How to Paint Wood Paneling
LESLIE: Roger in Wisconsin, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
ROGER: I have a home and it has a lot of paneling in it. That is a product called luan.
TOM: Yes, mm-hmm.
ROGER: And at one time, I had some remodeling done and there was a divider between living room, dining room and kitchen. And they took that off and we put sheetrock and sprayed it and then painted it. But there’s still quite a bit in. It’s a split-level entryway, a hallway and then two of the bedrooms. And I was wondering if there was any other application could do instead of having it all taken off and sheetrock put on and …
TOM: Have you considered painting the paneling?
ROGER: Yeah, well, that was my question.
ROGER: Before, I thought – I listened to your program and I thought it would be a good question to ask (inaudible at 0:31:11).
TOM: It is a good question and it’s definitely a doable project.
TOM: And so many of us are stuck with paneling that’s been put up over the last decades.
TOM: And there’s no reason you can’t paint it. The key is to make sure that you get a good, even coat and so priming is especially important, even though there’s a finished surface and it’s not the kind of material that’s going to absorb. But if you prime it first, then you can paint it.
And I think that we’ve even seen some folks, depending on the style of the paneling, do it with …
LESLIE: And the room.
TOM: And the room. Do it with multiple colors or complementary colors, right, Leslie?
LESLIE: Yeah. I mean it really depends. You can make it work. Obviously, there’s a built-in stripe for you. It depends on how you use the space and what your style is, whether you’re going to go with that or not.
Generally, I find that the crispest, cleanest look when you’re painting over paneling is a glossy white.
LESLIE: For some reason, that just gives you a good, neutral base. It really pops. It makes the paneling look not offensive.
LESLIE: And it’s wearable, if you will. It’s something that’ll work with any sort of décor.
ROGER: Mm-hmm. And now, between the paneling – each panel – there is a wooden strip, which would probably – I would take off but – and then that would have to be probably a little gap in there and would have to be filled?
LESLIE: Yeah. If you fill it, though, on a wall surface, that’s never going to stick.
TOM: Why don’t you work the strip into the design? It’ll give you a little depth to it, a little texture to it.
ROGER: OK, we can do that, too. Sure.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Once everything goes white, it sort of just becomes one.
ROGER: Blends right in. Right, right.
ROGER: Well, I appreciate your input. Any particular brand or type of primer you would use?
TOM: I would use a KILZ oil-based primer on the wood.
TOM: Mm-hmm. It’s a little bit more of a hassle to put on but I think it’s going to dry nice, flow well and you’ll be really pleased with the top coat – with the condition of the top coat after you put the paint on.
ROGER: And then latex would go over that?
TOM: Latex can go on top of that, yep. Mm-hmm.
ROGER: OK. OK.
ROGER: Well, listen, thank you very much. I appreciate your answer.
TOM: You’re welcome, Roger. Good luck with that project in Chippewa Falls. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.