Can I Make Paneling Look Like Drywall?
LESLIE: We’ve got Rebecca from Kansas on the line. What can we do for you today?
REBECCA: We have a room that has the old wood paneling in it with the grooves and such that we’d really like to not remove it. But is there some way we can get the drywall look without putting up drywall, with putting on mud by hand or splattering it and kind of doing a knockdown or would it stick or – what do we need to do?
LESLIE: Well, I feel like whatever you put on top of it – whether or fill it with mud or you use something to make the grooves go away and then try to smooth out the surface – you’re going to get so much movement from the walls, just in general. Not that your house is moving but it does. And it gets a lot of movement just from people walking by that none of that’s going to stick in there. And it’s going to end up falling off and looking weird and you’re going to have to do it again.
So, my suggestion is either embrace the paneling look, as far as the grooves, and paint the paneling to give it a different effect. Or put a ½-inch drywall over it.
REBECCA: If you painted it, would you have to put some kind of a primer so it’ll stick or would you need to do a light sand on it or …?
LESLIE: Yes and yes – definitely sand and prime the paneling before painting it. You want to make sure that the surface is clean, obviously.
LESLIE: So, if there’s anything sticky or gross on it, you want to give it a good cleaning. You could use something like TSP, which is trisodium phosphate. And that’s a good wall-prep product. Or you can give it a light sanding. But if you give it a nice – if there’s a sheen to it, you may want to give it a light sanding but not necessarily.
And then I would use a really good, heavy-duty primer: something perhaps like a B-I-N or a Zinsser; something that’s hard core that’s going to stick to anything. And then let that dry and once that’s done, you can go ahead and put a latex topcoat on it.
REBECCA: OK. If we elected to do the ½-inch drywall, we’d just treat it like a normal drywall: tape it, put the mud on and sand it and paint it.
LESLIE: Absolutely. The only thing to consider is that any electrical outlets – your boxes, things like that – are going to have to be pulled out a little bit.
REBECCA: Oh, we’re going to have to bring them out.
LESLIE: Yeah. Trim, as well.
REBECCA: OK. Very good. Thank you.