We Spackled Over Our Outdated Paneling in One Weekend for Under $60

7 Materials
2 Days


That paneling HAD. TO. GO.

We had a hard time finding solutions for the wall paneling we wanted gone. We didn’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to have someone drywall so we’d thought about just trying to fill in the grooves somehow.

There were a few Pinterest photos we’d found of others who had tried it but they had that shallow, evenly-spaced, 70s wood kind of paneling not our deep uneven groove paneling, so we figured we may as well give it a go and live with the unsightly aftermath if it went wrong until we could afford the drywall.

Luckily it worked out really well, so here’s a rundown of what we did.

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The before


Prep work is so important in this project because of how much dust there is when you start sanding the spackling down. It would’ve been so much easier to remove all the furniture in the room, but it wasn’t really possible for us because of, ya know, the bowling ball I was carrying around by then.Start by giving the whole wall a thorough cleaning, especially in the grooves. It’s boring, definitely, but will make a difference in how the spackling will hold. 

Apply spackle, sand down

Yeah... this can get messy.As you can see in the photo, be prepared for A LOT of dust to kick up. Proper eyewear is a must.To actually apply it, you’re going to want to hold the putty knife at a 45-degree angle and swipe diagonally one way, then diagonally the other way over a small section of the groove. That way you’re making sure to get it all filled – air bubbles and chunks missing are a bitch to fix, it turns out.For sanding, we literally just put on our masks (another very important step!) and got going. The most important thing when sanding it all down is make sure the sander stays super flat against the wall and you don’t turn it on its side or it could start digging down into the hardened spackling and make a dent.

Paint the wall

I painted a test patch of white paint over what was once a groove to test it had worked and I honestly surprised myself with how good it looked.Our walls needed two coats of paint to hide the stripes, but yours may be different if you’re using a good coverage paint and are going a darker color. We didn’t use primer, but that’s probably another good option to help cover those stripes before painting. Other than that it was the same as painting any other wall.


Lastly, add those finishing touches.We set up our dresser with our TV, Google home and a few decorations to make the room pop!

Before and after


Suggested materials:
  • Spackling   (https://amzn.to/2WtAtDR)
  • Putty knife   (https://amzn.to/2SXGzKu)
  • Paper plates/a tray
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  • Annie Annie on Jan 04, 2021

    Always impressed by your ideas and outcomes. Looks amazing.


  • Julie Julie on Feb 15, 2021

    If you spackle again, try wet sanding. You can either use a drywall sponge with 1 side that is sandpaper or you can use a sanding block. Put warm water in a bucket and go to town. It takes a bit more work but there is hardly any dust!

    Your room looks great!