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Tips for Painting Paneling

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For homeowners who want to rid themselves of outdated-looking older paneling without going through the trouble of removing it, painting over the paneling is an excellent option. While this requires a bit of time and can be moderately difficult, the results of paneling painting are often well worth the effort. Before beginning any painting project, it is always a good idea to follow some guidelines to ensure you prepare correctly for the job at hand. This will ultimately help ensure you achieve the desired results.

Preparing the Paneling

When you prepare the paneling for painting, it is very important to do the following:

  • Wear safety glasses and old clothing and protect your hands since paint often contains potentially toxic chemicals.
  • Tape off areas such as windows, ceilings, and fireplaces.
  • Clean the paneling well with trisodium phosphate (TSP) and mix it with water, making sure to follow the instructions on the bottle. If the paneling is glossy, you may need a deglosser as well. Fortunately, many products include both TSP and a deglosser. This is an essential part of the preparation process, as paint does not stick to a glossy paneled surface.

Filling in Cracks and Applying Primer

After you properly clean the paneling, the next steps are to fill in cracks and apply primer.

  • Use a putty knife and spackle to fill in any cracks or bumps in the paneling.
  • Use sandpaper to sand the panel surface to help it accept the paint more easily. To wipe the dust from the sanding, use a tack cloth.
  • Apply an oil-based primer to the paneling with an old paintbrush or roller, as primer is quite messy and difficult to clean. For extra-dark paneling, it is a good idea to use two coats of primer.

Applying the Paint

One of the most popular ways to paint paneling is with stripes. To achieve this effect, use a roller to apply latex paint over the coats of primer for the bottom coat. Then mix the paint with glaze and saturate the brush with this mix. To add some definition to the wall, it is a good idea to use texture paint on the paneling.

While paneling painting can be a rather time-consuming and often frustrating job, the results are often well worth it. When in doubt about your abilities to tackle any painting task, it is always helpful to consult with a painting contractor.

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