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If you are as lucky as we are and have a house without drywall yet have wood paneling that you would like updated this is the post for you.

The previous owners of our home loved wood paneling. Now, I’ll give them some credit, in a house as old as ours, with an enclosed stairwell that seems to go straight up with very narrow treads, getting drywall up the stairs is a complete disaster and near impossible. Therefore, smaller sheets of lightweight paneling that have some give, seemed to be the easier solution. And that was fine for the 70’s. But now, its time to update and we came across the same dilemma. How in the world would we get drywall upstairs…?

So we decided it was easier to paint it than to replace it or cover it up. Here are a few tips about painting paneling and what we have learned.

  1. They recommend you wash the walls first. We obliged in our kitchen where the greatest amount of dirt and grease would be, however opted out for the upstairs walls.
  2. They also recommend you take some sand paper and rough up the paneling to get a better surface for the paint to stick to. We tried that in the kitchen and found it a huge waste of time. You end up sanding and sanding and you still have a smooth surface its just not shiny anymore. Don’t waste your time
  3. Spend the money on a good primer for this. We used Kilz primer. Two coats of primer was a must. First we used a paint brush to get the “seams” then the roller, then rolled over it again. Some people take the time to Spackle and putty the indentations to make the wall looks smooth and one solid piece. Again, who has time for that!! And filler will eventually separate, looking terrible.  file__storage_extsdcard_dcim_camera_20170204_175100 ***WORD OF CAUTION*** DO NOT GLOB ON THE PRIMER!!!!
  4. The primer is the most important part of this. Apply a thin rolled on coat, let it dry COMPLETELY then apply another rolled on coat. Remember, it is NOT drywall. If you glob on paint, the paint will drip and dry like that you will have a very sloppy looking result. Also if its applied too thick it will peel off the wall like a post-it note when bumped. (see picture in tip #5)
  5. Also, if you are doing trim we suggest you remove the trim, paint it then put it back up. The reason for this is, painters tape (blue tape) when used, will peel the paint and primer right off and leave an ugly patchy mess for you to fix. Or paint your trim first then your walls. I found that the “Masking Tape” brand seemed to do a much better job of not ripping the paint off the wall. Sometimes cheaper is better. file__storage_extsdcard_dcim_camera_20170213_184516

With these few tips for ya, you can get amazing results with a few gallons of paint.