Paneling is a product of the sixties and seventies that was used instead of Sheetrock because of its ease in installing and because it was much cheaper. Today it is dark, dull and outdated. However, most Reno homeowners would rather paint it than tear it out to be replaced by Sheetrock, which would be very expensive. Painted paneling can look very sharp, especially with other decor in the room. If you decide to take on this interior painting project, you will have much more success if you follow a few basic rules.
1/2″ nap paint roller
Stain blocking primer
Quality latex paint
Wood Paneling has a gloss over it’s surface and in order to paint wood paneling so it bonds properly that surface needs to be de-glossed. You can of course use some sandpaper and lightly sand the surface; however, I have found this method to be a bit quicker and easier but still producing excellent bonding. Using a rag, degloss the paneling with the de-glossing chemical by working in small sections of the surface. Once a section has been completed then roll the primer over top of the area you just de-glossed. The reason for this is the de-glossed section will only be good for a short amount of time, so it is important get the primer on before the time expires. De-glossing will provide a good surface for the the primer to properly adhere to. Be sure to have the room properly vented, you may even want to invest in a respirator that has a chemical filter on it.
The best primer to use would be B.I.N. It has stain blocking propertie in it which will keep the stain from bleeding through the paint. Use the brush to cut in the edges and wherever the roller will not get to. Sometimes you will need to brush the crevices, especially where the molding and panel meet, you will need to push the primer into the gaps where the grooves are going along the molding. This can be tedious so patience is required here. The rest will just be rolled out as stated in step 1.
Here it will be up to you just how far you want to go with surface prep. You can fill all the crevices and joints with spackle then smooth it out before painting. I would highly suggested this if you are going to be installing wallpaper over the wood paneling, but wallpaper is a topic for another article.
Painting the Wood Paneling
You may use any color to paint the wood paneling, as well as any brand or type such as eggshell or flat finish. I suggest Benjamin Moore because of it’s vibrant colors and ease of use. Their products do not spit paint as much when rolling and provide smooth leveling that you just do not get with some other brands. If you are going with a darker color you can even have the B.I.N primer tinted.
This is not a simple undertaking, and if you get halfway through and realize you’re in over your head, your Reno painting contractor will rise to the challenge.