How do you paint over some 1970’s pine paneling?


To light up the room?

  7 answers
  • Twyla J Boyer Twyla J Boyer on Mar 28, 2019

    I did this years ago. I tried a couple approaches before finding one that worked pretty well:

    Wash the paneling with TSP and water and rinse well. Messy, but worth it. (TSP is available in any hardware store - just ask. Follow the directions on the box. Wear gloves as it dries out your skin.)

    Do the edges AND the little grooves first with a paint brush. Do two coats. (Do whole thing first with primer if not using a paint that includes primer) This is a pain, but do it anyway.

    Let it dry completely. This step is annoying but important. I didn't let it dry completely the first time and ended up pulling the semi-dry paint off the flat parts of the paneling with the roller. What a mess!

    Use a regular roller with a fairly short nap (just like you'd use on a regular wall) that isn't too full of paint and apply the paint as if the little grooves didn't exist. Because the grooves already have two coats of paint, they are good.

    Couple of tips:

    Don't bother trying to use a longer nap roller to paint without painting the grooves first. Doesn't work. Made a mess.

    Don't overload the roller when starting so that it drips down the grooves.

    Check the grooves pretty regularly while rolling to remove any drip - they show pretty badly when dry if you miss them. (I had a couple bad ones and just hung artwork over them or hid them with furniture.)

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Mar 28, 2019


    Proper prep can yield a successful job. After walls are clean —prime and paint.

    We have a log cabin and too much wood is dark and dreary.

    We are quite pleased the previous homeowner placed paneling in two bedrooms and painted it a light color. I would suggest not to hesitare to your paint paneling for a room brightening update. Our paneling grooves are not filled and I feel its a huge improvement. If you look into the hallway in the photos below you can see how dark the log walls are.

    I think you’ll be really pleased with your results. Best wishes in your painting adventure!

    Heres helpful links! I hope this helps!

  • Tinyshoes Tinyshoes on Mar 28, 2019

    Lisa...If it has varnish on it I would sand well, prime then paint. They do have paint now with primer already in it. Good luck

  • Jan Jan on Mar 28, 2019

    We did this years ago in another home. The paneling was fortunately quite clean, but we did a quick cleaning of them first.

    We used a primer paint (Kilz) and then painted. Tint primer the same color you will paint in.

    I agree with the above, use a brush for the grooves and roll the rest.

    This lasted for 7 years before we moved.

    If they are heavily varnished, then I would use the TSP as it will bleed though the primer sometimes.

  • Jo-Ann Wright Jo-Ann Wright on Mar 28, 2019

    This is what we did.

    We didn't want a painted paneling look but didn't expect a perfectly flat finish either.

    1. Clean it thoroughly and let it dry completely.

    2. If nails are visible sink them.

    3. Fill all nail hole and panel grooves with putty. Allow to dry completely.

    4. Sand putty to smooth it out.

    5. Prime and paint.

  • William William on Mar 28, 2019


    Make sure the paneling is clean and dry. Prime with a good stain blocking primer like Kilz. Then paint like painting regular walls. Acrilyc latex paint will work. If the paneling has grooves you can fill them with non shrink drywall patching compound. Just put on enough to fill the grooves. Let it dry overnight. Next day use a damp sponge to smooth the patch. Then prime and paint.

  • Tere Tere on Mar 29, 2019

    My son just did this in his house. If you're concerned about the seems and divets, you can fill them in with wood filler, then sand smooth before painting .We washed the paneling using a bucket of warm water with a squirt of dawn to remove the years of dust then allowed it to dry completely before painting. We used regular interior house paint, the same you'd use if you were painting dry walled walls. It tuned out Beautiful! Amazing how it lightened up the entire room!