Desperation. {Living Room}

I haven’t let many people come over since moving in because I didn’t want any guests til my house was finished and magazine ready. Yeah, in that case, I wouldn’t have visitors for like 10 years or so. Therefore, I’ve done the unthinkable- I scheduled a party on December 18th for my co-workers. It’s not a housewarming party, but in our office we all like to host Wii game nights, and the same co-worker always hosts…so we figured we should do it soon because we realize she spends a small fortune on our “Wii nights” with food, drinks, etc.

But this means people are coming to MY HOUSE in like, 1 month & 3 days.

Holy fudgesicles.

This really makes me feel worse about my living room situation. As I mentioned a few days ago, we peeled back some of our wood paneling and did NOT find drywall. We found studs, and not this kind:

I really, really want my living room to NOT have wood paneling before Christmas. Like, really, really want. After looking more at pictures of painted wood paneling, I don’t think the beadboard kind of look is my cup of tea. I know many like the cottage, country chic look of it…but I simply don’t. Here are some examples that ALMOST made me convert to this idea though:

Credit: Elizabeth Anne Designs

Credit: Young House Love

Credit: Décor Pad

Now, I figure I have 4 choices. You tell me what you think.

A.) Leave it as is and save up for drywall. I got an estimate today for TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS. Shit. That is a lot of money people. A LOT.

B.) Paint it and live with it for awhile.

C.) Try to find a handyman or someone who can help us with the drywall that isn’t a contractor. I know a maintenance man at work who is supposedly really good. So, essentially this is a semi-DIY option.

D.) Fill in the grooves to create a smooth, wall like finish. This seems insane, I know. And it’d probably be an immense amount of work. But I am a woman on a mission who has people coming over in about a month. I apparently am not the only one who is a glutton for punishment. I found someone else like me. I wish I could hug her.

She used flexible joint compound (4 coats of it!) to do this to her living room walls:

And after all that blood, sweat and tears, her wall now looks like this:


Is that not AMAZING?! I think so. I love her blog, but it seems she hasn’t updated in months. I actually contacted her via her blog website to encourage her to continue blogging because I need more help & ideas to recreate. I also nearly fainted when I saw her gorgeous fainting sofa. I want!

Isn’t that color TO. DIE. FOR.

I think it is.

So, am I crazy for wanting to put 4 coats of joint compound in all the cracks and grooves, or should I just be happy as is and wait until we can drywall? Is there an option I missed?



  1. Jennifer
    November 16, 2010 / 3:09 pm

    I would not attempt dry wall yourself. I have neighbors who have hired people and still have problems with tape pulling away. You need dry wall people and GOOD dry wall people. You're talking about walls that you want to look good for MANY years to come. So on that note I would save up to get that done- at some point. In the meantime, why not try painting it? Even if you just paint it and not like it you can then go and fill the cracks with the compound. Honestly? This is something I would tackle if I really wanted to. But know this- the sander will become your new husband. That is a lot of sanding woman but if it gets you the results that you want AND it saves you boat loads of money, then I say go for it.

  2. Deb
    November 16, 2010 / 3:21 pm

    I'm with Jennifer. You don't want ANYONE but professionals doing your drywalling. Trust me on this one. I'd post pictures, but I am too embarassed. Bleh. Save that money for the pros.I saw the compound thing done on HGTV. The finished product was just as lovely as what you have pictured. That being said, it's an awful lot of work to do before your party. My vote is for painting, to see if you can live with that. I mean, if you don't TELL anyone it's painted paneling, maybe they will think you did something fabulous and NEW! Another thing you might try… pick random vertical stripes of paneling and paint them with a high gloss version of the same color. David Bromstad (Color Splash – Miami fame) did that with flat/semi gloss/high gloss white in a room, and it was GORGEOUS! Just an idea. (lots of work though.)Good luck. Cannot wait to see the finished product.And the fainting couch? *swoon* In chocolate or hot pink please.

  3. Anonymous
    November 16, 2010 / 3:24 pm

    What abour semi DIY on the drywall. DO what jack and I did. Hang it yourself, then hire someone to do the tape, mud, texture stuff. Saved us a ton and it honestly isn't hard. If you can keep things level, work a cordless drill, you are good to go.If you don't want to do that I suggest painting it for the studs pic 🙂

  4. Celeste
    November 16, 2010 / 3:50 pm

    Ok I helped my sister paint her lightish paneling and it was a pain in the ass. We had to use two coats of primer and then two coats of paint. Now this was like in 1995 so Im sure that primer has gotten remarkabley better and Im sure she chose the cheapest paint she could find. However, I will recommend that you get a crew to help and have a painting party because this will be a hard job to do alone. Did you call Well Hung Drywall, that truck was always parked outside our buildings.Good luck friend!

  5. Embellished Bayou
    November 16, 2010 / 4:57 pm

    I vote for the painting option, and save your money for drywall eventually. We have paneling on the lower half of our living room walls, a chair rail and the upper half is drywall. We just painted the whole thing all the same color and honestly it doesn't bother me at all. It was already painted when we moved in so we didn't have to prime, but I would suggest doing that if your paneling hasn't already been painted.

  6. November 16, 2010 / 5:56 pm

    I really like the look of painted paneling, but I know that you have a more modern style taste than I do. I wouldn't bother putting all of the work into filling in the grooves. Mostly because it would be a lot of work and still wouldn't be what I think your "ideal" is. Then you would eventually have to take down all that work to put up drywall. Also, no matter how hard you work at getting it even and sanding, the texture difference is going to stand out. Reality is, you have a month to pull this off. Painting is your most efficient and best bargain. It is a big step up, not a huge jump off the cliff of debt or biting off more than you can chew in a month.You know, I really wish we were closer. I have so much flipping free time, I could come over and do it. Then PW and MG could hang out.

  7. Sibrana
    November 16, 2010 / 7:02 pm

    Ha, ha…I love how you posted a picture of "studs."I really like the painted wood paneling—it looks very nice. I like how it is country and chic looking.I would see if there are any local contractors/professionals that are currently out of work because of the economy that are willing to do it for much less. I would call a handful of people get rates and compare—perhaps after that you could call the places that you trust and liked more and see if they can match the lower price.Too bad that you aren't down here, my dad and my roommates dad are really good at doing pretty much anything and would do it for free.

  8. Alex
    November 16, 2010 / 7:39 pm

    That sofa is to die for. Like find me a coffin. I'm dead. It's amazing.Anyway I think you should paint it and try and live with it for awhile. You might find that you actually love it.

  9. Ms.Diana Cupcake
    November 16, 2010 / 9:30 pm

    I loove the fainting couch! Super swoon worthy! 2nd I say go for the compound. Why paint the walls if you really already hate the wall its self. I have helped friends paint wood paneling and it's expensive for the amount of paint and primer you need. Also look on craigslist and put a post about how much your willing to spend that might help find someone reasonable to do it.Hope that helps and goodluck!

  10. MiriamR
    November 17, 2010 / 3:25 am

    We bought our house back in April and had to rip out all the flooring and paint everything. We didn't have floors downstairs because we wanted the wood laminate and had to wait 5 months to put it in so I painted my floor white and I didn't like them but they looked ok for people to come over and when people came over they thought we were going for the modern painting your floors. I do have a point to the long post. I would definitely paint them for now because then you can save up and get what you really want later. And the gray walls are fabulous. My inlaws had wood paneling that had been painted gray and a beige color interchangeably and I thought it looked ok. Paint is $25-70 a can and don't skimp on the brushes!!Love you blog!

  11. Kara
    November 17, 2010 / 1:44 pm

    I would TOTALLY do drywall myself! It's not as hard as you would think, for reals. You can probably find a workshop at Home Depot or check out a tutorial online. I helped drywall our basement in high school & it really was ok- ESPECIALLY since you already have studs to nail to & you don't have to create your own framing! The trickiest part will be cutting the drywall to size but, hey- that's what crown molding & baseboards are for, right? 🙂

  12. Oonafey
    November 18, 2010 / 1:38 am

    I would just paint it and be done with it for now. No one but you will know that it's not what you want forever.