How to paint paneling?


I have a den with a cathedral ceiling. It is entirely paneled. The paneling is a little dark and I want to brighten up the room. Any suggestions?

  6 answers
  • It's important to clean it well, Cindy. Here's a link with more details:

  • William William on Mar 22, 2019

    Paint Paneling

    Make sure the paneling is clean and dry. Prime with a good stain blocking primer like Kilz. Then paint like painting regular walls. 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.

  • Chaz Chaz on Mar 22, 2019

    The proper way is if it is glossy then they say to do this,

    1. Lightly sand the paneling with 100-grit sandpaper to remove any gloss.
    2. Use a damp cloth to wipe any sanding dust off the walls, if not glossy then just do this.
    3. Prime the walls with a quality primer and allow to dry.
    4. Apply two top coats of wall paint or one coat if your happy with it.

    My paneling was already painted but I have changed colors many times and it looks great even with the grooves in it.

    Depending on your kind of paneling you should do this;

    Not taking the time to sand the paneling before painting will create an unsightly mess. Paneling tends to be very smooth and is sealed better than other types of wood. Sanding the paneling before you start to paint will rough up the surface and allow the paint to adhere.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Mar 22, 2019

    Hi! I've painted paneling and it is a DIY project that isn't hard to do. Decide if you want to fill the grooves, since you will want to do that before painting. I spackled my grooves, although I'm sure there are other ways to do it. After sanding them smooth, I cleaned the paneling, to remove dust, etc. Then I primed the walls, with Kilz, which I had tinted to match the paint color I was going to use.

  • Cindy,

    We moved into our home about a year ago and almost every room had wood paneling. We painted right over the paneling in some of the rooms. I would either buy cabinet quality paint, its pricey but is super nice to work with, or prime your space first. Then paint away. We elected to not fill the seams to save time and money. Here is some before and after photos and some painting tips and tricks.

    Good luck! Lauren - The Little Lake Cottage

  • Lizbeth Lizbeth on Mar 23, 2019

    The grooves in my painted paneling are not filled. I love it that way. The grooves add subtle interest and I have plenty of other rooms with smooth walls. Good luck!