How To Paint Wood Paneling

Woody Jackson | Last modified on July 27th, 2021

Wood paneling is a popular choice for homes because it gives the illusion of a larger space. But before you go out and buy panels, there are some things to consider. For example, paneling painting. This process requires patience, time, and effort. 

How To Paint Wood Paneling

To paint wood paneling, you should clean surfaces, sand them if needed, prime them, and then paint paneling. If you’re looking for a quick fix, don’t bother reading this article because there probably won’t be here. However, if you’re serious about learning how to paint wood panels effectively, then this article is for you. 

How To Paint Wood Paneling: 6 Proven Steps

Painting wood paneling is actually much easier than it looks, and in six proven steps, I’m going to show how easy it can be while also providing extra tips along the way that will help your project come out nicely! 

Clean The Paneling

If the wood is dirty or dusty, you’re going to need to clean it first. Wood can be cleaned by wiping it down with a damp cloth and then a dry one. If any stubborn marks don’t come out quickly, then a mixture of 1/4 cup of dishwashing liquid and 2 gallons of warm water will do the trick. Soak a sponge in the solution and wipe down the paneling until it’s clean. 

How To Paint Wood Paneling- Clean The Paneling

Fill And Sand The Wood

This step is similar to the other one. You’ll need to fill in any scratches, marks, or significant damage with wood filler. You can buy it anywhere. Use a wood filler according to the instructions.

How To Paint Wood Paneling - Fill And Sand The Wood
How To Paint Wood Paneling - Fill And Sand The Wood

Caulk Around The Trim

This is the third step, caulking around the trim pieces and filling up any gaps that might appear. This is really helpful for keeping creosote from leaking out of the paneling and giving you a cleaner and more professional look.

Primer The Wood

This step is important because it will give your final coat extra protection from water and other factors that can damage it later on down the line. Then, using a paintbrush, spread an even coat of primer over all of your wood pieces until completely covered. 

Paint The Paneling

Now you can start painting! It’s important to use quality paint because there are so many low-quality paints available that won’t hold up well over time or in areas with high humidity or high temperatures. Using a paint brush or roller, apply a thin coat to all of your wood pieces. You should really just be spreading it out to get an even coat and not worrying about getting every nook and cranny.

How To Paint Wood Paneling  - Paint The Paneling

Paint The Trim

For this step, use the same paint for the paneling, but instead of applying it using a roller or brush, you’ll use them for edging purposes only (or using a brush; you can use it for edging as well). Using whatever tool you prefer, apply a thin layer of paint around all edges until covered. This will reinforce the paint and give you a nice neat look.

How To Paint Wood Paneling Without Sanding

You know that you have to paint your wood paneling, whether in a living room, hallway, or bedroom. But you don’t want to spend all day sanding and prepping the surface so that the paint can adhere well. The good news is that there are a couple of different ways to apply paint without the hassle of sanding. But, of course, it all depends on what method you use and what type of paint is best for your project. So read on for some great solutions!

The first way would be to use a primer before painting with latex primer or acrylic enamel instead of traditional oil-based paints. Painting with water-based paints will yield a more transparent finish but won’t last long because they’re not as durable. Oil-based paints are preferred for wood that gets a lot of foot traffic. Be sure to use oil-based paints that don’t contain latex, or the paint may end up being too runny.

The second way is using stain instead of paint. Many people opt to use a stain and then airbrush the finish so that it’s easier to control the final look before it dries. Never add a primer to your stained surface, as this could weaken your project and cause it to crack in the future. Also, adding a primer will give you much better adhesion between layers of paint once your project is fully dry.

How To Paint Wood Paneling With Grooves

The best way to paint wood paneling with grooves is by using the same paint you are using on the rest of your walls. You can also use a primer spray if you want. When painting your wood, it’s best to start at one end and work towards the other end in order to prevent overlapping onto previous coats. 

You will need a brush that has bristles that are around 3/8 inches wide and has smooth edges so it doesn’t leave brush marks. You can use a roller for a smooth even coat, but you will have to paint horizontally and then roll vertically. If you decide to use the roller, it is best to use a 3/8 inch nap roller. You should also try not to put too much paint on the roller because it will drip.

FAQ

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Wood Paneling?

Indoor paint is typically used for wood paneling paint. A latex or acrylic-based paint, which comes in a variety of sheens, is the best one. Latex paints are inexpensive and offer a low-gloss finish. Acrylic paints can be significantly more expensive, but they don’t shrink as much as latex paints when drying, meaning fewer coats need to be applied for coverage. With either type of paint, you want to use an alkyd primer first before applying the topcoat if your paneling is rough, like cedar or pine.

What Is The Easiest Way To Paint Paneling?

One of the easiest ways is to paint them with a brush. You can also use a roller, though it’s not quite easy because you have to wait for the paint to dry between coats. Other alternatives include painting over fabric, decoupage, or stencils.

Do You Have To Sand Wood Paneling Before Painting?

No, you do not have to sand wood paneling before painting. Instead, you should just remove all paint from the surface of the wood before beginning to paint. This will help to ensure that your paint will stick better and last longer. 

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