Can I paint 70's paneling to look like driftwood if so how?

by Ronna
  8 answers
  • Julie M. Julie M. on Jun 21, 2017

    I think this method would work with paneling....

  • Charla Schuman Charla Schuman on Jun 21, 2017

    I'm sure you can! Here's a tutorial for painting a crate, which would be doable on a wall. :)

  • Carole Triplett Brooks Carole Triplett Brooks on Jun 21, 2017

    Apple Cider Vinegar Mixture

    1 Add several pieces of grade 0000 steel wool from the bag to a gallon bucket. Fill the bucket with vinegar to cover the steel wool. Set a plate across the top of the bucket to prevent evaporation. Allow it to sit for 24 hours.

    2 Make a gallon of tea. Add five tea bags to a gallon of hot water. Let the tea bags steep in the hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. You can add more tea bags to create a darker tea, as desired.

    3. Buff the surface of the wood paneling you plan to age with sandpaper to scratch it up a bit and ready it to accept the mixtures to age it. Work in the direction of the grain as you sand.

    4 Paint the liquid from the tea-bag mixture onto the wood following the direction of the grain. Allow the wood to dry thoroughly. A gallon of tea covers roughly the same area as a gallon of paint, about 350 square feet.

    5 Apply the vinegar mixture to the tea-stained wood and allow it to dry. Different types of wood react differently to this aging mixture; results range from gray-brown to a blue-gray look.

    Baking Soda Method

    1 Fill a gallon bucket with warm water.

    2 Add 1 full cup of baking soda to the warm water. Mix it with a wooden spoon until the baking soda dissolves.

    3 Scrub the mixture into the wood using a nylon-bristle scrub brush. Thoroughly douse the wood paneling's surface with the mixture.

    4 Set the wood paneling with the baking soda and water mixture in the sun if you have not installed the wood paneling yet. If the paneling is already installed, you can still use this mixture without putting the panels in the sun, as the sun adds to the aging and drying process. Let it dry for up to five hours or more to give it a gray patina.

    5 Rinse the dried wood paneling off with cold water applied by a sponge or clean rag. Let dry.

    Paint and Stain Method

    1 Apply any dark-colored stain to the wood paneling. Lightly paint the entire surface of the wood paneling and let it thoroughly dry.

    2 Dry-brush white paint onto the stained wood. You can use standard latex interior paint for this stage of the process or use craft paint for smaller projects. The dry brush method involves dipping the paintbrush into the can, and then removing most of the paint on a piece of cardboard or the side of the can. Lightly go over the entire surface of the wood paneling with the white paint. It does not matter if it appears blotchy, as this contributes to the aged look.

    3 Create a mixture of gray paint diluted with equal parts water. The idea is to make a thinner coat of glaze.

    4 Paint the gray coat of diluted paint onto the wood paneling. Use a clean rag to wipe off excess paint in spots to achieve the desired look.

    Things You Will Need

    Gallon jug of apple cider vinegar

    Grade 0000 steel wool

    2 gallon-size buckets

    tea bags

    Medium-grit sandpaper

    Paintbrush or rag

    Baking soda

    Measuring cup

    Wooden spoon

    Nylon-bristle scrub brush

    Clean rags

    Dark wood stain

    White latex paint

    Gray latex paint


    To distress the wood to give it more of an aged look, hit the wood paneling with a hammer or chain at various places on its surface. Make certain to keep the paneling flat to avoid breaking it. You can also dimple the wood by laying nails across the surface and lightly tapping them with the hammer to dent the surface.

    For a quick aging method, buy ready-made products to sun bleach wood, or stain it with a gray stain for the desired look.

    Increase the mixtures proportionally to the amount of wood paneling you need to weather and age. Coverage varies with the type of wood paneling used.


    Work in an area that has good ventilation and on a sunny day to facilitate drying times.

  • MELIKI MELIKI on Jun 21, 2017

    no answer for your question....but love your name!!!!!!

  • Ana Bacallao Ana Bacallao on Jun 21, 2017

    I was going to suggest painting and distressing but after reading the instructions from Carole, I think one of those methods would be the way to go.

  • MELIKI MELIKI on Jun 22, 2017

    My first name is Ronna!

  • MELIKI MELIKI on Jun 22, 2017


  • Jennifer Jennifer on May 05, 2019

    Ronna, did you do it? How did it turn out?