How to Paint Wood Paneling Like A Pro [Guide]

Wood paneling gives a home a feeling of coziness and comfort. However, if your home still has old, damaged panels or they’re made of low-quality wood veneer, you may need to let them go. Alternatively, if your wood-paneled walls look dark and antiqued, the painting will brighten them up. Follow these seven steps to get a professional-looking, contemporary finish. 

1 – Preparation Is Key

While painting paneling is not difficult, proper preparation is critical for the paint to stick well. If you don’t take the proper care, you could end up with an uneven paint job that you’ll have to redo later. 


2 – Remove Dirt From The Panels

Start by wiping the wood paneling with a damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt. If there are grease stains or other problems, remove them with a mild cleaning solution and then wipe with a clean, damp cloth. Be sure to get into the cracks in the panels. Make sure the wall is dry before moving on to the next step.


3 – Fill Nail Holes

Fill any nail holes or other imperfections with a putty compound. Use a spatula to better spread the product over the holes and imperfections. The color of the putty-it will dry neutral and be covered with paint. Lastly, sand the putty flush with the surface. Wipe off the dust with a cleaning cloth.


4 – Remove The Molding

If you want to keep the trim color or paint it a different shade than the wood paneling:

  1. Separate it from the wall.
  2. Use a pry bar and softly pull it loose.


5 – Caulk Cracks

Apply caulk to cracks and gaps where the panel meets the baseboard and ceiling or around doors and windows. This will make your room look nice and polished. Allow the putty to dry completely before painting the wood paneling. You will need to see the manufacturer’s instructions for how long to let it cure.

6 – Priming And Painting The Panels

Prime the panels with a stain-blocking latex primer. We recommend that the primer be tinted to a color similar to the finished paint for uniform coverage.


7 – Paint The Panels In A Modern Way

Although painting over wood paneling requires a little extra preparation, the result is clean and crisp. Simply painting the trim involves much less work than tearing it out and replacing the room with drywall. Try this intermediate painting project and see how easy it is to update your space on the weekend.

Let The Hard Work To Professionals Like Pro Brush Painting and Remodeling


Between the preparation of the panels, the materials, and the time you will need to achieve a perfect result, the best decision to invest your money is to call us to leave your panels looking as good as new. Your home will look modern and renovated with the help of our experts and quality materials. We are just a phone call away!