Painting Original Woodwork – ORC – Week 3

white fireplace surround

Painting original woodwork can be controversial. Some people say you shouldn’t. I never understood  that. I think you should do what makes you feel good when it comes to decorating!

In case you missed it,  this is the third post in a series of 6 for the One Room Challenge I’m participating in that was created by Calling It Home. You can catch up with week 1 here and week 2 here. As a reminder, here is the room I started with.

Dark paneled walls

The first thing I needed to do was paint that woodwork. I wanted to be sure I did this correct the first time around so I contacted Sherwin-Williams for advice on the best paint to use for this situation. Not only were they SO helpful, they ended up sponsoring this post for me by donating the paint for this project. Although I received paint as compensation for this post, all opinions expressed are my own as always.

Using primer first on this wood is a necessary step. Which primer to use depends on the wood itself. If the wood has a shiny finish to it and is smooth to the touch you can use a latex primer. If it’s more of a rough finish, you need to use an oil-based primer. When using oil-based, you will need ventilation in the room and you should wait a full 24 hours before applying your top coat of paint over it.

Luckily for me the wood in this room had a smooth, kind of shiny finish to it so I was able to use the multi-purpose latex primer. For my top coat, I chose Sherwin-Williams ProClassic paint in Extra White with a satin finish. The ProClassic line provides a durable, non-yellowing finish that can withstand tough wear and tear according to Sherwin-Williams.

primer for dark wood


You should begin by filling any nail holes or cracks in the wood with a patching paste or wood filler,  and sand smooth before beginning to paint. This fireplace wall had black antique hinges that I didn’t want to cover. So I started by outlining around those with a small artist’s paint brush.

how to paint over original wood


Then my daughter and I began to paint. It took two coats of the primer to get enough coverage. After letting that dry for about an hour or two (technically you are supposed to wait 4 hours)  but the primer dries fast so we went ahead and added one coat of the Extra White ProClassic. Now the room feels not only brighter, but bigger too!

painting dark wood


I love the contrast with the black hinges now. You wouldn’t have even known they were there before. We also rehung the existing gold mirror which now looks perfect with the white background.


shelves surrounding fireplace

I plan to get back over there this weekend to fill the fireplace with books like I mentioned in my design plan last week. After that I will rearrange the furniture into a more functional layout. Last, I will bring in an area rug, new window treatments and accessories.

A big thank you to Sherwin-Williams for not only sponsoring this post but for guiding me to the correct paint & primer choice. Be sure to check out their ProClassic line of paint here. Never underestimate the power of paint to transform a space!



Before and After Paint


Week 1 – The Before’s

Week 2 – The Design Plan

Week 3 – Painting Original Wood Work

Week 4 – The Fireplace

Week 5 – Sneak Peek

Week 6 – The Reveal!



  1. Marilynn turner says:

    what a huge difference the white paint made. So much brighter. Looking forward to seeing the finished room.

  2. I literally gasped when I saw that first picture. What. A. Difference. The white paint has completely transformed the room!!! It looks amazing! Great job!

  3. I love how it turned out! The wood was pretty before but so dark. This makes it feel so light and bright now. I am excited to see more of this room!

  4. What a difference Roxanne…I love an all white room and with the paneling it looks amazing, can’t wait to see the reveal!

  5. I LOVE it!! I love painting wood white, we had wood paneling in our last house and painted it and it made all the difference in the world. It looks so great!

  6. Wow what a difference! The white sure brightens up the room! One of the homes we’re looking at buying has wood wall across a long wall in the basement. Thanks for the tips; now I know how to change them.

  7. It doesn’t even look like the same room–it’s so much brighter in there! The mirror really stands out now and I’m looking forward to seeing the books in the fireplace.

  8. Wow what a difference paint makes, it looks great. The room is much brighter. Excited to see the reveal.

  9. Roxanne this looks great! I love how it has really lightened up your room! Can’t wait to see what you have prepared for this week!

  10. Just wondering — DID you get the owner’s permission before painting the wood? 😂😳

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