When we first looked at this house to buy one of the first things I said was that if we bought it, the paneling would HAVE to go! And go it did!
I did not want to sand it because we are in the dead of winter and can’t open our windows, we have carpet in this room (despite how much I want to secretly ruin it so I can have wood floors), and it would have just been a huge mess. So I figured out a way I could paint wood paneling without sanding it!
Before we get started, I want to tell you that I am not a professional painter, nor do I claim to be. This worked for us and I am SUPER happy with the results! If you don’t agree with something in this post, that’s ok, don’t do it : ) I won’t be offended, I promise! Ok, now let’s take a look at the before so you can see why I wanted to paint it oh so badly!
See, it’s just not pretty! It made everything feel orange, old, and like you wanted to run out of the room screaming! Ok, maybe that was just me, but it was pretty bad! You can see a picture of it from when we first moved in here.
So let’s get some stuff together so we can get started ok! If you are wondering about the trim, I will be doing a separate tutorial on that in a few days.
Painter’s Drop Cloths
Paintable Wood Filler
Appropriate grit Sandpaper
Zinsser Primer (I have never used another brand, and loved the results of this one)
Roller (for smooth surfaces) & Tray
Brush for cutting in
Top Coat paint color of your choice (we used Valspar’s Signature Paint + Primer in Du Jour)
*Disclaimer – My wood paneling was in very rough shape and was not glossy at all. If yours has a nice finish on it, you should probably sand it, or at least rough it up a little. This is up to you though!
Tutorial: How to Paint Wood Paneling
I apologize in advance for some of the pictures. Most of this was done in the evening and at night while the kids were sleeping!
Ok, the very very first thing you want to do is wash your paneling down! This might feel useless, but I promise, you won’t believe how dirty it is…unless you are one of those weirdos who cleans their walls on a regular basis ; ) Then tape off everything you don’t want painted, and lay out your drop cloths! Yay for prep work! << complete sarcasm there!
Once that is done, I filled all my holes with some Wood Filler using my putty knife. At first my thought was “geez… what did these people do hammer a million nails into this paneling” Then I realized that I have plans to put a gallery wall in this very spot so I had to lay off the judgement! #whoops
Apply the wood filler following the manufacturer’s directions. Don’t forget to sand when it’s dry, or you will see it through a little. I may or may not have forgotten to do this on my second round of filling holes!
Ok, you are ready for the primer! Mix it up good and let’s get to work. First we brushed in all the little grooves to make sure the paint took well in those areas. I also went ahead and brushed a little over all my wood filler areas. This stuff dries really fast so by the time you are done with that you can probably start rolling.
We tried to apply it pretty thick the first time, but it still needed a second coat! If you have two people doing this, one can be cutting in while the other rolls. Guess who always get’s to cut in… that would be me! YAY! << more sarcasm! After you are done rolling you will start to see progress! It’s a beautiful thing!
So there it is with two coats of primer on it. As you can see there were some pretty big gaps between the different panels. This wasn’t noticeable until we painted it white. So using my putty knife I filled those gaps with wood filler and the ran the putty knife down the seam so that it just looked like another groove instead of the “deeper” gap. You don’t want to just make it a flat surface because then it will look a little off with the pattern of your groves. So if you can do this BEFORE you prime then you can move on… if you are like me and forget, add a little more primer over that wood filler and then you can catch up to all the more prepared people ; )
We let the primer cure for a week before adding the next coat of paint on. We were really trying to sway toward the more cautious side since we did absolutely no sanding. So once that was cured we pulled out our paint. This is the really really fun part! You will love it, I promise. We went with Valspar’s Signature Paint that has paint +primer. We figured the extra primer wouldn’t hurt! : ) I used a satin finish in the color “Du Jour”. It is white… I just didn’t want straight out of the can, blind you when you look at it white. This is just a little dulled in the white factor. But it still looks like a crisp clean white. I love it! I’m fairly certain this will be the color of my future kitchen cabinets!
We only applied one coat of the top coat because it just looked great when we were done! We did have to do two coats where we cut in with a brush though. Again, we applied it really really thick, so you might want to apply a second coat, especially if your wood really seems to be soaking up the paint! Now you can sit back and enjoy your orange to white beautifulness!
Let’s take a final look:
I just love it! It’s exactly what I pictured and I can’t wait to start hanging some thing on the wall! : )
Here it is in another area of my dining room. It looks great next to my new wall color! Well… one big project down, lots more to go! I’m just thrilled to finally be getting to do some of the things I love most! I’ll be sharing more projects soon, especially once this snow decides to melt away and let me get me work on outside!
So do you have an wood paneling you have been dying to paint?