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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Low ceilings and old wood paneled walls

    I have purchased an old house, around 120 years and I am oblivious to a design for the upstairs. The floors are thin but wood paneled, and right now their covered in a tan carpet. The walls are wood paneled as well and are painted white, each panel is about a 1X6, but most were cut in a saw mill so not everyone fits that measurement. The ceilings are about 7 ft high and are also painted white with 1X6 panels (it's hard to even have fixtures b/c of the height of the ceilings). I wont to keep the old house look, maybe restore the wood on the floors and the ceilings, but I am looking for more ideas. I will send pics to whom ever can help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Coventry, RI
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Low ceilings and old wood paneled walls

    As far as the ceiling height you may or may not be able to change that. Someone may have dropped the ceiling down when installing the boards. Its possible that a plaster ceiling that was in bad shape was covered up. If you have access to the attic you may be able to see what is going on. If that is the case you could take the boards down and may get a little head room. If that is not the case you may be able to get a little more head room by moving the ceiling joists up a little bit which would make the ceiling angled at the exterior walls but would be higher in the middle where you are likely to have a ceiling fan.The problem with this is that any interior walls would now be to low and you would have to add framing to make up the difference. If you are careful removing the ceiling you could re-use the boards. As far as the gap between the walls and the ceiling (if you were to raise the ceiling joists) you may be able to put dry wall and a picture mold at the joint.

    If you can't raise the ceiling you could put in recessed lights but would not be able to put in a ceiling fan. Hope this helps you out.

    Mike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Low ceilings and old wood paneled walls

    Mike,
    I appreciate your comments. What I know is the boards for the ceiling are original. Their is a considerable amount of room in the attic, and the insulation lays on the backside of these boards for the rooms below. Recessed lights are a good idea. What I'm wondering about is a way to sand/strip the floors back to a nice finish, then maybe do the same to the ceiling giving it a natural look. Beings it is upstairs, I'm not really wanting majorly change the structure of the wall's/ceiling. The downstairs has a natural wood look with some brick tied in around a couple old fireplaces. Any design idea's other than the recessed lights, which were a good idea?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Coventry, RI
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Low ceilings and old wood paneled walls

    Well as far as refinishing, if you want the natural look you will need to remove all the paint. The paint unfortunately is likely to be lead based so you would have to take precautions and maybe even hire someone. You can get test kits at your local home center. If you don't have lead the floors can be sanded with a floor sander (make sure you sink any nails that may be sticking up before sanding). A random orbit floor sander is easier for a DIYer to use than a drum sander but will take a little extra time. As far as getting the paint off the ceiling your best bet may be to use a stripper and then sanding. Never tried it though so I don't know how well the stripper would stick to the ceiling since it would be upside down. No matter what it is not likely to be an easy or clean job. Other than recessed lights you could perhaps use some track lighting and place it closer to the walls so it is out of the way. Hope this helps you out.

    Mike

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