How to Paint Over Smooth Paneling

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If you are tired of the old, dark paneling in your home, consider painting it. With just a little preparation and a little paint, you can lighten up the look and feel of a paneled room. With paneling that is already smooth with no indentations, there's no need to fill in any grooves. A light sanding, a coat of primer and paint is all it takes to turn that dull, drab paneling into a new wall treatment. Look for most supplies for this project at your local home improvement center.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium-grade sandpaper
  • Block of wood
  • Clean rag
  • Water
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint primer
  • Wood filler or caulk
  • Small putty knife
  • Paint
  • Paint rollers
  • Sand the paneling with the medium-grade sandpaper to rough up the texture of the paneling for the paint to adhere. Wrap the sandpaper around a wood block to make the process easier.

  • Wet a clean, cotton cloth with enough water to make it just damp. Rub the cloth over the surface of the paneling to remove dust from sanding and any other dirt or debris.

  • Tape areas of the paneling you don't want painted with painter's tape. Tape around window openings and doorways as well.

  • Apply one coat of primer to the paneling using the paint roller. Allow it to dry thoroughly.

  • Fill in any imperfections in the paneling with wood putty or caulk. Smooth with a putty knife. Allow to dry.

  • Apply one coat of your chosen paint color over the primer. Allow it to dry completely. Apply another coat if desired and allow it to dry. Remove the painter's tape.

Tips & Warnings

  • Work in a well-ventilated area. Open a window to let air in, or run a fan.

References

  • "The Complete Guide to Decorating and Painting;" Black and Decker; Creative Publishing; 2006.
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