Wood Wall Paint Help!

lakekristinaOctober 14, 2010

I need paint help! We have some tongue and groove untreated (never treated at all, and are probably 20 years old) cedar planks on our walls - one wall in the living room on a diagonal b/c of the pitched ceiling and one wall in the dining part on the horizontal.

Because the wood is so soft and so old, it is really damaged. There is water stains from ice dams that the previous owners didn't fix, scratches from pets, and what looks like greasy fingerprints. If you try to sand this out, it drastically changes the color of the wood since it is so soft, which eliminates the ability for "spot sanding". I tried, with not good results!

We really love how we have a more "unfinished" feel to the posts and beams, with the exposed steel brackets. The opposite wall from the diagonal one (both pictures below) does not have the wood, and we like how the post and bracket are more visible - this is how stuff is in the rest of our house.

We don't really want the wood, in terms of it's color, because we have SO much (posts, beams, ceiling, doors, baseboards). We want to emphasize the mantel, posts, beams and brackets. As you can see, the post blends in now. But, we don't want to remove it b/c we like the texture and softer feel over regular walls (the rest of our house).

My question is this - is there a way to glaze or wash the walls with a very thin paint, but not whitewashing? We're interested in a gray color (like BM's Grant Beige or another warm gray) that would coordinate with the grays in the rock fireplace, but would also let the mantel, post and beam stand out.

What are people's thoughts - are we crazy to do this? The response with friends has been 50/50, so we're thoroughly confused!

Wall with wood

Wall without wood

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I wouldn't do anything here!

Replace bad boards/areas...yes. If ya don't, it'll just dry-rot.

In the big picture, painting all that wood may be a mistake, IMO. To ME, it looks perfectly appropriate in that setting.
Glazing or other effect-painting may make it worse, and a little too "fakey" looking.

It just seems like you'd "lose" more than you'd gain here by painting. It would be a lot of painting work, just to "emphasize" the fireplace more...

Again...it's just ME...but I'd cringe and shake my head if someone painted all that neat "lodge-theme" wood!


    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:35AM
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Remove them, remove the drywall (if any), check the framing to make sure it isn't rotting away from the previous owner's lack of repairs, then replace them with new drywall.

Then paint.

Sell the boards on craigslist as "vintage cedar" :)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:53AM
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could you drywall over the wood? If there truly is rot going on, you can't, but hard to know from here.

I had a similar (but smaller) dilemna with a knotty pine wall. A drywall guy said a lot easier and cheaper to drywall over it than to remove the wood. I was going to do that, but figured I may as well paint it first just to see how it looks, knowing the drywall option could always be done. Well, painting it looked fine. No, not as great as new drywall but fine for the money.

Of course, my wood was in fine condition. Not sure if you have that option.

I don't think glazing, whitewashing is the way to go.

some before and after pictures of my knotty pine do-over:

Here is a link that might be useful: de-knotty-pine

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 6:47PM
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lazygardens - that is a good point, and something we've been worried about. I'm afraid that there might be damage behind the walls. There was also a leak, so to speak - the chimney chaste (sp?) wasn't the proper size, so rain would seep down into the space between the siding and the actual chimney - as a result, water would leak into the area where the ceiling meets the wall. Not good.

This was the other option, but my husband didn't want to lose the "texture" (whatever that would mean). I'm a proponent of removing and starting new.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 6:48PM
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I am in the same situation. We have a vacation home that is a log cabin. EVERYTHING is wood - walls, floors, ceilings EVERYTHING. I love wood but it gets so dark in there and the previous owners left lots of dings and scratches. I have thought of doing maybe just the ceilings and the trim around the windows/doors. Our's did have Ben Moore Sand & Seal applied when the house was built but no other finish.

I did use a white Cabot stain on a cabinet door. My ACE/Ben Moore paint guy custom mixed it for me and it really looked nice on the cabinet door. I had thought about using something like that on the ceilings.

I know everyone cringes when you say paint wood, but when you have to live with it everywhere it does get a bit monotonous and old. (OK everyone - stone me now)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 2:31PM
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