How to Brighten a Room With Dark Paneling


If you have ever had a home for sale, most likely your real estate agent told you to open the blinds and turn on all of the lights to brighten up your space. These same principles apply for everyday living in your home, particularly if you are stuck with a room covered in dark paneling. There are a number of ideas for brightening up the space, ranging from painting to improving the quality of light. A room that is light and bright feels more welcoming and attractive. Just a few simple changes can take your room from dark and dingy to bright and beautiful.

Things You'll Need

  • Lamps
  • Curtains
  • Skylight
  • Paint
  • Glass topped tables
  • Mirrors
  • Tiles
  • Add more lighting to the room with lamps and task lighting. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs with higher light output.

  • Use sheer curtains or draperies over your windows. Open the curtains and drapes to let the light in. Make translucent blinds or drapes if you are concerned about privacy.

  • Add a small skylight in the room if possible. This will allow for a lot of natural light to flood the space.

  • Paint the dark paneling a light color such as white or an off-white semi-gloss. Semi-gloss paint helps to reflect light and can help brighten a space.

  • Add a few glass-topped tables to the space to create the illusion of light.

  • Hang a couple of mirrors on the walls to make the room feel more expansive and less dark.

  • Tile around a fireplace with glass tiles to reflect flickering light.

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