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Old 01-28-2008, 07:18 PM   #1
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Painting Wood Paneled Walls


What is the proper procedure for painting those dark dingy wood panel walls and make sure the finish sticks and looks decent?

Side Note: I saw a painter once mud the grooves in the paneling before painting to get a smoothe surface. Anyone seen that done?


Last edited by dyier; 01-28-2008 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:16 PM   #2
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Painting Wood Paneled Walls


A couple issues arise with this project. First, mudding the grooves and joints. This is possible, I've seen it and even done it. The only drawback is that paneling does not sand smooth. No matter how much you sand, tiny fibers will always raise up. When you mud the joints and sand, the mud will not have the fibers. If you can live with this, then it is possible. My opinion is to just paint it and leave the grooves because sanding the mud where it meets the paneling (feathering) will always show through.

Otherwise, if you really want to mud, you need to secure all the fasteners and even add nails. Preferably NOT paneling nails. Paneling nails are not as stable as trim nails. Or a wood nail with a small head.

As far as painting, you need to do two things, block the dark color and bond to the paneling as well as the paint. This calls for a bonding primer like zinser. The solvent based primer. Other primers, stain blockers in either solvent or water will block the stain but won't bond as well as zinser. This is why painted paneling usually has scratches and gouges all the way down to the paneling.

Sorry that there's not an easier way. If the paneling does NOT have adhesive, just nails, you might consider tearing it off, patching the nail holes and painting on smooth walls.

Hope this helps.

PS. This post is based on the thin, standard type paneling. If you have thicker, real wood, the methods would be a little different.

PPS. You could always skim coat the walls completely with mud. Seems a bit over the top though.


Last edited by joewho; 01-29-2008 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:29 AM   #3
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Painting Wood Paneled Walls


anyway to remove it or put new drywall up?
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:12 PM   #4
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Painting Wood Paneled Walls


On the mudding I agree with Joewho and BleachCola has hit the nail on the head with removal. But if you don't have the Know how or the $ to hire a professional to remove the paneling, mud and texture, I suggest using an oil based primer prior to the topcoat.

We use Zinsser's Cover Stain because it dry super fast allowing a topcoat without waiting 24 hours - but it does stink to high heaven. For a latex base there is Zinsser's 1-2-3 but it doesn't adhere as well as Cover Stain and there can also be bleeding of the stain in the paneling. Both products can be purchased at Home Depot. LOL
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:23 PM   #5
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Painting Wood Paneled Walls


We just painted over the paneling in our den (see this thread for photos if you'd like Den Redo...).

We chose not to fill in the grooves because it would have a pain in the butt to do so. I did caulk the gaps in between the panels. We didn't have an option to take down the paneling as they are screwed right into the studs - there is no wall behind it.

Anyway, we used regular Behr primer (to coats sprayed on) and Kilz in areas where it bled through (not many). We then followed up with paint. It looks great and I've wiped it down in some areas without it peeling off or anything.

I like the look of painted paneling - grooves and all.
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:10 PM   #6
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Painting Wood Paneled Walls


or this painting over wallpapered drywall.
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:39 PM   #7
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Painting Wood Paneled Walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by dyier View Post
What is the proper procedure for painting those dark dingy wood panel walls and make sure the finish sticks and looks decent?
Clean

Scuff sand (lightly sand to give the primer some tooth)

Wipe clean (vac/tack/or swiffer)

Solvent based primer (Zinsser's Cover Stain, or if it's real dark or a possible quality problem with the paneling, Zinsser's BIN pigmented shellac)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dyier View Post
Side Note: I saw a painter once mud the grooves in the paneling before painting to get a smoothe surface. Anyone seen that done?
If you want to fill in the grooves with joint compound, this is now the time to do it
Fill in, sand smooth, and re-prime
This time it can be latex primer, or if you have more of the previous stuff leftover, you can use that
But at minimum you'll need to reprime the joint compounded areas, so it may be preferable to prime the whole thing, depending

Then top coat two coats premium quality paint
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:23 PM   #8
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Painting Wood Paneled Walls


Clean

The operative word as alot of paneling has been previously waxed and no primer will stick to that for long.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:58 PM   #9
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Painting Wood Paneled Walls


Thanks guys for the great advice!!!

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