May 9, 2014
Kitchen Progress: It's Panel Time! (Installing Modern Paneling)
On instagram you might have caught a peek of us installing the paneling. Installation was pretty easy. The trickiest part was maneuvering the 8 foot tall pieces (I have some ceiling spots that now require a little paint touch up). First we did some job reflection and measured the space to determined how many sheets we'd need (6). Once they were in our hot little hands, we did some more reflection and confirmed where we wanted the paneling to begin and end, where seams would fall, and where to cut holes for outlets, etc. Hubby found a neat, but ancient, online tool which helps figure out how to cut a sheet of anything (like plywood or paneling) for a project. We haven't bought a table saw yet (we really need one), so Hubs used a circular saw and a straight edge,on our old kitchen counter propped up on saw horses in the garage, to cut the pieces and then used a jigsaw to cut out holes for outlets and vents. We wrestled the sheets indoors and applied PL Premium construction adhesive to the back, careful not to apply it too close to the edges that it squished out, but enough that the edges were glued firmly into place.
We fit them into place and then, holding them so they didn't sag or droop down, used an air nailer to secure the edges. Using the air nailer was my favorite part - holding them in place was not.
We applied pressure all over the sheets to help to distribute the adhesive evenly. Once all of the sheets were installed, we went around with a nail set and hammer to counter sink all of the nail holes so none of the nails were poking out.
Once it was installed, I wiped off the many smudges and grime with a magic eraser, followed by a damp rag. Then I went over every hole with sandpaper to smooth it (some edges were rough) and smooshed in some wood filler. For shallow holes I just wiped off the excess with a damp rag right away, but for deeper holes I filled them and then applied a second coat and sanded the excess once dry.
The paneling came primed, but it wasn't perfect so I logged some hours with a paint brush this week. I think that I'm done painting (the third coat was applied late last night, so I should hope), so later today I'll remove the tape and drop cloths and work on trimming it out - especially in the corners. The paint for the paneled walls was provided by CIL. The colour is White on White (in eggshell for the walls). Meanwhile, Hubby is building an open pantry for beside the fridge and then I'm sanding, priming and painting it and our shelves!! The kitchen process bodes well for the scary pile of unpacked boxes, because much of it (too much of it) is kitchen-bound.
Because I removed all of the upper cabinets, I wanted the paneling to extend from counter to ceiling over the remaining cabinetry, and then floor to ceiling behind and beside the fridge. I didn't want to visually chop up the space I painstakingly opened up with the deconstructing my Dad and I did. I've been thinking, though, that it would have been easier not to install it on the wall beside the fridge because it's really difficult to trim nicely. But it's glued on now! Here are some more photos of the paneling, pre-paint:
UPDATE: One little thing we had to think about with paneling was to purchase box extenders because our outlets because really sunk in from the extra thickness:
We installed the paneling vertically, even though horizontally has a more modern look, because the fireplace at the opposite end of the open living area has vertically installed pine planks, so this way the two spaces - although they contrast with light and dark paint finishes - have a design detail in common and relate to one another. This is also why I picked very simple paneling, as opposed to something like beadboard. No one but you and I need to know that the sauna wood looked totally weird, and that I picked paneling because it was a cheap and easy fix after we trashed the walls.
UPDATE: Now that the kitchen is finished, I'm adding some info and pictures concerning how we finished off the paneling. Between the sheets, the seams needed nothing more than paint to disguise them because they were so close together and the only thing that made them stand out were the unfinished edges. In total, I brushed on three coats of an eggshell latex paint.
Our counters were installed to have a gap at the back to allow for the expansion of wood so to hide that we simple nailed in lengths of 3 x 1 (Aspen) which were sanded smooth and then primed and painted the same colour as the paneling, but using a semi-gloss finish. Any other kind of trim could work here and if the counter butts up right to the walls, and the paneling is installed with a neat edge over it, I've seen kitchens were no trim has been added. There is also the option of a small quarter round, or decorative trim.
In the picture above you can see we used narrow cove trim to hide the corner seam which was too large to be covered by paint or caulk. It was painted to match the paneling.
The top of the paneling really didn't need any trim, although something like crown molding would add a nice touch. Because our house is far from square, there were a few tiny gaps along the ceiling which we hid behind very thin strips of maple, also painted and primed to match, and installed with an air nailer.
At the edge of the paneling, where the kitchen opens into the dining room, we simply caulked the edge for a cleaner look. In the doorway, white plastic trim (the kind used in wallpaper applications) was applied with construction adhesive.
Around the window, a small piece of trim was added to build up the area where there wasn't paneling to prevent the window casing from tipping. This was nailed in place and the casing was installed as usual and everything was primed and painted the same colour as the paneling. Easy!
Truthfully, finding a nice way to finish off the paneling was difficult because the space is open concept. In a more closed off room - with four proper walls - this would be much, much easier. In the end, though, it looks okay and was a very thrifty option for covering the walls, which were in rough shape.
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