When we did the initial walk through of our home, there were a few things we noticed. There was wood. Lots and lots of wood. The doors, baseboards, trim, and WALLS. I knew I was going to have to paint paneling on the walls immediately.
The house was built in the early 80’s and was a one owner home. They lovingly maintained the property but updates were apparently not a priority.I knew it would take some work and elbow grease and one of the first projects I tackled was paint. The living room was in the most dire need. It was dark and outdated. I loved the picture frame moulding. Hated the wood color.
How to Paint Paneling on the Walls
My husband, being a carpenter, loved them. They were real wood and someone spent a great deal of time installing them. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the beauty of natural wood, just not when it’s on every single wall of my home! For years it was a bit of an argument when I reminded my dear husband to mentally prepare himself for the paint that would one day go over those walls.
I just felt like I was living inside a very outdated library. Also, the molding is difficult to decorate around because for balance reasons, you have to hang any wall hangings in the center of those frames. Which in turn, makes my walls feel like an art display at a gallery. I researched how to paint wood paneling with grooves as well. I knew the molding would have to painted by hand.
Paneling Before Paint
One of the most inexpensive updates you can do to your homes interiors is to paint it. Through the years I’ve learned that with paint, you get what you pay for. I used to try and find the cheapest paint I could find thinking “I don’t need name brand paint.” But I am here to tell you, using quality paint makes a world of difference. I’ve been wanting to lighten up the space so I decided on white.
While at Home Depot one day, there was a paint rep for Behr Paint. I told him what I was planning to do and showed him pictures of the space. He knew I wanted white but sometimes with white, it’s not pigmented which then requires additional coats for the best coverage. It was then that he mentioned using “Cameo White” in their Marquee line. So, if you’re curious what color to paint paneling, I found this one to be a beautiful option.
How to Choose the Right Paint
It has great pigment and coverage that on most walls, all you need is single coat. That equals less time and less product. Since I was using paint and primer in one on wood paneling, the process was much smoother than I anticipated. I feel this is the best primer for wood paneling.
Many tutorials cover how to paint wood paneling without sanding and I could have, but I thought this process would work best. Because these walls were covered with a very thick lacquer, I knew I would need to take a few extra steps to make sure the paint adhered properly.
I took a fine grit sandpaper and quickly went over all the walls. You don’t need to spend too much time or elbow grease doing this. Five minutes a wall or less.
Prepping the Walls
This step is only to give that slick surface some “tooth” to help the paint have something to grab on to. Clean the wall really well with a degreasing cleaner, especially when working with wood. These walls I’m sure had been polished over the years.
Once that step was completed, I set to work applying the Behr Marquee “Cameo White.” Again, because of the pigmentation and coverage, I only really needed a single coat. In some areas I had to do more than one but that was due to having to hand paint around all the picture frame molding. When painting a large surface area like a wall, a roller works best for even and better coverage.
Using White Paint to Lighten the Paneling on the Walls
It took me the weekend to complete the room, but once done, I was so mad at myself for not doing it sooner. I completely transformed and updated the space. It brightened the room and just made it look and feel more modern and clean. It also helped soften the picture frame molding which I loved.
I used pure white indoor gloss paint on the baseboards and door trim to make them pop a little more. That also makes for easier cleaning.
That’s it! If you have any questions leave me a comment! Also, if you’ve ever painted natural wood paneling and did it different let me know!
Thanks for stopping by friends!
If you loved this tutorial, then check out my post on How to Paint Stair Spindles Without Removing Them.
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