Asked on Feb 9, 2020

How do I paint over wall paneling that has been painted?

Simple Nature DecorHomeroadLaura Cooper


Need some suggestions for primer to paint over cheap paint that was painted on wall paneling. Fourteen years ago we bought our 1950’s built home and every room had the cheap faux wood paneling. We let our teenagers decide on their room colors and were tight on cash. We primed using the standard water based Kilz and painted the walls with cheap latex red and the trim black. Eventually the walls will be replaced with Sheetrock but for now I want to paint over them. Should I prime with a water base or oil base primer? I am pretty certain I will have to sand the trim as there is some adhesion problems and peeling areas, any tips or tricks will be VERY WELCOMED!! I really would love to stay away from having to sand everything if I can, I HATE sanding! I am a fan of a good oil based primer, now that I know a little more about painting, but I am concerned about using an oil based primer over the cheap latex paint... Help!!!

12 answers
  • Gk
    on Feb 9, 2020

    Hello Christine! I would just use water based primer as that should work the best over the latex paint that is on the walls/trim right now and will work the best for going over the primer with a new coat of latex paint. I would only sand the peeling areas. Make sure what you are sanding is nice and smooth and feathers into the unsanded parts so there are no distinct edges between where you have sanded and where you haven't. You don't have to bring it all the way to the wood. Just smooth it all out. A palm sander with fine or extra fine sandpaper works good for this. In a 1950's house who knows how many layers of paint are on the walls and trim and what kinds of paint or if anyone ever used any primer especially on raw wood trim. That may be why your trim is peeling and the paint didn't adhere well. Wear a mask when you are sanding.

  • Recreated Designs
    on Feb 9, 2020

    Hi Christine,

    I have painted that before too and I just used a good water based primer over the paint. I would take a piece of sandpaper over it all first just to knock off any loose bits but then you would be good to go. Good luck!

  • Christina Faye Repurposed
    on Feb 9, 2020

    Hello Christine,

    A great water based primer will work. You can lightly sand over the areas that are peeling/chipping.

  • William
    on Feb 9, 2020

    You can use water based primer. Just lightly sand any peeling areas and feather the edges.

  • Mogie
    on Feb 9, 2020

    Painted Wood

    If your paint is in very good condition, a primer may not be needed. However, if you have exposed wood, chalking or chipped paint, use an oil-based primer. Before you prime, scrape away as much chipped paint as possible, and wash off any chalk. (Just because you're using a primer doesn't mean you should skip surface preparation.)

  • Pamela
    on Feb 9, 2020

    Hi ! You should stay with a water based primer !!! You are not supposed to mix types of paint and primer ! You should use a sanding sponge to light!y sand any peeling areas . Make sure you clean off all the dust !!!! Then use a primer , then paint . I would suggest using a better quality paint , if you get a cheap paint you will have to use several coats to cover a dark color . Using a better quality paint you should only need 1-2 coats . Good luck !!!

  • Cynthia H
    on Feb 10, 2020

    Smooth out any rough spots and stay with water based. If you have to spackle any holes or rough spots, you can wet sand with a sponge. Less dust and you only need a damp, flat sponge and a bucket of warm water (to rinse the sponge out).

  • William
    on Feb 10, 2020

    Any primer can be used. water based, oil based, and shellac based for stain blocking. It bonds to any surface. It has more paint silids and is a sealer coat. I use Kilz all the time and have had no problem no matter what kind of paint i use.

  • Laura Cooper
    on Feb 12, 2020

    This Kilz product is a BEAST! And it is water based.... Excellent product! Kilz premium 3. I think it is exactly what you need.

  • Homeroad
    on Feb 14, 2020

    I would try Bin primer and then paint a light color over it. White painted paneling looks great. I have it in my stairwell.

  • Simple Nature Decor
    on Feb 16, 2020

    I would use a good primer This one is amazing covers everything.

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