Stained wood paneling on a wall can make a room look dark and make it look dated. 

Instead of taking down the paneling (who knows what you are going to find or what damage you are going to make), consider painting the wood paneling to freshen up the room.

Here are some tips and tricks for painting wood paneling.


Tips and Tricks for Painting Wood Panelingphoto courtesy of Stu Spivack
Clean the wood paneling with soap and water to remove all dust, cobwebs, and dirt.

Make sure to remove any greasy or oily stains.


Using wood putty, fill in any nail holes or cracks that have developed.

If desired, you can use spackle to fill in the grooves to disguise the paneling and make the wall look smooth.


Using a pole sander or sanding block, lightly sand the wood paneling to rough up the surface.

If you don't sand, the paint may not stick to the wood paneling.

Do not sand too much, which might damage the wall. 

You can use an electric sander with a medium to fine grit sandpaper is you have a lot of wood paneling to paint.


Wipe down the wood paneling with a tack cloth or slightly damp cloth to remove all sanding dust. 

Make sure the wall is completely dry before proceeding.


Using painters tape, tape off any areas that you do not want to paint - such as adjacent walls, the floor, a fireplace, and the ceiling.


Using a paint roller and a brush, paint the walls using an oil based primer to create a good base coat for the paint to adhere to.

Roll on the primer in as many places as you can since rolling takes less time.

Brush on the primer in spots that the roller can't reach.


Once the primer has dried, paint the walls with an even top coat of your desired paint.

You will probably need 2 coats of paint for a smooth finish.




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