Last Updated on February 14, 2021 by Katie Barton
Over the last 3.5 years, one thing I’ve really wanted to do in the living room was paint the wall of wood paneling.
With an exposed wood ceiling, wood beams, and a wood floor, the wood paneling just felt too much. At first, my husband was totally against it. Since I had plenty of other house projects to keep me busy, I didn’t push it.
Over the years, though, I’ve really hated how dark the living room felt. We spend more time here than in any other room, and I hated looking at that wood wall every day.
After a few complaints, my husband finally told me that I had free reign to paint whatever I felt like. But once given the green light, I couldn’t actually bring myself to paint the paneling!!
The paneling is actually not ugly.
It’s real walnut, tongue and groove, and fairly thick. I mean, don’t get me wrong – in no way did I like the paneling. I just felt guilty for wanting to paint it. So…..a year and a half went by, and the paneling stayed how it was.
Then two nights ago, I applied a coat of primer. It didn’t look too bad. I added the paint, and voila, I now have some painted paneling in the living room.
It was so easy to do. Here’s a rundown on painting wood paneling.
Painting Wood Paneling – Before and Afters
Are you ready to see the before and afters?
Here is a couple of pics of the VERY dark living room.
Here’s the same angle, now painted. (I would show you the rest of the room, but I still have one wall left to paint.)
Can you believe how much brighter it is? This room went from feeling dark and depressing to light and airy.
How to Paint Wood Paneling
And just in case you’re wondering exactly how to paint wood paneling, it’s pretty darn easy!
1.) Prime – I used Kilz. One coat did the trick. I did brush all of the primer. Since paneling usually has divets in it, a roller isn’t going to get to them all. You could probably brush the seams/divets and then roll the rest. Since I was only doing one wall, I just brushed it all.
2.) Paint – I used the same color on the other living room walls and brushed it all on. (Again, if you brush the cracks/seams, you could probably roll the rest.) It only took one coat of paint I was using.
Painting wood paneling was very easy and only took me a couple of hours to do. I’m glad I finally bit the bullet and did it because it has completely changed this room’s feel for the better.
Have you ever painted wood paneling?
Katie Barton is the owner of Cabin Lane. She's also a home improvement writer for Bob Vila and Homedit. Her cleaning and organizing advice has been featured on Realtor.com, Yahoo News, GoBankingRates, and more. In her spare time, you can find her with a paintbrush in hand, searching for her next project.