Updating Outdated Paneling with a Fresh Coat of Paint

Is the wood paneling in your living room making everything feel outdated and gloomy? If so, there's no reason to continue living with it. Here, you'll find a few tips to help you paint your outdated paneling and bring new life to the space.

Consider Filling in Grooves

Some people despise the idea of painting over paneling without filling in all of the grooves. Do the grooves bother you? If so, you can fill each groove with joint compound, wait for it to dry, and sand it smooth. It can take a few coats of the compound to achieve the truly smooth finish you hope for.

If the grooves don't bother you, all you'll need to do to prepare the wall is to fill any holes with joint compound, sand them smooth, then wipe the entire surface of the wall down with a slightly dampened cloth.

Tape It Off

Don't skip this tedious step in preparing for paint. You might think that you can hold your hand steady enough to avoid getting paint on trim, carpeting, and the ceiling, but it can cause far more grief and work if you skip the taping process.

Prime the Surface

You do not want to skimp when it comes to the primer that you choose. Look for a quality primer that does not require smooth surfaces to be sanded. If you opt for a lesser-quality primer, you will need to scuff the entire surface of the walls with sandpaper so the primer will adhere to it.

It will be difficult to get all of the grooves fully coated, but if you buy a thick-nap roller for smooth surfaces, it will work just fine—you may need to put some pressure on the roller to push the paint down into the grooves.

Pick the Paint

Avoid glossy paints when painting paneling; they will show every imperfection on the walls. Egg-shell or satin are great latex finishes for a project such as this. They are both easy to work with and clean. Plus, the matte finish hides many of the wall's imperfections.

If you don't feel comfortable taking on a project like this on your own, talk with professional painting contractors in your area, such as Dave's Minor Changes. These professionals can bring some life back into your old, outdated living room. You'll be surprised at how much of an improvement covering that paneling will make for your home.