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How to Paint Over Paneling

How to Paint Over Paneling
If you've been wanting to paint over a paneled wall, we say, go ahead! There's no need to worry about doing work on the walls all over again, when you can slather a fresh coat of paint instead. Here's how you can paint over paneling without a worry in sight.
DecorDezine Staff
The wood paneling of older homes gives an outdated and boring impression on its overall interior decoration. While you can strip the wall of these aging panels, there are some problems associated with it. If it is glued to the wall, then its removal will cause extensive damage to the walls, and will require immediate repair. In many homes, wall panels hide many imperfections of the concealed wall, like wide cracks and gouges. To avoid unnecessary expenses, you're better off better over the wood panels―you're home will look as good as new, trust us.
Steps on How to Paint Over Paneling
Before you begin with the painting job, make sure you remove furniture from the room or cover them up with drop cloths. Procure the tools and material needed for the paint job. These includes: Joint compound, sandpaper, primer, paint, paint brush or paint rollers, soap, water, etc. Once you are ready, follow the instructions given below:
Step #1: The first step involves preparing the surface of the paneling. Check the wall panel for any protruding nails; if you find any, pull them out using the back of a hammer. The surface has to be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water to get rid of any dirt and grease―the last thing you need is fresh paint peeling off. Dip a sponge into the soap solution and rub it vigorously over the wood panel, especially corners and edges. Rinse it with soap and then clean water.
Step #2: The next step is filling up the grooves on the paneling, with joint compound. Mix the joint compound on a mud pan as per the manufacturer's instructions. Spread it over the grooves in the form of a thick uniform paste so that it fills up properly. Let the compound dry for 24 hours. If there are instructions given on the container regarding the drying time, then follow the same.
Step #3: After the compound dries, you have to sand the areas where it was applied in order to give the paneling a smooth finish. You can use sandpaper or a power sander for this purpose. If the surface of the panel is slick then you can lightly sand the entire wall panel, which will ensure better adherence of the primer and the paint. Then wipe off the walls with a damp sponge to remove the sanded dust from its surface.
Step #4: Usually, the surface of a wall panel is glossy, making it difficult for paint to stay put. Hence, a good quality primer has to be applied so that the paint can bond with the underlying paneling. Another advantage of applying primer, is that it can hide minor defects in the panels. First, apply a single coat of primer and let it dry thoroughly which will require at least 12 hours. After that if you feel the need for a second coat, then repeat this step.
Step #5: Once the second coat of primer is dry, it's time to apply paint over the wood paneling. A latex paint with a flat or eggshell finish is ideal, since the irregularities of the wood paneling will be effectively masked. Avoid paint with a glossy finish; it tends to make imperfections stand out. Apply the first coat of paint as per the directions provided by the manufacturer. Depending on the paint color and the shade of the panel, you have to decide on the number of coats that you'll need to apply; three coats of paint should do the trick. However, for dark shades of wood paneling, more coats need to be applied. Make sure that you let the previous coat dry properly before you apply the next.
When you opt for a paint job, you obtain a long term solution to the problem at hand, and in turn have years of problem-free paint work. Moreover, you do not require much effort to complete this home improvement project. While carrying out the paint job, make sure that you protect yourself with adequate safety gear like overalls, work helmet, hand gloves, goggles, and a respirator.