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Knotty pine love

Old knotty pine planked walls
Complete with lots of grooves and details
and loads of old wood wall character

I love them.

Covered in creamy white, they just say cottage perfectly
Paired with hardwood floors and beadboard and beams on the ceiling
it's love when I walk into a room and see them.

But I didn't always feel that way.

Post disclaimer time: 
If you are against painting over wood- you might not want to read any further.

Our home has  tongue and groove knotty pine walls in almost every room
and when I first walked in-  I felt a little overwhelmed and claustrophobic
like I needed to turn on 150 lights

Those dark walls made the rooms feel like caves
even with the windows and doors open.

They were so cold and dreary.
Even though the rooms were all very large- they felt so small and closed up.
Of course ~in the above photo~
the 1 light bulb hanging from the ceiling and small window in the dining room
 did nothing to help 

Those planks were everywhere.
 In the kitchen. In the bathroom. In the hallway. In the bedrooms. In the cottage. 
Even on the only finished ceiling in the house and in the cottage.

(Note the beer bottle pull on the fan in the kitchen- nice touch don't you think? ;) )

I know the look of the house was meant to be more cottage or cabin
with those wood walls
 but to me
 the look of that knotty pine was taking over.

So it's safe to say that I didn't love them when I saw them...
but I didn't hate them either.
 They were beautifully detailed with patterned grooves
and they are thick- thick- thick pine-and original to the house.
So even though there was no insulation behind them-  the boards are nailed directly to the studs
and even though  they were dark and dreary
they were a favorite potentially beautiful feature of the house right away

I knew that a few (gallons) of paint and primer would take them from dreary to delightful.

It took several coats of primer and several coats of good quality paint
brushed on by hand to fully cover but 
when they were done-
the rooms felt 500 times bigger, brighter,
warmer and welcoming.

The living room wears a creamy white that has just a touch of taupe in it
for a little contrast with the crown moulding 

The office walls are one of only 2 rooms with simple planks- not extra grooved
though-they are thick and wide- probably 8-10" each
 I added a wainscot to these since they were more simple
and painted the planks a soft warm white with a peachy pink undertone

If you are planning to paint your wood walls- just remember do not skip the primer.
If it is knotty pine wearing that old stained and glossy finish that you are covering
 you probably need a heavy duty primer to cover it
I would ask at your local hardware store for a recommendation.

Here are a few favorites of rooms
with wood walls wearing a coat of paint that I have pinned
You can find all the links and more at my pinterest board~ Architectural Love 

This room reminds me so much of our house- the walls and the ceilings
in planks of grooved pine.

Even planked walls with some color
they are random sized boards as well which is different

I know that painting over dark wood walls is not for everyone
and some of you are probably cringing at this post
but for me - they are perfect and  in your home
you have to go with what makes you happy.

In our dining area~ where the single bulb, tiny window and dark walls once were

there is now bright and light that greets you
Creamy white walls, french doors and double chandeliers.

and that definitely makes me happy.

 The living room will be getting a fresh coat of paint  soon
so I am feeling an inspiration post about choosing the 'perfect' white paint coming up. 
White paint is one that always seems to be a color that is harder to choose since there are so many 
beautiful whites with different undertones and variances.
I'll share some favorites and the color I go with once that project
moves up to the front of the list.

Happy Wednesday

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  1. Specccccccctacular. And I love how you arranged your plates!

  2. Oh I so agree with you, couldn't live with those dark pine wall either, but painted white they are stunning. Love the transformation. Hugs, Marty

  3. Hi Courtney Something went wrong as I was halfway through writing my comment so I'm not sure if it got posted or not. So I am commenting again just in case. I love the look of knotty pine painted white. I remember in the 60s that my mom painted our knotty pine white which was very daring back then. Everyone thought she was crazy, but of course it looked great. Yours does too. Your home is beautiful.

  4. Asshhh.. takes me back. I grew up in a home with painted knotty pine walls and dark mahogany floors. Bead board ceilings and wainscoting. A look I would luv to return to... Luv tour painted walls.

  5. So much nicer painted white. It totally transforms the rooms. Beautiful!

  6. I like the old wood, but the fresh white walls are so much prettier and brighter, plus it brings out the character in the grooves. I love it and am sure you do to:-)


  7. I've started to paint my judge's rail height knotty pine paneling white. It had been sort-of faux white-washed so at least I have no heavy varnish to cover. I know it will be a transformation like yours. Your planked walls may just be the knotty pine paneling installed with the reverse side showing. Jo @ Let's Face the Music

  8. Every time I see your buffet a deux corps I am overcome with lust and obsession! Wherever did you find that wonderful piece?

  9. I am not a fan of the knotty pine. As you show the dinning area before I would have pulled that all out and started over, however, I REALLY like the white. I think in the past for me knotty pine has always looked too yellow and dark but I really like it white as you have it! I LOVE that animal print stool! Thanks for sharing. It looks just beautiful.

  10. Lovely! I have a den that has the thick old knotty pine, and I've been living with it in wood as I have updated other rooms with paint. Eventually, I plan to paint it as well. The ceiling is wood in my room, which I will probably leave in wood, but the walls and trim have GOT to get lightened up! Thanks for showing the before and afters - so inspiring, Courtney!

  11. I'm totally with you. I would have painted it all white too! take care, Maryann

  12. These photos are gorgeous! I love old wood, but have no problem painting old ugly wood! Knotty pine is just so oppressive and can suck the life out of a room. Painting it white makes such a difference! Love it! Hugs, Leena

  13. That's amazing. Your before and after is quite an improvement. I don't blame you for painting it all and I think it's great that you left the wood instead of changing it to drywall. That had to of been a lot of work!

  14. Do you recommend doing planks horizontally or vertically? I would LOVE to add them to my home in some places, but I don't know which way to go - I have to add that I usually want the long term choice - not a fan of trends.

    1. One thing to consider is the placement of the wall studs. If you run them horizontally, it shouldn't be a problem. If you run them vertically, you will more than likely have to add some extra studs to give you something to affix them to.

  15. I like planked walls both ways but probably prefer vertical. In my experience~ if the boards are vertical- they give the illusion of higher ceilings and make your room 'feel' taller. Horizontal- makes it feel a little wider. Purely your preference on look- they are both charming!! These are original and were put up in the house in the 1940's- so I like to think of them as fairly classic instead of a trendy- even though planking walls has recently been something that has become popular.

  16. I really like the white in your studio office. You said it has a pink peach undertone and I can see it in your photo. Do you mind sharing the color?

  17. I live in a knotty pine world. Unfortunately, my husband likes the knotty pine and doesn't want the walls and ceiling painted. I'll bring him around to my way of thinking one way or another. Either he'll come around to my way of thinking and help me paint, or I'll paint and he'll learn to love it (or live with it). :D I'm really looking forward to your thoughts on choosing the right white, but I love the wall color in your living room now, to.

  18. lol Oh how your "before" photos brought back memories of when we moved in to our lake house 30 yrs ago, Courtney! lol Old, dark paneling AND lovely gold colored shag carpeting throughout the entire house, too! lol The first thing I did was rip up the carpeting and paint the paneling and trim creamy white. Wood floors were installed after that. The whole house seemed to take a deep breath and sigh. :) It was lighter, brighter, and look 100 times bigger. More often then not, in my world, if it's gets painted! lol

    I am looking forward to hearing and seeing what white paint you choose. That is always the most difficult decision for me.

    xoxo laurie

  19. I have painted knotty pine and regular wood paneling several times and never once regretted my decision. I just love the look of painted wood on the walls. You're right, though - the priming is essential! But the final look is oh-so-divine!!! Love the inspiring photos.

  20. I lived in a totally knotty pine house, rental, many years ago. ..even the closets and ceilings!! I thought I'd go "knotty". ...myself. I grew to hate it! Your look is gorgeous.

  21. We have old knotty pine in the dining room that my husband REFUSES to paint! I am going to sit him down into the computer chair and WHEEL him over to the computer and show him your post! I have always considered those walls ugly ducklings that could turn into a beautiful swan!

  22. You've done wonders with your home! I grew up in a house with a knotty pine den. It's beautiful and you have to respect its beauty but painting your walls completes your charming surroundings. Lovely!

  23. Our breakfast nook has the old knotty pine and was one reason we bought the house - it suited us back then. Now we are thinking a white wash would brighten it. I think you may have convinced me with your lovely rooms.

  24. I love painted plank walls and panelling. I love the texture and the dimension it adds to the walls. The old stuff is the best, by far, but if you look around you can find good quality new planks, too. Great post!

  25. White makes everything more beautiful.

    Your before photos make me feel claustrophobic too!

  26. Beautiful, Beautiful!!
    I love all the plates on the wall, not to mention two gorgeous French chairs.
    Thank you for sharing. great inspiration.

    Julie x

  27. I love painted wood. The house is simply beautiful. Isn't wonderful to be able to stand back and look in appreciation. Makes all that hard work worth while. I do love the touch of Italian in your gorgeous French Cottage, after all France is right next to Italy :-)

  28. Wow! I love knotty pine but your redo is incredible! Congratulations on a beautiful new space.

  29. When we built our cottage in 2007-08, I wanted to nail wood planks directly to the studs (we insulated). But the building dept. wanted sheet rock first. Now I'm looking for planking, bead board, etc. LOVE the look of creamy white panels... and I love that you post your 'before' pics, Courtney ~ it's inspiration to keep me going!

  30. Hi Sweetie, I am right there with you. Dislike knotty pine immensely. Love the peachy white shade in your office. Do you remember the name of the color you used. I find it is so hard to find a very light pinkish white that I like. Your peachy one is so nice.

  31. Your home is spectacular, I always go back and forth on painting wood but I agree with your choices to make it brighter. Bright trumps too dark and dreary. Thanks for the post

  32. Just gorgeous, that first image makes me swoon!

  33. I really like the painted pine, and it really works with your style. Your home is beautiful. I love it.

  34. Love it! I've even pinned or should I say "pine-d" it for future reference!

  35. Oh I'm so hoping my outcome is just a quarter of yours - it's all so gorgeous !

  36. I was trying to zoom in on your mirror!! I think I have one almost identical right now. :) I had it over our mantel this fall, but it's old and the wood is very soft- the hanger broke one evening and it came crashing down. Fortunately it didn't break, but there are some repairs I need to make to the framing (3 layers) curious if we have the same!! Beautiful walls. I'd paint too. ;)

  37. I love the look of a light and bright paneled wall...yours are just gorgeous...I had a large sunroom in a previous home that had those dark panels on the took a while for me to convince my hubby to paint them...once painted, "he saw the light" and loved it..
    Love seeing your gorgeous rooms Courtney!..

  38. I lived in a rental house that had pine walls, and it made the house feel very cramped and small--would have loved to have painted over it, but couldn't because it was a rental. Our current house is light and bright inside--makes me happy! That is such a dramatic before and after of your dining area--amazing what paint can do!

  39. My sister owned a beach cottage at Myrtle Beach, S.C. It was totally knotty pine--walls and ceiling. It was so oppressive you felt you were being smothered. I use to look at it and imagine how beautiful it would be all painted white.
    Yours is perfect.

  40. I'm all for painting over paneling. Just not in white (unless you're doing wainscoting). White walls are my pet peeve. Too sterile looking for me. I love the bathroom w/the pale robin's egg walls though.

    1. Ahhhh...but when you think of "white" sounds like you're thinking of a stark white. There are so many varying shades of white (Benjamin Moore alone has over 200 shades/tints of white!) you might be surprised if a less-stark white was used. ;-) Just sayin'........

  41. This is like fate. I just decided that I am going to plank the whole house. I have the typical ranch home with no architectural details. I have to admit I am a bit nervous. Originally I thought I would put up the planks horizontally but there are some rooms that are very wide with low ceiling. Do you think it would look weird if a living room has vertical planks then other rooms have horizontal planks?

  42. My dining room was knotty pine in my big old 2 story home and it felt dark and depressing! I wanted to paint it, but my hub Loved the dark wood and like so many men, opposed to painting wood! Lol! Our darling daughter and husband bought our home and she got the thumbs up to paint it form her hub and it turned out so fresh, bright and cute as a button! Yay for painting wood!

  43. What color is the green in the bathroom I just love it

  44. What color is the green in the bathroom I just love it

  45. The plank painted is so pretty and truly brighten's up the whole place. I love what did.

  46. I LOVE it! I'd too feel claustrophic with those dark walls.

    What to say to those who say "Oh don't paint wood!"? Well, you can tell them back before there was steel siding, HardiBoard, or vinyl siding and homes were brick or wood siding, they painted the wood siding. So yup, you CAN paint wood. :-)

    When I had my interior decorating business, I used to tell people "If you paint wood, it'll still be wood. However, if don't like painted wood interiors, don't do it." End of discussion. ;-)

  47. Pamwaldron2000@yahoo.comJune 1, 2018 at 10:18 AM

    I love your dining room. Would you share what kind of plate hangers you used. I am not a fan of the old kind where there is hooks on top and bottom.

  48. Thank you for giving me the courage to paint my orangy pine knotty pine. Your home is beautiful! I have one long wall of the paneling in the living room and wainscoting in the dining room. We bought the house forty some years ago and my husband liked it and refused to paint but he will no longer be able to live here again so I am going to PAINT. I feel a little guilty but am so tired of the darkness.