PANELING TO PAINT OR NOT TO PAINT.
For centuries wood paneling has been used as the backdrop to rooms.. at times used to show wealth, political power and the skill of the artisan.
Carved details whittled with such skill brought flowers, fruits and animals to life... inlays showed the beauty of different wood species and precious materials. Ivory, horn and mother of pearl were used to enhance the design and show off the skill of the artisan. Commissions were years in the making... to paint over these exquisite details would be an act of vandalism.... Now role forward to the modern day construction industry.. you get my point.. rough joints, bad cuts, materials such as MDF, birch Ply and plastic trim moulding are used to create book shelves and soffit details... all stained up to create some quasi English library... well I’ve got news for you... it’s not even close... in all the years I’ve worked in the Industry I’ve only been with one client who was willing to take on the $300,000 price tag of an Indonesian Mahogany Library.. and let me tell you it is spectacular even to this day, twenty years later. So when I go into homes that have these brown wood library details or door frames and chair moulding details my instinct is to make it meaningful or edit it out... Adding moulding to create architectural interest or revising existing elements to create the correct proportions and then painting it out creates the dimension and interest of architectural detail without celebrating the materials themselves.
The goods news is a little goes a long way and you can use moulding and sheet rock in collaboration to create a paneled look without the expense of wood or plywood using paint to bring the elements together. So don’t be afraid to paint out the ugly wood... use a good oil paint on shelving and you’ll have a great long term solution to the Uglies...