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What to choose for redoing walls: Paneling, paper or paint?

Redoing your walls is a big task, but it all starts by picking between three different options. Do you repaint, repaper or use a nice wood paneling? It all depends on the layout of the room, the furniture you already have in the space and what style you're shooting for. Instead of showing you how to pick between the three, here are some tips that come with tackling each project.

Wood paneling
Going the wood paneling route is classy and admirable but not a task for the faint of heart. Whereas paint and paper take little heavy lifting and physical labor, wood paneling can be a workout. Exact measurements must be taken to avoid windows, switch plates and other wall fixtures you mean to dodge. That means a lot of careful cutting and calculation is absolutely necessary. Make sure this is a job you're  both capable of and are willing to devote a lot of time and labor to. When you commit to wood paneling, you're in for the long haul. Repainting a wall or taking down wallpaper is relatively easy. Taking down the wood paneling can be a little trickier.

Applying wallpaper has its own share of pesky problems. All of the careful cutting and maneuvering around wall components is still necessary, but wallpaper responds much more visibly to blemishes. That means paint splatters or subtle wall depressions can mean big trouble for interior designers. When cutting the wallpaper, remember to measure a length 6 inches longer than the length of the wall to the ceiling or crown molding and 1/2 inch over the inside corners in order to provide extra length for the lap seam. The seams are the most important part of a wallpapering job. Make sure the first piece of wallpaper is set correctly and apply each consecutive piece in a manner identical to the second set piece over the first to create a pattern that blends.

Often the most popular and simple job to tackle, painting can be a quick-fix job for many rooms, but don't forget the basics:

  • Always apply a primer to prevent the original color from showing through
  • Use plenty of painter's tape and remove all wall fixtures - it would be a shame to splatter decorative molding or a high-quality switch plate
  • Take your time applying multiple coats evenly - paint drips are a preventable eyesore.

Heed these wall retouching tips and you can be well on your way to a successful room makeover. It only comes down to deciding between which method to go by.

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