has anyone tried to fill in the cracks rather than removing panel

phyl345March 23, 2010

we are having remodeling work done, so i thought this would be a good time to remove our wall paneling.

the carpenter said it would not be a good idea - he would be willing to do it, but said it was so well glued & nailed down that it would be labor-intensive ($$$)

he said we could put a thin sheet of luan over the paneling; but i am not that crazy about that for a variety of reasons.

could all the *cracks* be filled with some kind of patching something-or-other? - anybody ever done anything like this? - just wishful thinking probably, but still ....


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Actually, I've done exactly that in a few places. I did it on our grooved paneling so I could wallpaper over it. I used cheap latex painters caulk and a putty knife to smooth it. It took two layers because the caulk shrunk and wasn't flush after the first coat. I think you could probably caulk and just paint instead of wallpaper, but you would have to do a neat job and it might be a bit tedious. I just piped it in, ran over it with a putty knife, and moved on without having to wipe up the excess that squeezed out unless it was bumpy.

You might be able to apply a thick paintable wallpaper directly over the paneling, or with maybe just one quick coat of caulk. They have great patterns as well as simple rolls that look like textured drywall.

Here's a before and after of one of my projects:

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 3:40PM
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You might try using Durhams Rock Hard water putty. It doesn't shrink.

Here is a link that might be useful: Water Putty

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 5:55PM
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How about wainscoating over the paneling and paint it. It would have a classic look. We did this in our basement apt's bathroom for my mom.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 6:07PM
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thanks for the suggestions -- I loved seeing the pictures -

alas, I could probably, maybe, possibly talk myself into giving it a try, but me thinks the room is just tooooo big - sigh -

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 1:33AM
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I love the idea of placing beadboard directly over the paneling. I have painted paneling and although it was an improvement, it kind of looked like "painted paneling". In my last home, I couldn't cover with beadboard because all of the trim was stained. So I used the paintable wallpaper. I found it easy to use and the result was great. I did not fill my cracks because they were very narrow. The texture and design in the paintable wallpaper can really set the style for the room and it was economical.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 10:39AM
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allrighty then; in the bright sunshine of the day I am feeling a little of the *you can do it* attitude.

it was overwhelming to think of filling all those grooves so carefully to make a smooth painted wall - however - if I used paintable wallpaper --- hmmm, maybe I CAN do this.

joanie, I just measured the the size of my grooves - 3/16 - were yours smaller than that? - I would love to NOT have to fill the grooves (fairly big room)- but wouldn't it be horrible to go to the trouble & expense of putting up paper & then having it not be right!

I'm off to look for paintable wallpaper -- on the internet, that is. Isn't it fun to sit in front of a screen in p.j.s, not showered, looking like hell & be able to go shopping - what a wonderful world -

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 12:07PM
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We didn't fill the cracks - just painted over the paneling. It is a larger room (17x20) and I did not want to get into that!

I actually have grown to like the look. It is pretty subtle.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 12:55PM
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lil geek
I love your painted paneling! I think it looks great. You have a great color, and with your beautiful floors and ceiling, it really works.
Phyl - I do not know the measurement of grooves, I only remember it was inexpensive cheap looking paneling on the lower half of our dining room, under an existing chair rail. If you go this route, you could always do a small sample piece before you do the whole wall. It seemed so easy because I hated the paneling in that dining room, and doing the lower part was such a quick fix. Doing the whole wall, several walls actually would be quite a job. I picked up my paintable wallpaper at my local Menards store. You can probably find it at any home improvement store. I don't want to discourage you from doing the paintable wallpaper, like I said, I loved mine. However, after sizing the walls and hanging the paper, you still have to paint it. It may be a quicker fix for you to tint your primer the color of the paint you want and primer and paint your walls. Whichever way you go, I'm sure you can do it and you'll love it.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 1:39PM
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Phyl. I have painted paneling in my kitchen. It's been painted about 20 years or more. After so long I don't even really notice its 'painted paneling' any longer.
In fact, I just finished painting it. I also used paintable 'beadboard' wallpaper on some of the cabinets. In my opinion, it was much easier to paint the paneling than it was to paint the wallpaper (even though I really love the look)!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 6:22PM
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I also just painted over the paneling. Why bother filling in the grooves? I like the look of the painted paneling. Gives the walls some texture.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 7:06PM
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We had paneing in our family room in another house. We filled the grooves and wallpapered over it. It worked out great. I can't tell you what we used because it was so long ago but I can find out from DH if you really want to know. He did the work and rarely forgets such details. I'm sure you would be able to paint over it as well. I'm thinking it was some type of spackling compound.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 3:26PM
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kathie -- aren't you lucky; a husband who rarely forgets details .. or are they mainly *manly* type details & not birthday, anniversary type details (grin)

anyway, I would love it if you would ask him what he used .. how he applied it .. what he used to smooth it out .. & anything else he remembers!

I would love to be able to get a smooth enough surface so it would be paintable; but wallpaper is a doable option .. maybe I would go the textured wallpaper route & THEN paint it ..

anyway, thank you very much for any info you can send my way

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 3:54PM
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phyl345, Yes, I am very lucky. DH remembers more details than I'd like sometimes. I think he likes playing with my mind because he knows I certainly don't remember. Anyway he does all of our work, inside and out. He is currently framing out a basement for a neighbor as well as out DD and SIL. His hobby is woodworking but he learned construction from his father. Yes he remembers birthdays and anniversaries as well.

Here is what we did in our other house. The paneling as well as the grooves were first primed with Gliddens Gripper (see he even remembers the name 30 yrs. later). Then the grooves were spackled using an 8" trowel. The joint compound was mixed...1 gallon compound with 2 TBSP Dawn dish detergent and enough water to make it the consistency of Cool Whip. This make the compound go on smoother and easier to work with. Using the 8" trowel covers a lot of the sections between the grooves and then it reequires less sanding if you are really careful about how you apply the compound. We had to size the walls then because we were wallpapering. The paper we used was very smooth, no texture and a tiny print, light colored background. It turned out great...no grooves visible. We were very happy with it. It sounds like a lot of work but it was worth it. You probably would not do the sizing if you are going to paint. Good luck with your project.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 9:00AM
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thank you kathie .. please give your hubby a big hug for me .. the info sounds straight-forward enough for me to be able to relate to .. that's often a problem for me .. sometimes I just *can't* quite wrap my brain around things ..

we are bumping our kitchen out 2ft into what is now the family room . (it has the paneling) . the painted paneling has never bothered me; but the family room (short the 2ft we are stealing) will become the dining room ..

our *formal* L/R - D/R was rarely used, so we decided to USE the UNused front of the house for a larger repurposed family room .. and thus the OLD family room will be the dining room .. ok, way more info than I needed to include(grin)

I just figured since everything is turned upside down, why not try to smooth out the walls .. the kitchen won't be finished for probably a month to six weeks, so I have plenty of time to think .. and think .. and think ..

thank you again !

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 1:25PM
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I did this in a previous home. I filled in the grooves then textured the walls. Here's a picture of the room.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 2:01PM
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My mom did that and then wallpapered over it. It has been years and there has been no problem, cracks still don't show.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 4:05PM
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just happened to check in here & was suprised to see two more answers cuz none had shown up in my e-mail .. hmmm, wonder why ..

anyway, thanks! .. terriks, oooh, a textured finish on the wall sounds a whole lot easier than trying to get an all-over smooth finish for painting .. would you be willing to tell me how you did that? .. I realize I could put up textured wall paper & then paint .. but I'd rather not do that is possible (extra $$ extra work)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 2:14PM
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yooo hooo ... t e r r i c k ... are you out there?

the carpenter was just here & he said he didn't think I should try for a paintable texture ... he said it would involve way tooooo much sanding .... did your solution involve way tooooo much sanding?

thank you,

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 2:34PM
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