Painting paneling

truehartJuly 19, 2011

We just bought a house that is very outdated and paneled throughout! It's awful. I had a bad experience removing paneling in the past that had been glued and nailed. I ended up having to replace the drywall. This time I would like to paint it. I'm looking for advice as to what product to use to prime it and will I also need to sand it as well? Has anyone done this or have any advice?

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Yes, I did a half wall of 60's paneling and it came out great.
This is my procedure (got advice from this forum which helped a lot).

1. Clean paneling well with Dirtex. Fill in and sand any imperfections. Some people actually fill in the vertical grooves to make it look smooth like drywall, but I didn't. As it was only a half wall, I had the goal of making it look like wainscoting.

2. Sand lightly to scuff up the surface. Vacuum and wipe with damp cloth to get all dust off.

3. Apply a blocking primer (not just an all-purpose primer). I used SW Pro-Block, but I think it's called something else now. Use a small roller to apply, then back brush to smooth. When dry, sand very lightly and vacuum/wipe.

4. Apply one coat of finish paint using roller and brush as above. Chinex brushes work well and leave a smooth finish. I used SW ProClassic Semi-Gloss paint. Don't overwork this kind of paint. BM Impervo or Cabinet Coat would work well, too.

5. Allow that coat to dry, then again sand lightly and vacuum/wipe.

6. Apply second coat of finish paint as above.

You should get great coverage and end up with a gorgeous smooth finish. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 9:10AM
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Ditto to steps 1 & 2 listed above, but any good bonding primer should work. I like Zinsser BIN, but it's pretty transparent, so you may want to add some white colorant (2oz KX) to improve the hiding ability. Zinsser Cover Stain or even Bullseye 123 are other good options; all say they don't require sanding, though a smart painter will still scuff sand slick surfaces. Also, with slick surfaces, waiting a little extra time between priming and painting to let the primer cure is a good idea. I personally can't imagine sanding a wall in between coats, but I suppose it depends on what look you're going for. Furniture, sure, you want it smooth, but I don't mind a little roller texture on a wall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Young House Love Blog on Painting Paneling

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 10:50PM
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Thank you both so much. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the process as I have the WHOLE house to do. At least we bought a relatively small house. I think I will like the look of using the brush with the roller. I have no plans to fill the gaps at this point but may try it down the road. They paneled the kitchen as well and I'm not sure I want to see painted paneling in there so maybe that would be my trial. Again, thank you!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 1:49AM
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