You can easily paint your wood paneling without sanding by using a liquid deglosser also known as liquid sandpaper. In this article, I will show you every tip and trick of the trade to successfully paint your wood panels without paint chipping or peeling. If your paint foundation is solid (primed right) your topcoat will be durable and long-lasting. In this article, You’ll learn everything you need to know about successfully painting paneling.
Can I Paint Wood Paneling?
Yes, you can absolutely paint wood paneling if you thoroughly clean your surface, degloss by sanding (or use liquid sandpaper), prep, and prime the wood with the right products. Check out the tutorial below.
Materials used in the video:
Krudd Cutter Deglosser- https://amzn.to/31Dd0BV
Sanding Pad – https://amzn.to/2PpQtGg
150 Grit Sandpaper – https://amzn.to/3uhx3Sz
Vapor Mask – https://amzn.to/39yAU5P
9 inch Roller Sleeve: https://amzn.to/3ucq7pZ (regular size, not 18 inches like in the video)
Oil-based primer – https://amzn.to/31DCJKy
Fast-drying spackle – https://amzn.to/3wgEOdr
If you have wood paneling in your home and are looking to lighten or brighten it, painting is always an option. You can paint wood paneling to create a contemporary, modern, or country look.
When painting for wood paneling, always choose an oil-based primer.
Choosing A Color For Wood Paneling
When choosing colors for your room, consider the existing colors in the room, such as the color of the carpet, furniture, and even window treatments.
If the room has dark furniture, a dark color on the walls may make the space appear too closed in and dark. Choosing lighter colors will help keep the space feeling light and open.
If you are looking for more of a country look, use two different shades of the same color for wall panels and trim.
For example, if you are using blue paint to add contrast to a blue room, choose one shade of blue paint for the panels on your wall and another shade of blue paint that is lighter than the first shade for your trim work around doors and windows.
Use white paint on trim work that isn’t around doors or windows to contrast against both shades of blue.
Painting Wood Paneling DIY
When painting wood paneling DIY you have to decide if you really want to paint over your wood paneling.
Once you Prime and paint there is no going back.
The only other option after that would be replacing it, sheet-rocking over it, and so on.
Between prep, prime and paint it, this is a project that can easily be done in a day for your average-sized room (10’x20’).
Some of the cheaper wood paneling is not really the wood panel.
It is a wood grain print pattern that got glued on top of the cardboard.
But that is not a problem!
You can still paint over this as well.
How To Paint Wood Paneling Wall
Before you start to do anything, even before you start prepping and priming, you need to make sure that there is no oil or grease on your wood paneling.
Wash your walls with soap and water to de-grease the surface.
You can use a citrus de-greaser such as Zapp,
Rust-Oleum Krudd Kutter or M1 deglosser which we use at 518 Painters in Albany NY because it cleans and de-glosses the fake wood paneling at once.
No sanding is needed!
To learn more about how liquid sandpaper works read this article Does paint Deglosser work?
It is very simple to use. You just pour about 32 oz in a 2-gallon bucket and wipe it on with a rag or a fine Scotch Brite pad.
Be sure to use rubber gloves and protective glasses as suggested by the label.
Wipe it off with a damp cloth and once it is dry you are ready to prime your fake wood paneling without sanding!
You can order this time saver online here
Best primer for wood paneling without sanding
Once your surfaces are prepped they are ready to be primed.
Using the right primer will ensure that you achieve the results you’re looking for.
Read more about Best Oil Based Primers For Wood And More
Here is the step on how to paint wood paneling with grooves or without.
You have a few options when choosing the right primer for your wood paneling.
Here is an example of 3 primers we like to use to get the job done right.
Watch this head-to-head comparison.
Priming Your Surface
I do not suggest just any regular water-based primer because water-based primers do not block stains.
So if you Prime with a water-based primer you might end up with yellow stains on your topcoat. And dark spots between the wood panel grooves.
Especially if you’re doing a light color.
A better option is an oil-based primer such as Zinsser Coverstain.
This primer will guarantee stain blocking and that it will adhere to your wood paneling without peeling off later.
The downside to oil primers or that they smell very bad and can cause dizziness and headaches if you do not use the right respirator.
So, in my opinion, a better option would be Benjamin Moore’s Stix primer which is a Waterborne acrylic urethane that sticks to pretty much anything even tile.
And it does not have the smell of an oil-based or alcohol-based primer.
Another benefit is that it dries really fast and is ready to be top-coated within one to two hours depending on room temperature.
Check out this article about INSL-X Stix if you want a non-solvent (oil-based) option.
My personal favorite is called Seal Lock by INSL-X.
It is an alcohol-based primer that is similar to a shellac primer.
It has a bit of a smell to it similar to Hairspray.
But with the right respirator, it is not that bad.
Plus the smell doesn’t linger as much as an oil-based primer or Shellac-based primer.
This stuff is foolproof.
This is the exact same mask I like to use.
What Paint Should I Use For Wood Paneling?
After you prime your wood paneling you have set the right foundation for your project to be a success.
But what is the best paint for wood paneling?
Personally, I advocate Benjamin Moore products all day.
My second favorite would be Sherwin-Williams.
But it’s really just personal preference.
So consult with your local paint retailer and pick what is the best paint for your wood paneling.
After you do so you can go ahead and apply your topcoat.
I always suggest that you do two coats for various reasons.
Number one is to achieve the right mil and consistency of paint.
Number 2, you will not achieve your desired color or Sheen by only applying one coat.
Best Paint For Wood Paneling At Home Depot
If you are looking for the best paint that you can use on wood paneling at Home Depot,
I would suggest Glidden Diamond.
It’s a PPG product that is easy to work with and has a pretty decent finish.
I would still prefer Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore.
Can I whitewash paneling?
You can absolutely whitewash wood paneling.
You will still have to prime it as mentioned before.
Then you will have to apply your base color.
I would suggest a dark gray almost black.
Then you would proceed as usual when whitewashing.
Apply your top coat and wipe it off with a rag exposing the base coat as little or as much as you wish.
Repeat this many times until you get your desired look.
Here is the best paint for wood paneling that you can find on Amazon.
Click On Image To Check Price
Related Article How to Paint a Brick Fireplace
How much does it cost to paint wood paneling?
All in all, it should not cost you more than $200-$300 in materials. Between your brush, your roller, the primer, masking tape, and paint for your average 10 ft by 12 ft room.
You will need
Two of 3/8 inch microfiber roller cover (Amazon Link)
a 2 inch angled nylon brush (Amazon Link)
Two 4-inch mini rollers with a 3/8 in microfiber nap (Amazon Link)
And your paint
If you have any questions or need help with anything please leave a comment below and I will get back to you ASAP!
Check out some of our other blogs for more tips, tricks, and information.
You can search Us on YouTube at “518 Painters” where we have videos of some of the processes and procedures we use at 518 Painters.