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Painting Over Paneling

  Painting Articles >> Painting Over Paneling


Paint Over Paneling for Brighter Decor
A lot of people have dark wood paneling in their older homes. It darkens rooms and leaves homeowners feeling as if they have no decorative options save major remodeling to replace the paneling. Many people never consider painting dark wood paneling, but this inexpensive, quick decorating fix is a good way to go when remodeling with plasterboard or wall board is not an option. Professional house painter can apply wood graining techniques to simulate whatever look you desire. Also painting and plastering the paneling can be done relatively easily.

Painting wood paneling is fairly simple if the surface is properly prepared first. Paneling has a slick surface that doesn't readily accept paint. A good quality primer should be applied to wood paneling to give it a surface that can accept the paint, without peeling and blistering becoming a problem down the road. A light sanding before the primer coat will further encourage primer and paint adhesion.

The other benefit to priming is covering the dark color of the wood panels. Without a good primer coat, it may take three or more coats of paint to cover the dark paneling adequately so that trace of wood panel shows through. Primer can be tinted to closely match the color of the paint that will be applied as well. Tint primer in the same shade or a shade or two lighter, and only one or two coats of paint will be needed to cover dark paneled walls.

Grooves in paneling will not cover easily with a roller when applying primer or paint. Before the wall is rolled, the grooves in the wood paneling should be painted with a paintbrush, or patched with joint compound.

With cutting in complete and panel grooves painted, the paneled wall is ready to be rolled. Paint the paneled walls with a paint roller as you would any other wall surface.

As an alternative to simply covering wood paneling with paint, paneled walls can be skim coated with plaster, sanded and painted when the plaster is cured. Skim coating eliminates the need to hand paint grooves and provides a smooth, uniform wall surface that any visitor will take for drywall. Skim coating eliminates the need to rip down paneling and hang drywall, an extensive remodeling project to be sure. However, skim coating is a sizable project, much more involved than simply painting over paneled walls. It takes some practice to get the plaster even and fill smoothly over grooves, and some sanding is also involved. It is often worth hiring a contractor to skim coat the wall, then save the painting portion of the project for yourself.

Living with dark, outdated wood paneling, or log home siding is not a must. Even without a large remodeling and redecorating budget, paneled walls and log home siding can be wood grained and or painted to create a brighter, better wall space in any living area for just a small investment of time and money. The difference created by simply painting paneled walls is dramatic, and an investment well worth the effort.

If you have tired of dark wood paneling or just want to brighten a paneled room or log home, you can paint or woodgrain the paneling, provided you properly prepare the surface. This involves removing grease and dirt and scuff-sanding the factory finish so the paint will adhere better. Before you start, consider your options. If for example, inexpensive paneling has been applied over furring strips nailed over drywall or plaster, you might want to remove the paneling and furring, make the necessary wall repairs, and paint the walls. In most cases, however, the easiest approach is to paint the paneling, and drywall tape all seams necessary.

1. Prepare the Room: Remove everything that you can from the room, and move anything that you cannot remove to the center and cover it with plastic drop cloths. Remove electrical outlet plates and any wall fixtures. Remove area rugs and cover carpeting with canvas dropcloths.

2. Provide Ventilation: Provide good cross-ventilation by installing a box fan in an open window so that it exhausts air outdoors. Open another window just outside the room so that when the fan is on air will flow into the room and out the

3. Clean the Paneling: If the paneling is in or near a kitchen and has a buildup of grease, take time to clean it with an ammonia/water/detergent cleaning solution. In stubborn cases, use an abrasive cleaning pad dampened with mineral spirits. In both cases, turn on the exhaust fan and wear rubber gloves and eye protection.

Tip: As you clean the paneling keep an eye out for any loose areas and secure them with paneling nails before you paint.

4. Remove the Shine: There are two ways to remove the shine that would prevent the paint from bonding well to the existing finish. You can sand the entire wall with fine sandpaper in a pad sander; or you can brush on a deglossing chemical, such as Liquid Sander (or use a combination of the two). The fan will help keep down the dust but sanding is best done with a sander equipped with a dust collector, preferably the type that attaches to a vacuum. Nevertheless, wear a dust mask. If you use the chemical approach, follow cautions on the label. Most deglossers are only effective for a few hours before they must be coated with paint, so keep that in mind when you plan your work.

5. Apply a Bonding Primer: Although it may not be necessary, you are virtually guaranteed success if you apply a special stain-killing bonding primer before painting. The primer is applied with a paint roller and brush in the usual manner. Most of these primers dry very quickly and can be topcoated within a few hours, but check the label. Instead of or in addition to a bonding primer, a bonding additive can be stirred into the first of two topcoats.

Tip: Have your primer tinted to the approximate color of your topcoat.

6. Caulk Cracks: Paint will make any joints and open cracks between the paneling and trim (or ceiling) more noticeable. This is a good time to seal them with siliconized acrylic-latex caulk. Cut very little of the tip off the cartridge, fill the joints, and then smooth with a wet finger.

7. Paint: Topcoat the paneling with 100% acrylic latex paint. Cut in (outline) an area with a brush or edging-pad paint applicator and then roll on the paint using a 1/2-inch nap roller cover.

9. Restore the Room: Replace fixtures, outlet plates, pictures, etc., as soon as the paint is dry. Restore power, replace furnishings, and enjoy!

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Things you’ll need for painting over paneling


• Ladder
• Plastic
• Drop cloths
• Drywall pan and blades
• Drywall tape
• Caulk and caulk gun
• Patching compound
• Dust masks
• Area fan
• Plastic snap off razor blades or utility knife
• Odorless oil base primer
• Blue tape
• Sandpaper or sponges
• 500 watt Halogen lights
• Paint brushes
• High quality non shedding solvent resistant sleeve for priming
• 100% acrylic latex paint
• Nails
• Hammer


 
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