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If you want to update wood paneling in your home, there are a few different ways to go about it: we are here to tell you how to do it the cheapest way.

When looking at it, you may be thinking that you have to tear all that paneling out and start from scratch, but guess what? You don’t. As long as your wood paneling is in good standing condition, you can save yourself time and money by simply painting over your paneling.

Even the experts are saying wood paneling can be treated just like drywall, given the paneling is in the right condition.

Sound like something you’re interested in? Read below to learn how to paint wood paneling.

Start With A Good Washing

You’ll want to begin with nice clean walls. Be sure you wipe down all the wood paneling and remove any unwanted substances. It may be useful to use a TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) and water solution, as it will help get any tough spots off the paneling.

Fill In The Grooves

Your paneling can be treated like drywall. It’s a fairly basic process with joint compound and a putty scraper. Fill in anything that may need filling in so that your finished product will be even and smooth. Let the joint compound dry before moving on to the next step.

Smooth Your Paneling

How to paint wooden paneling

Sand your paneling using the “scuff sanding” technique. Be sure to wear a dust mask when you are sanding!

Sanding is an optional step in this process. It is not necessary but if you do choose to do it, it will help give your paint job a more professional looking finish, it will help it last longer, and prevent chipping.

Prime For Perfection

It’s time to apply the first coat of primer. Depending on what kind of paneling you are working with, different primers may work better. If you have solid wood paneling, go for a water-based primer. If your paneling is veneer, try a shellac-based primer.

Applying two coats of primer should be enough. If you want to, you can tint the primer to match the color you are actually going to put on the paneling. For the smoothest finish possible, try lightly sanding in-between coats. If you choose to do this, be sure to wipe down the walls after you sand so that the next coat goes on smoothly.

How to paint wood paneling

Paint Your Paneling

Finally, begin applying your chosen paint color to the wood paneling. Applying 2-3 coats will give you the best looking finish you could ask for. You should be left with your wood paneling looking like a whole new wall with a nice refreshing feel.