Asked on Jul 24, 2012

painting paneling

Pattiecake51AnnCynthia H


Has anyone ever painted paneling? We have some dark paneling and I would like to paint it to make the room look brighter. If so, how did you do it and what kind of paint was used. Thanks so much for the info!
11 answers
  • Carroll A
    on Jul 24, 2012

    I have painted paneling in my living room and bathroom. I washed it down really well with TSP and filled in any nail or/and holes/cracks, then painted 2 coats of primer (Kilz), two coats of paint (Dutch Bros I think). Its been almost a year and still looks good.

  • The cleaning and prep makes all the difference in getting good results. If the paneling has been up a while, there is a good chance that there is cleaning oils on the surface of the wood. So the TSP is a critical step in getting the paneling clean. Also choose a good quality primer, Kilz is one of the many. And put a good coat of prime. If needed put two coats on. It does make a difference with the final result. If the surface of the paneling is really shiny, the TSP should help on knocking that down, But a light sanding with 220 sand paper may be something you want to consider just to be sure you do not end up with peeling paint later down the road. A 3/4 inch nap roller should be fine in getting between the gaps on the wood. You may be better served however by using a brush to really fill those spaces up good with the prime also. All depends upon the depth of the groves in the panel.

  • Carroll A
    on Jul 24, 2012

    I forgot about the brushes. Woodbridge is right. I used a good stiff brush to get in the grooves first then followed up with the roller on the flat surface. It does leave brush strokes if you do it the other way around.

  • Linda Bolte
    on Jul 24, 2012

    Years ago, in an old farm house I helped a sister-in-law paint dark paneling a off-white. It looked great!!!

  • Pat S
    on Jul 25, 2012

    I have been painting all my walls (they are all paneled) and everyone has told you what I've done: prep, prime, paint and what a difference it makes!

    q painting paneling, paint colors, painting, wall decor, same wall before and after
  • Miriam I
    on Jul 26, 2012

    Here is a recent project posted by Christina; she painted her knotty pine paneling a Benjamin Moore white:

  • No. 29 Design
    on Jul 26, 2012

    I painted the 50 year old pine panelling which was in one room in my home. Two coats of primer and Benjamin Moore Marscapone really transformed the room, as Miriam was kind enough to link above. We questioned filling in the gaps with wood filler but decided against it, too time consuming! The room has a very warm cozy cottage feeling to it!

  • Linda Lemiere-Zile
    on Jul 26, 2012

    yep it takes some time and work but well worth the effort!!

  • Cynthia H
    on May 31, 2015

    I painted the paneling in my bedroom closet. I cleaned it really well, first, primed it, then painted it. In one section I filled in the dark grooves with spackle and it made an amazing difference!

    , My closet painted in Navaho white
  • Ann
    on Jun 7, 2015

    I did it! 1. Clean, clean, clean! 2. Prime, prime again. 3. Paint and maybe paint again. Big job but worth it VERY worth it.

  • Pattiecake51
    on Jul 2, 2015

    I had what I called 'the two for a dollar' sheet paneling in a rec room. I caulked between the sheets with big gaps.Then I painted kilz all over it. Then 3 coats of paint, the best. You probably couldn't scrub the paint on the paneling but on the door jams you can. Stunning!

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