Painting Over Knotty Pine Paneling; Complete Master Bedroom Redo


Painting Over Knotty Pine Paneling; 
Complete Master Bedroom Redo
When Jeff and I purchased our house we knew that we would eventually want to update our bedroom.  While we love with the size of our room, we weren’t as fond of the knotty pine (I know…I know….some people love it…but it wasn’t for us).
Here is a good shot of the knotty pine for your enjoyment.
I suggested painting the room to Jeff, but he wasn’t sold on the idea. So instead, I tried to brighten up the room with bedding & accessories. That was short lived though, because with our existing bedroom furniture….it just wasn’t working.  I was finally able to convince Jeff that the knotty pine would look great painted. 

And then I threw in some additional updates :).
First we started painting. 
We coated the walls with two coats of Kilz.
Two coats would ensure the knots wouldn’t bleed through. 
Watch out…this stuff is stinky!
Then we painted over the Kilz with what we thought was a nice light gray color. Turns out that our lighting made it look more blue than gray. 
Here is the blue for you.
 So it was back to the paint store for another version of light gray. 
Here is the final gray we found. 
It may not look like a big difference in these pics, 
but trust me the difference was huge.


Finally, we pulled up the carpet and put in new Tundra ikea floors….


We decided to keep this little built-in bookshelf as knotty pine. I added a bit of hand-painted artwork to tie-in with the other purchased wall art near the bed. I think it gives the room some character.


We finished off the renovation with some new bedding, nighstands, lamps and wall art. Just to remind you, here is the before….ugh!

And here is the after!
I can’t believe we did everything ourselves (with the help of some good friends). This room has become one of my favorite places in the house. It feels so serene and airy now. A great place to tuck into bed on these oh-so-wonderfully-cool fall evenings!

Meet the Author: Cassity

Cassity started Remodelaholic with her husband, Justin, to share their love for knocking out walls together. She is an interior designer, wife, and mother of two. She and Justin have remodeled three Read More


  1. Sarah @ The Ugly Duckling House says

    >This is a stunning transformation. Love the floors, love the lofty feel of the after, love it all!

  2. One Mama says

    >Wow! I have the same knotty pine in my bedroom (and hate it) but didn't know painting would work. I was afraid it would take about a million coats. Now I have a project to plan…

  3. Baye says

    >This is really lovely. I've painted over knotty pine myself. It's a lot of work but worth the effort. Love the bookcase and especially the tree.

  4. Alicia says

    >What a difference, it looks very serene and beautiful. I know now that if I ever look at a house with wood paneling it can look different with some paint. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Kellie says

    >WOW!! LOVE this!! I have so much of this paneling in my house it's sick! Dining room, kitchen and hallway!! ahh!

    I love what you've done and keeping the bookshelf actually makes for a nice contrast. I never thought I'd say I liked anything that still looked like the original wood panels, but this is a great touch!

    I hope I can muster the courage to paint mine! Looked very time consuming!

  6. Nancy says

    Great job. We have a very small knotty pine computer room that I want to paint. My husband doesn’t think it will look good. Maybe after I show him yours he will change his mind. Ours is so dark and yours turned out so cheery. Love it

  7. C. J. Hendrix says

    Does the paint stay on good? We have pine paneling in our house and I hate it. I want to paint but I’m afraid the paint wont stick good. I would hate for it to chip and rub off when used. We painted laminate cabinets one time and it didn’t turn out well.

  8. T. Gilcrease says

    Wow! My parent’s home has the knotty pine paneling EVERYWHERE and I’ve been wanting to change it up for them, to help brighten up their home. It has a thick shiny laquerish coat (I’m not sure what it is), how would you suggest I go about painting over it? As a teenager, I tried to wallpaper it myself and it didn’t turn out so good. Love how this looks though!

    • says

      I would head to a painting store like Sherwin Williams and talk to a professional, make sure you get the right paints, don’t skimp on price. If it were me, I would start with a light sanding, then clean it thoroughly with TSP or a similar degloss / degreasing product. You need to make sure it is clean and not greasy or dusty in anyway. Then be sure to go to a painting store, and get a professional’s opinion about what paint to use. But I would use an oil based paint, or primer at the least, to seal in the wood and keep the paint from scratching off in the future. Good luck! I think painting the paneling would be a great idea!

  9. Stephanie says

    Fantastic! I have a question….how is the paint holding up since you did this? My husband and I just bought a house with a horribly ugly knotty pine kitchen, and we were told it would be best to sand all the walls down before priming and painting. That step seems SO daunting that it has kept us from starting this project for over 6 months. Did the 2 coats of Kilz adhere to the walls well enough? Are you experiencing any peeling or chipping? Thanks, and again, BEAUTIFUL job!!

    • says

      Nancy, This was a guest post so i can’t tell ya, where the bed came from. But if you click on the link at the top of the post it should take you to the authors blog and you could ask them. THANKS!


  10. Melissa says

    Did you roll the paint or brush it? We are about to paint greatroom in lakehouse that is completely knotty pine. I know I want to paint it, I’m just nervous! Of course, we have folks telling us not to, but it needs a change. Have you had any cracking issues?

    • says

      Not sure! (this was a guest feature, but if you hop over to their blog I am sure they would love to help you out!) Personally i would use a foam roller with no nap and paint brush for the cracks followed up by the roller to smooth out imperfections!! Good Luck!

  11. Kristen says

    LOVE, LOVE the gray over the knotty pine. I just purchased a cottage on Little Sebago Lake in Maine and the walls are all knotty pine. My parents are in love with the knotty pine, but I really want to paint it!! These pictures look great – what color is the gray? I think I’m going to start in the bedrooms and ease my parents into the disappearance of the knotty pine. Thanks!

  12. Patty says

    Hi Cassity! Your room turned out great! We’ve been living with knotty pine for 15 years – lots of it!! I am so tired of it, but have been intimidated by the thought of painting it. But here’s my problem. My husband is chemically sensitive and is especially bothered by petrochemicals. Do you know if I can use the water soluble Kilz or other sealer? I don’t want to go through the process and then have it bleed through anyway. He’s less sensitive to that kind. Thanks for your input!


    • Cass says

      Hi Patty, I would consult a painting professional at Sherwin Williams. I just feel like someone that deals with paint would know the best options and even some I have never heard of. (And it is hit or miss at Home Depot, sometimes they are experts, sometimes not…) Good luck!

  13. Verna Rayman says

    We had knotty pine in the kitchen, hallway and bedroom and we have painted all of it several times. We have always loved how it turned out. The only think I wouldn’t recommend is wallpaper over the paneling, unless its something like bead board wallpaper (which I also love) which is easily strippable.

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