Painting dark paneling is something that many people avoid like the plague. The web is filled with horror stories of how painting over dark paneling took forever and a day. It makes one wonder if you can actually paint dark paneling a light color such as white? This easy do it yourself decorating idea is actually rather simple if you know how to do it. Though time consuming, painting dark paneling can be a very inexpensive option in comparison to new paneling. Here is how to paint dark paneling white and be thrilled with the result:
The first thing to do is to sand the paneling. Though this is a dreaded step, one should know that it is not necessary to do a perfect sanding job. A light sanding to help the surface accept paint is all that is required. Do not spend hours on this step. Simply sand the entire surface of the paneling lightly one time.
Using spackle is a must with paneling. Go through the room carefully, and spackle in all the holes from picture frames, etc. Make sure that you then sand the spackle down flush, so that the holes will not show through after you paint. Paneling is notorious for showing nail holes through paint. Take the time to do it right the first time, and you will be thrilled with the finished product.
Once you have sanded the paneling and spackled the holes, then you should go in and apply a primer. Primer serves a few purposes, but the primary purpose is to help keep the dark paneling from showing through your layer of paint. It also will help with future peeling, cracking, and seepage. The dark paneling is not really made to be painted, and the primer will help to get the paint to grab much easier.
Another note about primer; if you are painting the walls any shade other than white, have the paint store tint the primer just a shade lighter than the shade you are using. This will also help the paint to cover the dark paneling more effectively.
Once you have applied the primer coat, you are now ready to go in and paint the dark paneled room. One of the most common problems with painting over dark paneling is the grooves in the paneling. This area should be done with a brush, as the roller will often pass over them. Some dark paneling has very shallow grooves that will take a roller, but most will need some brush work.
Once you are at this point, painting the room is very much like painting standard walls. The primer, and the sanding before it allow for paint to take to paneling in the same way any other surface might. Depending on the shade of the primer, as well as the darkness of the paneling, you may have to apply a couple of coats.
Painting dark paneling white is no more challenging really than properly painting a regular wall. The only difference is that you may have to give it an extra coat of paint. It is, however, important that you go through each step carefully. Painting dark paneling can make a huge difference in the value and decor of your room.