How to Prime and Paint Wall Paneling
LESLIE: Ollie (sp) in South Carolina has a painting and design question. What can we do for you?
OLLIE (sp): I’ve got paneling. I don’t know if it’s laminated paneling or not but it’s got little grooves in it all the way down and it’s darker than the other paneling itself. And I wanted to paint it. Do I have to do something to fill it in – lines or cracks or what you want to call it?
LESLIE: Now, the lines that you’re talking about, those are like the beading. It’s like a decorative feature; it’s supposed to be there. Is that what we’re talking about?
OLLIE (sp): Yeah.
LESLIE: OK. You don’t want to fill that in only because if you try to fill it in with joint compound or wood filler, it’s just going to dry out, crack, detach. It’s never going to last.
So you kind of have to think about it. Can you embrace the look of the paneling, as far as a core element, but paint it a different color and love that vertical lining? Or do you just hate that so much that you want to sort of try to remove it or cover it up?
OLLIE (sp): No, I’d like to leave it if it would make a nice design, you know?
LESLIE: I personally like it. I think painted paneling can be very lovely in the right type of space with the right type of décor and if you choose a good color. Now, the fact that you don’t know whether it’s wood or laminate, that could be a little bit of a concern only because we want to make sure that you have good adhesion.
So if the finish on the paneling right now is a little bit glossy or has a shine to it, you want to use a product like a liquid sander. And that’s something that you just wipe on and it sort of abrades the surface.
First, I’d give it a good cleaning, then I’d lightly abrade it with a liquid sander. Then I would prime it and I would prime it well with a good-quality primer. And then once that’s done, I would paint it. And I really enjoy the look of a paneling that’s in a glossy white. But I think if you go with a neutral color and try not to get crazy and just sort of let it be a neutral background with a decorative detail in it, I think it’ll be great.
OLLIE (sp): I think it would look nice. But thank you. You have a good day.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.