbq transformations).

Here’s the bad-boy before:


I added some garbage bags to the doors, so not as to paint them:


and used painters tape to attach it the the backside: decoratemantel

 Important tip: High-heat spray paint is very thin so it will take several coats. Don’t feel like you need to cover it in one go- it will get paint streaks and it will look sloppy. Every 20 minutes or so, I snuck out to my garage to apply another coat.  By the time naptime was over, it was evenly covered with paint. I waited overnight before putting it back into the family room. It’s like a brand new feature! This is a major score, considering you could spend up to $800 on a new fireplace cover.

paintwoodpanelingHere’s the new fireplace screen- I love the transformation!

The computer nook:

For my needs, I love having the computer accessible in our family room. In the evenings, my husbands relaxes on the couch while I “research” and work on my blog. I love being able to hang out with him, and bounce ideas off of him. Seriously, I would feel so lonely in an office.

I scoured and Pinterest looking for options to integrate a computer nook into our family room. I didn’t come up with much.  Our solution is a leaning bookcase from Crate and Barrel (budget friendly at just over $100, too). It doesn’t take up much real estate, which I love. It just does it’s job efficiently. I  put it right by our window as I can look out to the Rocky Mountains for some inspiration :)


A leaning desk was the perfect means to integrate a computer nook!

Window Treatments:

It was a real treat for me to finally rip out these old blinds from the family room:oldverticleblindsThey did not work anymore and I felt their only purpose in the room was to collect dust. (sorry old blinds- I just can’t think of anything nice to say about you)

I thought long and hard about ways to treat the window.  I needed it to be functional. I  needed it to block out the sun. But above all, I need it to be affordable.

I chose Ikea Sanela curtain panelsikeasanelacurtainsThe panels are 118 inches long and have a velvet texture to them. It’s amazing what drapes can do. They add such a layer of warmth to the room.


Ikea Sanela curtain panels, 118 inches long

I’ve always wanted to pair curtains with sheers underneath. I love the dramatic effect it produces!  The sheers are functional when I want privacy but want the light to filter in. And I can close the curtain panels when I want to hold off that hot Colorado sun in the afternoons.

Hanging the curtains from above the top window is also pretty stunning, but yet fits in with our casual living room.


And I’d love to say that’s it, but I still want to stain our mantel and elongate the curtains about 12 inches. So please stay tuned for future updates :)

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you find some inspiration! And please don’t be afraid of a house with some wood paneling. With a little bit of paint, you can transform it to something beautiful!


Happy Updating!


7 thoughts on “The Family Room Makeover

  1. How did I miss this post?!! Your family room looks completely different. It is amazing. I love the changes.

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