LESLIE: Carol in Texas is doing some redecorating. How can we help you with that adventure?
CAROL: Right, we have a TV room which, you know, some people call a den. And it’s got lovely dark walnut paneling and we’re sort of tired of the dark wood and the rest of the house is beige, sort of regular walls and we’d like to have this stained – you know, do it ourselves, of course – and make it sort of a tan color; you know, maple or something, a color like that. But we didn’t know how to get from dark to light.
TOM: Carol, is it solid wood or is it actually paneling?
CAROL: Really it’s paneling.
TOM: OK. Well, you can’t change the color of paneling by staining it. It’s a manufactured product and that color layer is not going to …
CAROL: Oh, that’s not good news, is it? Oh, dear.
TOM: No, but you can paint it. You can paint it, right Leslie?
LESLIE: Well you can paint it and there’s really no way it’s solid paneling? Because sometimes – I mean depending on the home and the time period it was built – it could be real wood.
CAROL: Well, this house is 40 years old.
TOM: Well, that’s – you know, that was pretty much the paneling’s mainstay period. If you’ve got the 4×8 sheets of paneling on your walls nailed up, then you definitely can’t save it and restain it but you can paint it …
TOM: … and actually it’s becoming quite popular. Now, the key here is if you’re going to paint it you’ve got to clean it really well …
LESLIE: And it’s all prep work.
TOM: … and you’ve got to prime it and we’d recommend an oil-based primer. Once you do that, you’ll get really good adhesion and then you could put a top color coat right over that.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you want to clean it with a product like trisodium phosphate; something like TSP, which is a painting prep cleansing product. You can find it in the painting aisle of any home center or painting shop.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, TSP. Give it a good washing with that, make sure you dry it very well.
LESLIE: Then the oil-based primer; let that dry really well. And then your top coat.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.