We'd like to paint our daughter's bedroom that is walled with dark paneling. How do we fill in the gaps to result in a smooth finish?
Joanne from Lugoff, SC
Well, you could go to Home Depot and check out joint compounds, plaster, etc. but when you apply the paint all those repairs may show through the paint. Sometimes it may be easier to remove the moldings and apply drywall, tape and putty, paint and reinstall the moldings. If you don't want to attempt the job yourself try hiring someone to do it for you. (02/18/2009)
What we did at our old house is to whitewash the old paneling (but ours was lighter). You can try to find a pickled or other finish that would be lighter, or put up bead board trim and paint it white and keep the paneling effect. I don't think you will be able to get a satisfactory result without keeping the paneling in some form or just ripping it out! (02/18/2009)
I suggest you do not fill the gaps. Actually paneling looks great painted. Just make sure you prime it first before you put on the top coat. It really lightens up the room. (02/18/2009)
Wash the paneling with hot water and TSP or other cleaner to thoroughly degrease it. Then you can use drywall mud or poly-filla to fill the grooves. Smooth with a wet sponge and sand when dry. After that you can treat it like a gyprock wall. Fill and sand as required, use a couple of coats of white primer to get a solid white base, then paint whatever color you want.
I remember watching "Painted House" I think it was. She ran cord or heavy string in the line between the "boards". It looked really nice after it was painted, more like beaded board than painted paneling. Good luck! (02/19/2009)
I have painted 2 rooms with paneled walls without filling in the gaps and they look amazing! It's a bonus to have the gaps for effect. It would be way too much work to fill them in and not necessary. (02/19/2009)
By Carol M.
First choose the lightest color of "high hiding" of any brand paint and paint all the walls this will be your primer. Then see what it looks like. You are looking for "visual" not actual. If you need to fill in gaps use only Dap not drywall mud. Use at least a 3 inch putty knife and wipe the edges with a a damp sponge. Then paint it again. I lived in a trailer and when done taking these steps, it looked like drywall throughout. Drywall mud has pores and it sucks up the paint and will make it look bumpy. Dap in tube is the best if necessary, it is smooth. It took me 3 weeks to do a 18 x 74 mobile home this way. Hope it helps, it was easy (02/19/2009)
I like the look of painted paneling (use eggshell finish paint, semigloss just draws too much attention to the grooves). However, if you're set on the drywall look, use "Crack Shot" no-shrink Spackle compound (comes in a blue and white tub) and drag it top to bottom in the grooves with a putty knife. Sand once dry with a block sander, and get some texture paint to go over the top (Behr has several textures in varying thicknesses). For an even cheaper fix, you could instead blend drywall mud with primer and then roll it on with a roller. Whatever you choose, some type of textured paint is necessary because the Crack Shot will pop out of the grooves in chunks if it sits long enough, especially where two sections of paneling meet. Finish by painting with your tinted eggshell finish paint. (02/19/2009)
Personally, I love the look of painted paneling without the gaps being filled in. (12/21/2009)
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