If your house is thirty years old or older then there is very good chance that you have one or two rooms with wood paneling. At the time the house was built, wood paneling was very common in that time period but now you want to update to a more modern look. The best and most inexpensive way to modernize your paneling is to paint it. Painting paneling isn't very difficult but there are a few important steps to take before you begin painting.
If your paneling has a rough finish, you will need to sand it down before you begin priming and painting. An electric palm sander is the best tool for this job because it can quickly and efficiently sand large areas. Make certain that you wear eye protection and a mask to prevent dust and debris from getting into your eyes and nose. Sand the paneling thoroughly until it is completely smooth to the touch
After sanding, you will then need to clean the paneling thoroughly. To do this you will need to purchase a good cleaning product that is designed for this type of project. You can buy this type of cleaner at most paint or hardware stores. There are several cleaners that come in a spray form so that all you need to do is spray the cleaner on and allow it to sit on the surface of the paneling for a few minutes and then clean with a scouring pad. You should clean the paneling very well because this is a very critical step in order to insure that the paint adheres properly to the paneling.
Next, apply an oil based stain blocking primer. Apply the primer using a brush and roller. Using the brush to cut in around the corners and trim and prime into the grooves of the paneling. After you finish cutting out the room with the primer you can then roll out the remaining areas. You can have the primer tinted when you purchase it so that it matches your topcoat. Doing this makes it much easier to cover over the primer when you begin painting. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly before you begin painting. Most primers will dry in a couple of hours or less.
Before you begin to paint, you should caulk any gaps in the paneling after you finish priming. Cracks that you couldn't see before are revealed after the primer is applied. Use wood putty to fill in any nail holes. I don't recommend trying to caulk the grooves in the paneling.
You can now begin to apply your paint. Apply at least two coats of quality latex paint using the same methods that you used when you applied the primer allowing the paint to completely dry in between coats. If you see any runs in your finish coat, you should lightly sand the runs out with fine sandpaper and then repaint over the sanded areas.
Painting your paneling is a great way to update any room. Just follow these steps and it can change the look of the dull, drab paneling, making it much warmer and more modern. Painting paneling isn't very difficult but there are a few important steps to take before you begin painting.
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