need advice on cleaning wood panelinng

raineygirlAugust 22, 2012

I live in a condo and have some light wood panels [almost 2 stories tall] on some of the walls. I hung some pics when I moved here 10 yrs ago and when I took them down, they show an outline where the paneling has discolored. In other words, the wood is darker where the pictures were hung.

I tried the Murphy's oil soap and it didn't do anything. Somebody mentioned to me about using Liquid Gold. I'm sure these panels could use some cleaning and adding some luster to them but I just dont know what to use. Is there anything on the market specifically for wood paneling? This is a very light, almost bleached color.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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The wood exposed to light has faded while the covered wood remains the same. No amount of cleaning will rectify this. The only solution is to leave the wood uncovered so that it eventually fades to the level of the other wood or to put the pictures back.

In addition, Murphy's and Liquid Gold are actually horrible things to use on wood. They can damage the finish and cause it to soften. If you ever want to refinish the paneling, you will have to sand down to bare wood and start over. Or paint it. A plain detergent solution and dampened microfiber cloth, like Dawn dishwashing liquid, is all that is needed for basic cleaning. Followed by a rinse with a damp microfiber cloth. Damp means not drippy.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 5:58PM
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Thanks live-wire. I was hoping that there would be a simple solution but I guess not. I'm attaching a picture so you can see how much paneling I'm dealing with. I'm planning on putting down wood laminate but now that I think about it, it's going to make this paneling look old and worse than what it is[I'm thinking] I did entertain the thought of painting it but I just don't think it will look right painted. What color would I paint it anyway? I've seen paneling painted white before and I didn't really like it. It's too costly to have it taken down and drywall put up. You can see from the pictures that it's almost to to the top of my loft. Plus, there are mirrors next to one wall. I just wish there was some way I could spruce it up some. I'll have to deal with the faded walls unless I decide to take the pics down.

Hmmm...feeling a little perplexed right now.

Thanks for the info though.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:35PM
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Take the mirror down and paint everything a cream, or even a light yellow and it would look fabulous for a cottagey vibe. Or whitewash it. That's coming back. I wouldn't choose laminate for a floor though unless you don't really care about resale value.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 7:49PM
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I don't know if I want to paint the paneling because if I don't like it, there's nothing I can do about it. I just don't think that look would be nice. That's just my opinion. That did cross my mind. What is whitewash? How do you get that affect?
Well, most people I know that live here in the condos put in laminate wood flooring. I think hardwoods would be very expensive and I don't want to over invest in my condo. I've already redone the kitchen and in today's market, it's doubtful that the hardwoods would make that much of a difference if I were to sell. Things are just not selling for the prices you would expect.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 7:30AM
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I have heard of a product called restorz. I just posted a question about it. I saw it on youtube. I have never used it. Go to youtube and have a look. And maybe wait for somebody to respond to my inquiry.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:11AM
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If something sounds to good to be true it usually is and Restorz would most definitely fall into that category in my opinion.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:35AM
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Thanks Tim, I will check that out. There must be something out there you would think-:)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 6:42PM
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Personally, I would try a product like Liquid Gold or Restorz-It. You may want to think twice about applying this stuff to fine wood furniture, but this is paneling, and you are not going to hurt it. The problem I see is that whatever you apply may not totally blend in the unsun-bleached areas - it may continue to be darker than the surrounding area. You could gel stain it, but the darker areas may still show through.

I would not paint this paneling. You have a cool 1960s-70s vibe going on that isn't going to change to a cottage look with the use of paint.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 9:19AM
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Borrow a sunlamp. I'm serious. See if you can't get the rest of the wood to "catch up". You don't have a lot to lose as any of the products suggested will not really work. Using gel stain especially will not work, especially after the paneling has had oil based cleaner or oil applied to it. The only "cure" then would be to sand all of the original finish off and start over with new stain. If you want to keep the wood, then that's the course of action I'd suggest if the sunlamp doesn't work.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:26AM
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A neighbor of mine said that I should keep the wood paneling as she feels that this is not your typical wood paneling. She feels that this is nicer. I don't know now...I'm wondering if I should just have it all taken down and drywalled. I know paneling was in style in the 60's but this condo was built in 1988 and was the model. The other condos do not have this.

I'm really on the fence on what to do...keep it and try to get it looking good or do away with it.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 10:00PM
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Fori is not pleased

I agree--it's too cool to paint! It doesn't look like the cheap stuff. A sunlamp is worth a try.

Have you looked at the decorating forum here? You might find good advice there.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:26PM
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"In addition, Murphy's and Liquid Gold are actually horrible things to use on wood. They can damage the finish and cause it to soften."


Can you substantiate this please?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 2:34PM
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I was wondering about that, too. I was a professional harpist for many years and Murphy's was what the harp makers recommended when serious cleaning was needed (the parts of the instrument where your arms and hands rest get pretty grotty over time, and harp polish won't clear up everything). I've always used it, although we clean just a tiny area at once, but it's never done any damage to any of my concert harps in the 36 years I've been using it.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 2:44PM
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