How To Paint Wood Paneling - Ace Hardware

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hi I'm Lou Manfredini aces home expert

if you have dark wood paneling like this

and you want to lighten it up we've got

some tricks and techniques to make it

look great


there's many different kinds of wood

paneling but how you prep it to paint it

is pretty consistent this is a pretty

deep wood paneling it's got a nice

veneer to it and you'll see the

separation here between the panels what

I like to do before we do any kind of

painting is remove any kind of nails or

anything that's been hanging on the

individual wall there so you have a nice

clean surface obviously any electrical

trim plates you want to take off as well

just to make your life a lot easier when

it comes to painting around there then

it's a good idea to take a sanding

sponge and just lightly knock down a

little bit of the Sheen a lot of

paneling has a sheen like this on it and

that's where I want you to use a sanding

sponge to kind of knock that Sheen down

just a little bit so that when you knock

it down and put the primer on there it

opens up the surface of the wood so that

the primer can grab on to make sure that

that finished paint when it goes on

really sticks

good paint job it's always about the

preparation that's one of the most

important parts and so we're going to

put primer and paint on the paneling but

we don't want to get it on everything

else so so they're painters tape making

sure that we're taping off the areas

where we don't want the new paint and

this is up at the ceiling here now

remember that no matter what kind of

tape you use it doesn't want to stick to

anything that's dirty or dusty take an

old dry brush and take away the dirt and

debris that might be on the floor we

don't want to paint the floor so we're

gonna use that panners tape along here

because we're gonna paint this baseboard

along this paneling as well

all right a little trick of the trade

we're ready to start the priming we took

all the screws and nails out of the

walls and you're gonna have to patch

those but because it's so dark one of

the tricks is prime it first then you'll

see all the holes come back and use a

little or a little spackle to fill

it all in this is an oil-based primer

I'm using that because it really is

going to help kill any of the stains or

any of the bleed through that can come

through that and it's okay to use an

oil-based primer and then once that

dries a latex paint and primer over the

top which is what we're going to do now

you go ahead and use that brush and fill

in these grooves and then we're gonna

come back with a roller and roll out

over the flat portions and then come

back and touch up as we need it but the

primer is critical especially with

dark-colored paneling like this so that

we kill any of that bleed through on the

stain so when we get that finished paint

on there we're gonna actually have a

white colored wall when we're done it's

going to look fantastic

I mentioned that we were using an

oil-based primer so it's important to

remember it needs to stay well

ventilated it's a little more odor than

you may be used to one of the things I

talked about is fact that after you

primed on paneling you'll start to see

those holes and if you're not going to

be hanging stuff back in the same spot

now you can go ahead and take a little

caulking or spackle to fill those in and

once that's all done we're ready to put

the finish paint on so to fill the nail

holes where we're not going to actually

hang things up again I'm using my finger

to apply the putty if you use a putty

knife what happens is with paneling

you'll actually take the graining away

and when you go to roll it out you'll

see that you went and patched it so

using your finger with a little

lightweight spackling whatever you want

to use makes the most sense

our primer is dry that's important

before we go ahead and put the finished

coat on I've come closer you take a look

at it this is an oil-based primer and

you'll see a little bleed through from

the paneling that's okay the primer is

there to seal out that dark color now

just like when we applied the primer you

really have to get the finish coat and

work in the nooks and crannies we're

using Clark in Kensington paint and

primer and one and now this is a good

chance we'll get away with just one coat

on this because it's white on white but

if this was a color you were going to

say a blue or a grey whatever it might

be there's a good chance you would have

to put two coats on but you want to take

your time use that brush to kind of fill

in the crevices in there so you can get

away with just one coat potentially I'm

always a fan of two coats because you

get that depth of color but since we're

doing white you know the depth isn't

that critical and I can just feel it you

can't really see this but this paint

flows really well and it covers really

well I like using this and it's going to

give us a nice finished coat so going

through and getting the grooves first

and coming back with the roller over the

top of this it's really going to look


we're ready to start rolling now I'm

using a half inch nap roller which is

going to give you a nice thick coating

to paint we're filling in here on the

paneling and so we want something that's

really gonna apply enough paint there

you don't want to use a thinner roller

because it just won't get in there look

at how nice that coverage is as I

mentioned we're using Clark and

Kensington paint and primer and one

white on white don't be afraid like look

at that knot right there with the roller

just go ahead and take the edge of that

roller put a little extra paint in there

to fill it in and then go back over it

again with the roller to even it all out


looks great right painting dark wood


really can lighten up and change the

look of a room it's easy to do and an

inexpensive makeover now if you'd like

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