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I rent a house. We are not allowed to make permanent changes to the house, but our living room has ugly old wood paneling on the main wall and small adjacent wall (other walls are drywall covered with white paint.) What we are thinking of doing is buying cheap drywall and temporarily putting a fake wall over the existing one so we can cover up the paneling and be able to paint the wall. What I want to know is if there are better options to go about this. Whatever I do has to be removed and the wall restored to its original condition.
It’s wood paneling, cant paint it…
Similar to this pic

BTW the landlord WON’T let us
I guess I didn’t clarify very well.

I want to paint the wall, hence the drywall to make a fake wall over it. What I’m really after is alternative to drywall to do this.
No wall behind it, it IS the wall.

11 Thoughts on How can I cover ugly wood panel in my rental house?
  1. Reply
    Frans Van Zandt
    November 5, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Posters or Paintings maybe

  2. Reply
    November 5, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Just ask the land lord if you can paint it, and when your done you will paint back to white. My landlord lets us!

  3. Reply
    November 5, 2011 at 12:19 am

    If you like posters, then you could cover the walls with posters. They would be easy to remove.

  4. Reply
    November 5, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Consider the paneled wall your accent wall. Typically this wall would be of a different color or wallpaper pattern.
    Ask your landlord if you can paint over the paneling. Not a difficult task but time consuming. Be sure that the walls are free of dust and/or grease. Then cover generously with a good primer such as KILZ or BINZ.
    Be sure to follow application instructions then apply your paint. Another option is to add paintable caulk to the grooves. Smooth it out as it is being applied. After the caulk has dried prime then paint. You have disguised the grooves for very little money.

  5. Reply
    quik finger
    November 5, 2011 at 1:51 am

    just pop off the old panels( should be small nails on the sides) and store in a dry area. Paint the wall behind it.

  6. Reply
    November 5, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Maybe like big white poster paper and get white tape and tape them together and put wither posters or pictures up..This would be really CHEAP..but if you wanna spend a little more..then get something basically like thin Styrofoam poster boards that are hard and durable but probably cant hold picture frames or nothing unless you get really big nails to go through the Foam and the Paneling..And just tape them together..Im trying to help and give you advice for CHEAP ways to do it that just poped to mind..I really dont know ur didnt long u were gonna live there or how much money u are willing to spend..Hope this helps!

  7. Reply
    November 5, 2011 at 2:27 am

    stickers?they won’t damage the wall and you can choose any pattern you want.

    if this doesn’t work,I’m afraid you’ll have to either put the fake wall or (as others said) decorate as much as you can.

  8. Reply
    November 5, 2011 at 2:46 am

    People are odd about their fugly wood paneling. But the easiest thing to do would be to put a sizing on the paneling (its washable) Apply a wallpaper liner it gets put on horizontally then paint or paper over it. With the application of the sizing your liner will come off cleanly and tsp will restore the wall.

  9. Reply
    November 5, 2011 at 2:55 am

    temporary dry wall is really expensive… i would try hanging some sort of cloth or fabric with a special design or something. this is often used in New York restaurants and clubs as a cheep way of covering up an ugly wall. it can get a little tricky with windows and other obstructions but often looks nice and is inexpensive.

  10. Reply
    November 5, 2011 at 3:27 am

    It could get costly, but curtain rods and really long drapes.

  11. Reply
    November 5, 2011 at 4:02 am

    I have had success with wallpapering over wood paneling. I have used vinyl wallpaper with an installed wall paper adhesive backing and it has improved our living space 100%.

    You just cut the wallpaper the right size dip in warm water and install it. There is no messy paste to have to fool with; it is simple and very attractive. This type of wallpaper worked good for me. Be sure to clean the wall before you apply the wallpaper.

    Our walls are brighter,lighter,richer looking than the old paneling. I did paint some paneling,but I didn’t like the looks as well and it was SO much harder to do. although the paint looks way better than the old brown paneling. If you paint the paneling,you must use a primer (which I didn’t know the first time I painted the paneling) or a paint with a primer in it or you will have to paint it a hundred times,because the paneling absorbs the paint. Ask at the hardware store for the right kind of paint and primer if you paint. Without the primer just sucks the paint into the paneling so much that you have to keep painting and painting and painting.

    Wallpapering works best on a rough surface paneling. It looks just like a drywall with wallpaper on it when you use the vinyl wallpaper. I am so pleased with the transformation of our walls. Oh,and one of the best things about this type of wallpaper is it is strip-able. If you get tired of it,you can just pull it off and it won’t hurt a thing!! Hooray!!!

    Good luck!!

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