Your Guide to Painting Wood Paneling
Are you entering 2020, but your home is still stuck in 1975? Let’s bring it up to date by giving your wood paneling a fresh coat of paint. Here’s your step-by-step guide.
1. Preparation is a Must
Painting your paneling isn’t hard to do, however preparation is very important so that the paint adheres well and the end result is even. By taking the following measures, you’ll ensure a quality job that won’t have to be redone later.
2. Clean Paneling
Remove any dust or dirt by wiping the paneling clean with a damp cloth. If you encounter any grease spots or other stains, use a mild cleaning solution to remove them, and then wipe with a clean damp cloth. Don’t forget to get in the panel crevices which are known to collect dirt. Let the paneling dry completely before moving onto the next step.
3. Fill Any Holes
With a putty knife and spackling compound, fill any nail holes or other imperfections. Allow the putty to dry, then sand the spots even with the surface. Wipe away any dust with a cloth. Don’t worry about the color of the putty. It will be covered by paint.
4. Sand Paneling
With a sanding block, orbital sander or pole sander and 100 grit sandpaper, sand the surface of the paneling to take the sheen off the finish. This will allow your paint to stick better and help ensure even coverage. Don’t get carried away! You just want to rough up the existing finish, not get down to bare wood.
5. Remove Trim
For those who plan on keeping the trim’s color the same or painting it a different color than the paneling, take the trim off the wall by using a prybar and gently pulling it loose.
If you intend on painting the trim the same color as the paneling, leaving it affixed to the wall and lightly sand it so the paint adheres to it. Once everything has been sanded, wipe the walls and trim down again with a damp cloth to remove any dust.
6. Caulk Cracks
If there are any cracks or gaps around doors or windows, or where the paneling meets the baseboard, use a caulk gun and apply caulk to them. This step will give your finished room a nice, polished look. Be sure to allow the caulk to dry completely before painting.
7. Protect Surrounding Areas
Cover the floor with drop cloths to save your tile or carpet from paint drips. Also, using painters tape, mask off any adjacent areas you want to protect, such as vents, ceilings, windows and doorways.
8. Paint Paneling
To reach the entire span of the wall easily, use a roller with a long or adjustable handle. Also, make sure your roller has a medium nap so that it fills the vertical grooves in the paneling but leaves a smooth surface.
Before painting, prime the paneling with a latex, stain-blocking primer. You can have your primer tinted to a hue close to your paint color to ensure even coverage. Once the primer is dry, apply two coats of latex wall paint to finish.
Although paneling may take a little bit of extra preparation to paint, there’s no denying the clean, crisp end result. Plus, it’s much less work than tearing it out and replacing the room with drywall.