The California Paints Blog

A Modern Makeover: Interior Paint on Paneled Walls

Posted on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 @ 04:23 PM


Loving 20th Century Colors of America

Finally the wait is over for an update to my Modern Makeover bedroom redesign, and I'm in love! In love with Stainless Steel paint color that is! Upon opening the can I was a little wary.  The paint20th Century Gray Collection appeared almost white.  I knew it would dry darker than its liquid paint form but I was still extremely nervous. After placing a swatch on the wall, all my doubts vanished. It was perfect for the space! Ironically this cool gray is warm and inviting with hints of purple, my FAVORITE COLOR.  As a neutral, it has so much life and depth and is far from boring.  And I wasn't the only one who loved it. Everyone I roped into helping me agreed! Now let's take a look at how I acquired this new infatuation!


Tackling Paneled Walls

Painting old paneled walls was much more of a challenge than I would have ever expected.  They are unevenly spaced, cut, worn, and disheveled.  The project required a 9 inch roller and a 3 inch brush. Here are the steps I took to achieve a beautiful, even finish...

  1. To start I used 1 coat of Grip Coat Bonding Primer which is perfect for a wide variety of surfaces, especially paneled walls. I let it dry for about 4 hours.
  2. Using California's Pacific interior paint (tinted with Trillion Super Strength Colorant), I painted one coat of Sugar Sugar DEW380 on my white wall.  One coat was all it needed - considering it was tinted with Trillion and I was painting a pattern over it.
  3. The three remaining walls were painted with the Stainless Steel paint color.  With a brush, I started the wall in the bottom corner.  In 3 ft sections I cut in the corner and panel crevices and then went over it with a roller.  I continued this process up and over, always painting 3 ft at a time.
  4. After letting the paint dry for about 5 hours, I repeated the process for a second coat.

DSCN3025 resized 600DSCN3026 resized 600

DSCN3031 resized 600

(clockwise: cutting in the corner, continuing up the wall, and continuing over)

Even though the panels presented a unique challenge, I love the elegance they add to the room!

Painting Projections

And now for the most exciting part, painting my pattern! When painting the image I used a 2 inch brush for the larger color fields and a 1/4 inch brush for the details and edges. And of course this project required a projector. Here's how:projected pattern

  1. I turned on the projector and played around with location to achieve the desired image on the wall. BE CAREFUL NOT TO MOVE PROJECTOR ONCE YOU START.  This will mean trouble and confusion.
  2. Once the projector was set I went immediately to painting in a "paint-by-numbers" fashion.  I DID NOT trace the image.  I do suggest chalk instead of graphite if you choose to trace, since graphite may reflect light even under a layer of paint. 
  3. Usually I suggest painting the lighter colors first. In this case I used my judgment and felt the yellow color fields would be easier to paint first.
  4. Paint, Paint, Paint, Paint Pop Art!
  5. Paint, Paint, Paint, Paint Modern Elegance!
  6. Touch up any spots after letting it dry.
  7. Voilà! Hassle free wall art!

TIP: The most important thing to remember is that every line doesn't have to be perfect! It will give a unique touch to your piece and make the process much more enjoyable!

I love how it's coming along thus far. The Pop Art yellow-green is bright and fun! With the morning's natural light it's yellow but by night its a lime green! I love its double life!  Modern Elegance proved to be the ideal accent. It doesn't compete with Pop Art and it's a complimentary color, but because of its tint it will require another coat.  

A Work In Progress

A sneak peak at how my vision is coming to life with the aid of a projector and a lot of hard work! My original mock-up is on the left and the current wall is on the right. How Pretty!

MockupWork in Progress


We still have a ways to go before the grand reveal of this bedroom makeover. Look for it sometime late next month! In the meantime, stay tuned for a furniture redesign also featuring Grip-Coat Bonding Primer and the rest of my new favorite California Paints colors!


Topics: interior paint, 20th century paint colors, paint project, DIY

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