Get advice on how to protect and paint wood paneling, including tips on how to clean wood paneling.
LESLIE: Heading over to Minnesota where Marti has a paneling question. What can we do for you?
MARTI: My house was built in 1907 …
MARTI: … and the majority of the house the walls are all covered with paneling. And where my stove is sitting in my kitchen it’s kind of freestanding in a little corner. And I’ve got spatters from goodness knows what (chuckles) …
TOM: A lot of cooking.
MARTI: A lot of cooking. And I need to know if there’s anything I can use to clean the paneling and is there something I can put up over the top of the paneling to protect it.
TOM: What’s this paneling made out of, Marti?
MARTI: I have absolutely no idea.
TOM: So is it like a painted paneling?
MARTI: It’s like a – it’s like a pecan finish; a wood paneling.
TOM: Hmm. Well, first of all, it’s probably not a good idea to have that behind your stove anyway. You probably want to have something that’s a little more fire  resistant.
In terms of cleaning, the paneling surface itself is going to be very, very thin; so if you abrade it, you know, or really scrub it, you might just ruin whatever finish is left. I think the idea that you had, to go on top of this, is probably the best and there are a number of things that you can do there. You can go over it with a laminate. You could create sort of like a backsplash. You could tile  it. You could paint  it.
MARTI: OK, that sounds pretty good.
TOM: Alright, well give it a shot. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.