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Old 07-27-2013, 11:20 PM   #1
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


Hello friends. After an unfortunate awakening that our basement walls were moldy and rotted through (hey good job previous home owner with sticking paneling right on the concrete walls), I ripped everything out, framed out new walls, put up 1/2 inch mold resistant drywall, and finally... wood paneling. My goal is to paint this wood paneling. I am unsure of what the best route would be, so I figured I'd ask.

Originally I had thought about giving it a 80-120 grit sand with the orbital, just enough to scuff the surface and get some of that shine off. I was Googling around and I read about some deglosser solutions that are recommended before you paint wood paneling, such as trisodium phosphate.

I am unfamiliar with what the 'best practice' would be. Any suggestions to help me get started?

Appreciate it!

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Old 07-28-2013, 04:23 AM   #2
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


If it is new and never been waxed, rough it up a little with 100 grit, clean the dust off, prime with Zinsser's 123 or other quality bonding primer, let it dry and paint away.

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Old 07-28-2013, 06:17 AM   #3
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


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Originally Posted by chrisn
If it is new and never been waxed, rough it up a little with 100 grit, clean the dust off, prime with Zinsser's 123 or other quality bonding primer, let it dry and paint away.
That's about it^^^ . As long as you use a good bonding primer, your good to go.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:03 AM   #4
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


What these guys already said is spot on. My experience leads me to believe that you'll probably have to use a brush and work paint into all the vertical grooves, then roll the entire area. Kind of a pain in the butt, but is something I've always had to do.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:19 AM   #5
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


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What these guys already said is spot on. My experience leads me to believe that you'll probably have to use a brush and work paint into all the vertical grooves, then roll the entire area. Kind of a pain in the butt, but is something I've always had to do.
I've never had that problem.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:28 AM   #6
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


Why would you put paneling if you have drywall? I would float and tape the drywall and then prime and paint.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:47 AM   #7
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


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I've never had that problem.
Me either really, but I think I know what he's talking about.
If your using a shorter nap roller, and not putting a lot of paint on, it can be harder to get in the groves.

I'll use the edge of the roller sometimes, or turn the roller vertical and 'squish the roller into the groves. Brushing them first is not ideal IMO, because it can cause flashing where the brush and roller overlap.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:11 AM   #8
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


Hold the phone a second. Is this pre-finished or laminated paneling of some kind or are we just making that assumption?

If it is raw and unfinished veneer or open grain wood you need to seal it first. A mix of 1:1 processed lindseed oil and mineral spirits will do the trick or a penetrating alkyd primer/sealer will too. I don't think a bonding surface primer will seal the open wood properly. If there is any chance of knots or sap bleeding you should spot with shellac too.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:21 AM   #9
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


They're sheets of wood paneling I bought from Lowe's. They have a glossy look to them so I don't think what I have is raw like you mentioned. If anything I was concerned if the glossy finish would prevent the primer and paint from adhering properly. That's where I'm at. :-) thanks!
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:26 AM   #10
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


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Originally Posted by sdsester
Hold the phone a second. Is this pre-finished or laminated paneling of some kind or are we just making that assumption?

If it is raw and unfinished veneer or open grain wood you need to seal it first. A mix of 1:1 processed lindseed oil and mineral spirits will do the trick or a penetrating alkyd primer/sealer will too. I don't think a bonding surface primer will seal the open wood properly. If there is any chance of knots or sap bleeding you should spot with shellac too.
Good point. If it was raw, it would be a different story. I guess we were assuming pre finished, since the OP mentioned de glosser.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:54 AM   #11
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


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Why would you put paneling if you have drywall? I would float and tape the drywall and then prime and paint.
I did it for consistency. The basement on the left side is an unfinished workshop/laundry area, while the right side has, of course, 4 walls. So let's call them A B C D. Walls C and D are outside walls and were rotted through due to poor installation. So, I ripped them down, framed out the wall, drywalled, etc. Had I drywalled and just been done with it, half of the room would be smooth drywall while half would be paneling. In an effort to retain the same "texture" from the lines in the paneling, I got paneling that had the same spacing of lines. Granted, it's lighter paneling (the other stuff is really dark), but my intention is to get a good primer base down and then paint everything one color.

The other side of the basement would have been a lot of fuss to rip down and drywall, considering I'd have to work around a closet, stairway, and a shelving unit that's framed out beneath the stairs. It was far easier and far more worth my time to just slap up paneling instead of ripping *everything* down to drywall.

Plus I really do like the look of painted paneling. And since this side of the basement is my office area, well, I had primary say over my wife who has gotten her way with the rest of the home renovations. :P

When I replied earlier I was on my phone and my browser wasn't letting me see all of the responses, so I had no idea so many people responded. In an effort to get some things out on the table now that I'm working with the awesome ergonomics of a full keyboard, the paneling sheets are 4x8 sheets I bought at Lowes. They have a glossy finish to them, so I suspect they are completed and now raw sheets like what was mentioned. Through my Googling I just got hung up on what was better - sand everything to scuff the surface, or use some sort of solution to wipe on the paneling to get a better prep surface. There's something about the sanding plan that sounds more predictable and safer to me, but like I said, I'd rather ask than wonder later on.

Some sources even indicated that you don't have to sand the paneling unless it's a super thick high shine gloss, but I'd rather play it safe since I DID just dump some cash on a massive stack of orbital velcro discs.

Thanks for the insight everyone!
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:02 AM   #12
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


Thanks for clarifying. The danger you face with sanding is that there is probably a very thin layer of vinyl or whatever on the paneling. Fine grit should be alright but do it by hand and go gently.

I actually think, in this instance, a damp sponge with TSP would give you enough tooth. I would not use one of the chemical de-glossers.

Then as has been suggested, proceed with a bonding primer like Zinsser 123 and two coats of finish. If the grooves in the paneling are exposed particle board, masonite or whatever, you might want to hit them with a sealer first. If they also have some protective finish on them no need to worry about it.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:55 AM   #13
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


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I did it for consistency. The basement on the left side is an unfinished workshop/laundry area, while the right side has, of course, 4 walls. So let's call them A B C D. Walls C and D are outside walls and were rotted through due to poor installation. So, I ripped them down, framed out the wall, drywalled, etc. Had I drywalled and just been done with it, half of the room would be smooth drywall while half would be paneling. In an effort to retain the same "texture" from the lines in the paneling, I got paneling that had the same spacing of lines. Granted, it's lighter paneling (the other stuff is really dark), but my intention is to get a good primer base down and then paint everything one color.

The other side of the basement would have been a lot of fuss to rip down and drywall, considering I'd have to work around a closet, stairway, and a shelving unit that's framed out beneath the stairs. It was far easier and far more worth my time to just slap up paneling instead of ripping *everything* down to drywall.

Plus I really do like the look of painted paneling. And since this side of the basement is my office area, well, I had primary say over my wife who has gotten her way with the rest of the home renovations. :P

When I replied earlier I was on my phone and my browser wasn't letting me see all of the responses, so I had no idea so many people responded. In an effort to get some things out on the table now that I'm working with the awesome ergonomics of a full keyboard, the paneling sheets are 4x8 sheets I bought at Lowes. They have a glossy finish to them, so I suspect they are completed and now raw sheets like what was mentioned. Through my Googling I just got hung up on what was better - sand everything to scuff the surface, or use some sort of solution to wipe on the paneling to get a better prep surface. There's something about the sanding plan that sounds more predictable and safer to me, but like I said, I'd rather ask than wonder later on.

Some sources even indicated that you don't have to sand the paneling unless it's a super thick high shine gloss, but I'd rather play it safe since I DID just dump some cash on a massive stack of orbital velcro discs.

Thanks for the insight everyone!
I know it's a bit late but you probably could have skipped the drywall and just went with the paneling right to the studs. Oh well. I am probably 50/50 on painted vs natural paneling.

Scuffing the paneling with sandpaper before priming and between coats is always best. Before the primer for better adhesion and between coats to get the boogers that always find their way onto the wall no matter how careful you are. Keep a nice wet edge as they call it only doing a couple grooves at a time with a brush and then use the roller to avoid the brush marks showing through on the flat surfaces.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:44 PM   #14
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


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I know it's a bit late but you probably could have skipped the drywall and just went with the paneling right to the studs. Oh well. I am probably 50/50 on painted vs natural paneling.

Scuffing the paneling with sandpaper before priming and between coats is always best. Before the primer for better adhesion and between coats to get the boogers that always find their way onto the wall no matter how careful you are. Keep a nice wet edge as they call it only doing a couple grooves at a time with a brush and then use the roller to avoid the brush marks showing through on the flat surfaces.
I considered that, but some reading suggested that mold resistant drywall in the basement will make it not feel or smell like a basement as much. Since this is my office that was all the reasoning I needed. :-)
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:28 PM   #15
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Prepping wood paneling for painting... recommendations?


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and between coats is always best. Before the primer for better adhesion and between coats to get the boogers that always find their way onto the wall no matter how careful you are.
Actually with latex/acrylic household finishes, sanding between coats can be detrimental to the finish if you cut too deeply. They skin over in an hour or so but anything with a sheen can take 30 days to cure. If you start messing too much with the skinned over layer you could end up with a rather gummy mess. Things like auto finishes are a different story.


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