How to Fill in Paneling Cracks

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Taking paneling off the walls is a difficult and time-consuming task. Painting the paneling is the easiest way to change the look of the room. A necessary step to prepare paneling for painting is filling in the cracks in the paneling.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Rag
  • Primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Utility knife
  • Wood caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Filler compound
  • Putty knife
  • Sander with sandpaper

Use Caulk

  • Fill a bucket with warm water. Dilute some cleaner in the bucket. Use a sponge with a scrubber on the back to thoroughly clean the walls.

  • Use the rags to wipe off the walls as you clean so dirty water will not collect on your floor. Allow the walls to dry completely.

  • Brush primer onto the walls at the cracks. Brush primer on the entire wall if you are going to paint the walls. Allow the primer to dry for a couple of hours.

  • Cut the tip off the caulk container using a utility knife.

  • Load the caulk gun with the caulk. Fill the cracks in the paneling using one smooth pass of the caulk gun.

  • Wipe the caulk immediately with a damp rag to even out the caulk and make it flush with the rest of the paneling. Let the caulk dry completely.

  • Inspect the caulk-filled cracks. Check to see if the caulk has shrunk as it dried and is no longer flush with the rest of the paneling.

  • Repeat Steps 5 and 6 if necessary to completely fill the cracks in the paneling.

Use Filler Compound

  • Clean the paneling as in Steps 1 and 2 above.

  • Fill the cracks in your paneling using a wood filler compound instead of caulk. Use a putty knife to apply the wood filler to the walls. Smooth it out as much as you can and allow the putty to dry completely.

  • Sand the putty to smooth it out and remove any excess.

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