Hi again people,
Still on the covering old paneling issue.
I found some pieces of the paneling in the garage attic and tried doing
a translucent wash-type paint on them just to lighten them up.
I used a rattle can white undercoat and it looks pretty good, just not
sure how it would turn out in room size. It has taken the very dark
brown to a a very pleasant light gray.
Anyone done such a thing to paneling?
If so what sort of paint etc?
I have a good range of HVLP spray equipment from my car resto shop so
spraying large areas will not be a problem. Just not sure what the
pitfalls might be for large scale.
I have done a lot of painting, but never panelling. The major drawback,
I expect, would be seams or bulges that become more obvious when
painted. Patching nail holes another problem. Thin seams could be
covered relatively easy with paintable caulk.
I would clean it meticulously, to get rid of all grease, polish, wax,
etc. Denatured alcohol, windows open.
If you want a transparent color, you can thin alkyd paint (a little
bit), brush on, rest 15-30 minutes, wipe off. Play with it a bit to get
the degree of dryness you want so you can remove what you want. I did
this (pickled finish) when I stripped some wide oak rails in our living
room. Same color, same paint, as used on baseboards and trim, so the
grain shows but color blends. One coat of clear finish over the paint
to keep it from scratching off, although I don't think that step was
Is your panelling real wood, or printed grain? Open grain?
You could also put on a solid primer and paint, then do the glazing in
another color to bring out the grain, if any, or imitate grain.
Thanks for that. Definitely food for thought there and I will try some
In a previous post it was suggested I use a wall liner or 1/4" drywall,
but I have not been able to locate the 1/4" drywall locally yet. That's
why I am looking at this alternative.
You make a good point about bulges etc. Thanks for that too.
There is no real feel-able grain, but it is real plywood. I scraped the
surface with a sharp knife and it appears to be just a varnish coating
over real wood veneer as the grain is still visible on the scraped
Some friend "painted" a small living room that had wood paneling.
To my eyes it looked pretty good. These folks have a lot of stuff and most
of the walls ended up being covered with pictures and furniture but it's
still an interesting effect.
If you panels are sound then go ahead and paint them. If they aren't (for
example we have a basement where the previous owner installed paneling that
wasn't suitable for below grade use) then take it down and put up wall
The BEST thing I can say for cheap paneling is that it is very easy to tear
down. You don't have to do an entire room but just one wall (or even
section) at a time.
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