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Restoring and Replacing Wood Paneling in the Main Line, Pennsylvania

If your home has older, hardwood construction, it needs to be properly maintained to avoid warping or peeling. We’re lucky to live in Southeastern Pennsylvania. It’s home to some of the most beautiful and gently aged older hardwood construction in America. The tragedy is that some of it hasn’t been adequately and professionally maintained throughout the years, causing it to warp, peel, or worse – be amateurly redesigned. If you have a home blessed with well-made older paneling that needs some care and attention, be sure to treat it right. With a little bit of up-front investment, antique wood paneling can be a stunning material that gives a warm texture and adds architectural value to the interior or exterior of your home for years to come.

Antique wood paneling can be a beautiful, warming addition to any home, if you invest in quality care, whether you’re enhancing the original grain or painting it a new color. | Image Attrib.: Flickr user anneh632

Assessing Your Paneling

The first step to restoring and replacing wood paneling is to consult with a team of professionals who can determine the structural integrity and design potential of your paneling. It’s important to go over the wood for warps and flaws that could be corrected by a carpenter before weighing the possibilities for a refinished surface.

Additionally, if your property has an older barn or exterior structure with aged wood, it might be ripe for salvaging. This type of reclaimed wood is increasingly valued for its rich surface quality and ecological responsibility. With a little bit of professional rehabilitation, that older paneling can be converted into interior paneling or even custom furniture that offers a warm feel and richness of character that you just don’t see in newly manufactured medium density fiberboard (MDF) or particle board.

Starting Over: Painting Your Paneling

Sometimes the original surface look of your paneling can’t (or shouldn’t) be restored. It might be too far gone, too far damaged, or really just too unattractive to begin with. This is often the case when people move into an older house, and the best option here is to paint over it completely. If you go this direction, you’ll need a professional service to handle not only the painting, but arguably the most important part: prep work. To properly paint over unsightly paneling, your walls have to be properly cleaned, sanded, and primed with an adhesive/bonding primer. At Nolan, we make sure to use the best materials in every stage, starting with the Sherwin-Williams “Extreme Home Primer,” and ending with two coats of Sherwin-Williams “Duration Home” matteor satinfinish.

Repair & Care for Your Wood Paneling

If you do decide to go with the original look of your paneling, there’s good news: wood offers many valuable design and construction qualities. But it also requires maintenance. It can rot and decay or be seriously damaged by water, and eventually cracks and chips can turn even the most beautiful paneled wall into an unattractive mess. Wood replacement can be a great solution to older planking that has begun the decaying process. Nolan offers modern composites that can be integrated into your home to maintain the lustrous, beautiful surface appearance of natural wood without the possibility of decay. After assessing your wood interior or exterior, feel free to consult with our team about composite wood repair and replacement for any areas that show damage, rot, or neglect. The key to a beautiful finished surface is a strong foundation. Once that has been developed, you can begin to maximize the aesthetic possibilities of natural wood.

Wood replacement can be a great alternative to salvaging rotting or decaying paneling. | Image Attrib.: Flickr user grongar

Developing Your Aesthetic Vision

Whether you’re restoring your original wood paneling, painting over it, or replacing a parts or all of it, the next step is to envision how you really want your domestic space to feel, and determine how to integrate your paneling into that aesthetic vision. Interior paneling has seen eras of particular popularity, especially in the 1970s, but the wide swath of finishing options and design choices make it a very versatile and timeless material. Our painting and design team can use their experience with interior rehabilitation to help guide you toward the perfect finish, whether that’s the vintage feel of a burled wood surface, or something sleek and contemporary with a neutral coat of matte paint.

Wood paneling, whether in furniture or floors or on your walls, can draw the eye throughout the room and create flow. | Image Attrib.: Flickr user Dept of Solar Energy Decathalon

The wide variety of surface qualities and finish possibilities for wood give it unmatched creative potential as an interior building material. The variety of warmth, burls, and grains can create a beautiful rhythm in the home, and draw your eye throughout the room, from floor to walls to ceiling.

Wood paneling on ceilings is a particularly popular option for living rooms and dining rooms. | Image Attrib.: Jeremy Levine Design

Don’t Wait: Take Action to Preserve Your Paneling Today

Each day wood is left uncared for, the process of decay continues. If you want to preserve the architectural possibilities of your paneling, feel free to contactNolan’s painting, carpentry, and restoration teams today for a consultation. Our experts have years of experience in the industry and know just what each different surface needs to draw out its natural beauty and preserve it for years to come.

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