Tips for Painting Wood Paneling
LESLIE: Carol in Florida, welcome to The Money Pit. How can we help?
CAROL: Hi. Well, I have an older house that has that wood paneling on the walls. And I wanted to know – I’m trying to paint over it. And I painted with a base paint but it looks like somebody just kind of whitewashed it. It doesn’t look like it’s been painted at all.
TOM: Did you prime it first?
CAROL: I put that KILZ on it.
TOM: OK, well that’s good. But that’s not the topcoat now. You realize that.
CAROL: Right, right. I put that on the bottom because that’s what they told me at the home store.
TOM: Yeah, you put that on first.
CAROL: Then I took a base paint and I put over that.
TOM: You’re still not happy with the look?
CAROL: No, it still doesn’t look like it’s been painted. It looks kind of like somebody just smeared like milk-of-magnesia all over it.
TOM: I wonder if you used a two-part – like a faux painting system and just put a base on and you didn’t put the glaze on. That’s what it’s sounding like because you should have had some sort of a sheen on that.
CAROL: Oh, no. It’s completely flat. I mean it doesn’t even look like it’s been painted.
LESLIE: Yeah, that’s not the right product then.
TOM: Yeah, I don’t – yeah.
LESLIE: Because what you want to use is you just want to use a latex interior paint at whatever sheen you like; matte, flat, semigloss, pearl.
LESLIE: And if you put the KILZ as your primer on there, you should have had no problem with your topcoat latex sticking. Because, really, it’s the primer that causes the adhesion and really helps that topcoat stick. And at this point I think you’re going to have to prime again.
TOM: Yeah, it sounds to me like you put the wrong topcoat on.
LESLIE: OK. Alright.
TOM: Alright, you just want a standard wall paint at whatever sheen you’d like it to be.
LESLIE: And whatever color.
TOM: And whatever color. Yeah, of course.
CAROL: OK. Well, that was my mistake and I misunderstood and I just grabbed the wrong kind of paint then.
TOM: Well, you know what, Carol? Everybody thinks painting is so simple but, you know. Hey …
CAROL: Oh, no. It’s not.
TOM: … chemistry is not that simple. (laughing) It’s chemistry. Alright, Carol, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.