A.Tish Iorio, a member of the National Guild of Professional Paperhangers and the owner of Creative Endeavors in Annapolis, Md., responds: As you learned, the fastest and most economical approach to dealing with old paneling is simply to paint it.

When clients just want to lighten up a paneled room, I suggest cleaning the walls well and painting the sections between the grooves two or more very subtle colors that are only two or three tones apart.

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