Asked on Feb 28, 2017

How do you paint over wood paneling?

by New_DIY_Guy
What steps should anyone take in painting over old 1970s wood paneling?
  12 answers
  • William William on Feb 28, 2017

    You can fill in the grooves with drywall patching compound if you choose. Lightly sand to remove any gloss, prime with a good stain blocking primer, then paint with your color.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Feb 28, 2017

    You can also consider a white wash effect which may be a little less work.

  • Nancy Nancy on Feb 28, 2017

    You must degloss and really clean that paneling. If anyone ever smoked in that home, the paneling absorbed the nicotine. Once, the paneling is really clean. Prime with KILZ stain and odor blocker paint/primer and then paint (two coats).

  • Nancy Nancy on Mar 01, 2017

    Inspiration photo. All the paneling in this living room has been painted correctly.

  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Mar 01, 2017

    Make sure that the paneling is smooth first- sand if necessary. I always pitch to use chalk paint because it adheres to most surfaces and will cut out priming steps.Good luck, keep us posted!

  • ANITA ANITA on Mar 01, 2017

    clean thoroughly sand lightly prime and paint

  • New_DIY_Guy New_DIY_Guy on Mar 01, 2017

    Thanks for all of the advice. I see that cleaning and sanding it is a must in therror process.

  • Kde12210848 Kde12210848 on Mar 02, 2017

    I just painted every room in my house and all were paneled. I prefer wood filler over the drywall compound to fill the groves. After filling all the groves it was time for the dust to fly. OMG it was everywhere so wear a mask and box up everything you can because it is a huge mess but the end results are so eorth it. After all the sanding was done all the walls were washed eith white vinegar in warm water as this will cut through grease and grime. Next apply a good primer I prefer KILZ as 1 coat was all I needed. Next 2 coats of paint. I used a satin finish in everyroom and my walls are so smooth and I am so happy. Evrryone who sees it thinks its drywall. Good luck with yours!

  • Joan Joan on Mar 03, 2017

    You do NOT have to sand your paneling. I washed it down with Dawn, primed it with regular primer, and painted it. The grooved lines were painted with a small paint brush. Not necessary to fill them in with anything. It may take several coats of paint depending on the color of the paneling, but that's all you need to do.

    I painted my entire 1960's rec room, which is now my workout room, in a regular satin white paint and it's gorgeous!

  • Jennifer | CrazyDiyMom Jennifer | CrazyDiyMom on Mar 03, 2017

    I just painted all my paneling as well and I LOVE how it turned out. I didn't fill in the grooves, I liked the dimension that the panels give.

    I did not sand either, just a little damp rag wash down on the walls.

    Depending on your type of paneling, if it's the real wood type, use Zinsser BIN - the kind that covers sap. While it may look like your paneling isn't producing sap, you will notice it when the paint goes on and you can't figure out what all those orange/brown spots are.

    Here's my project:

  • Jro12509482 Jro12509482 on Mar 04, 2017

    When we painted our paneling we first wiped it down very well with liquid sandpaper 2 times using lots of pressure, lots of liquid sandpaper and changing our rags often. That dulled the finish. Then we sprayed on 2 coats of Kilz and then 2 coats of oil based enamel with a soft sheen. It was beautiful.

    Paint can be brushed on but no brush marks made it really pretty. **After we sprayed on the first coat of Kilz we had to caulk where the individual panels came together. The white paint showed the seam like a black line.** We did that after the first coat of Kilz because we saw it would be a problem. I would do it before any Kilz is applied.

    We have sold that home so I cannot include a picture but we lived there for 10 years after painting and it showed no wear. We finished the room off with crown molding and it looked really pretty.