Skip to content

How to Cover Wood Paneling

covering wood paneling tips

As I step into the room, my eyes are met with the outdated and dull wood paneling that covers the walls. It's time to bring in a breath of fresh air and transform this space into something modern and vibrant.

In this article, I will guide you through the process of covering wood paneling, giving you the freedom to express your personal style and create a room that truly reflects your vision.

Let's embark on this journey of liberation together.


I'm about to give you an overview of how to cover wood paneling.

When it comes to transforming a room, covering wood paneling can make a significant difference in the overall look and feel. Whether you want to modernize your space or simply update the style, there are a few methods to consider.

One option is to paint the wood paneling. This is a cost-effective and relatively easy way to achieve a fresh and contemporary look. Start by cleaning the paneling thoroughly and filling in any cracks or holes. Then, apply a primer to ensure the paint adheres properly. Finally, choose a paint color that suits your desired aesthetic and apply two coats for a smooth and even finish.

Another method is to cover the wood paneling with wallpaper. This can add texture and pattern to your walls, instantly reviving the space. Before applying the wallpaper, make sure to clean and prepare the paneling surface. Use a wallpaper primer to ensure proper adhesion. Then, carefully measure and cut the wallpaper to fit the dimensions of your walls. Apply the wallpaper using a wallpaper adhesive, smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles as you go.

In summary, covering wood paneling can be a liberating experience, allowing you to transform your space and create a style that suits your taste. Whether you choose to paint or wallpaper, these methods can help you achieve a fresh and modern look.

quick answer

Can someone please give me a quick answer on how to cover wood paneling?

As someone who desires liberation from the outdated look of wood paneling, I understand the need for a simple solution. Here are five options to consider:

  • Paint: One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to transform wood paneling is to paint it. Choose a primer designed for wood surfaces and a paint color that matches your desired aesthetic. Be sure to clean the paneling thoroughly before applying the primer and paint.
  • Wallpaper: Another option is to use wallpaper to cover the wood paneling. Look for wallpaper specifically designed for textured surfaces, as it will adhere better to the paneling. Choose a pattern or design that complements your style and apply it using wallpaper adhesive.
  • Drywall: For a more permanent solution, you can install drywall over the wood paneling. This involves attaching furring strips to the paneling and then screwing the drywall into the strips. Once the drywall is installed, you can finish it with paint or wallpaper.
  • Wood Veneer: If you still want to retain the look of wood but want a more updated appearance, consider using wood veneer. Veneer sheets can be applied directly over the paneling, giving it a fresh and modern look.
  • Shiplap: Shiplap is a popular choice for covering wood paneling as it adds a rustic and trendy touch to any space. Install shiplap boards over the paneling to create a clean and contemporary look.

Key Takeways

One key takeaway is that covering wood paneling with paint or wallpaper can easily transform the look of a space. As someone who appreciates liberation and desires to create a more modern and inviting atmosphere in my home, I've discovered that this simple technique can make a significant difference.

Wood paneling, while once trendy, can now feel outdated and dark. By painting or wallpapering over it, I can instantly update the room and bring a fresh, contemporary feel to the space.

When it comes to covering wood paneling, preparation is essential. First, I thoroughly clean the walls to remove any dirt or grease. Then, I lightly sand the surface to create a better adhesive for the paint or wallpaper. After applying a primer, I carefully select my paint color or wallpaper pattern. This decision is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire room. Whether I choose a bold and vibrant color or a subtle and calming pattern, the transformation is remarkable.

Once the paint or wallpaper is applied, the room immediately feels brighter and more stylish. The wood paneling is no longer the focal point, but rather a background element that adds depth and texture to the space. This technique gives me the freedom to express my personal style and create a space that truly reflects my taste and preferences.

Liberation is found in the ability to change and adapt our surroundings, and covering wood paneling allows us to do just that.


As I reflect on the previous discussion, I realize that summarizing the key points helps to reinforce the importance of covering wood paneling to create a modern and inviting atmosphere in my home. The discussion highlighted that covering wood paneling offers a range of benefits, including updating the look of the space, improving the overall aesthetic, and creating a more comfortable environment. Not only does covering wood paneling give a room a fresh and contemporary feel, but it also allows for more design flexibility, as it provides a blank canvas to work with. By choosing the right materials and techniques, I can transform my space into a stylish and inviting haven.

To cover wood paneling effectively, there are several detailed instructions to follow. First, I need to prepare the surface by cleaning it thoroughly and filling in any gaps or cracks. Next, I should prime the paneling to ensure better adherence of the covering material. Then, I can choose from a variety of options, such as painting, wallpapering, or installing drywall. Each method has its own set of considerations, and it's essential to carefully follow the instructions and guidelines specific to the chosen method.

In the subsequent section, I'll provide a detailed list of instructions, accompanied by a helpful YouTube tutorial, to guide me through the process of covering wood paneling successfully.

Detailed Instructions

When it comes to covering wood paneling, detailed instructions are essential for achieving a professional-looking result. In order to prepare the surface properly, it's important to focus on a few key areas.

First, make sure to thoroughly clean the paneling to remove any dirt or grease.

Then, fill in any grooves using a high-quality filler.

Next, choose the right primer and apply it evenly to ensure proper adhesion.

Prep Work Required

I need to complete the prep work required before covering the wood paneling. To ensure a successful and long-lasting result, it's crucial to properly prepare the surface.

First, I'll thoroughly clean the wood paneling using a mild detergent and warm water. This will remove any dirt, grease, or grime that may interfere with the adhesion of the covering material.

After cleaning, I'll inspect the paneling for any loose or damaged areas. If there are any, I'll repair them using wood filler or putty and sand them smooth.

Next, I'll lightly sand the entire surface to create a rough texture that will help the covering material adhere better.

Finally, I'll apply a primer to the wood paneling to ensure proper adhesion and enhance the durability of the covering.

Painting Techniques Explained

I'll show you how to achieve different painting techniques by using various brush strokes and layering colors for added depth and dimension. When it comes to painting, the right technique can make all the difference in the final result. By understanding how to use different brush strokes and layering colors, you can create stunning effects that will transform any surface.

To help you visualize and understand the different painting techniques, I've created a handy table below:

Technique Brush Stroke
Dry Brushing Quick, light strokes with a dry brush
Stippling Dabbing the brush onto the surface to create a textured effect
Glazing Smooth, even strokes with a slightly transparent paint
Sponging Dabbing a sponge onto the surface for a mottled effect

By experimenting with these techniques and combining them, you can achieve unique and captivating results. Remember to practice and play with different colors and brush sizes to truly bring your vision to life.

Now that we've covered the painting techniques, let's move on to choosing the right primer for your wood paneling.

Choosing the Right Primer

Now that we've covered the painting techniques, let's discuss how I can choose the right primer for my wood paneling.

When it comes to covering wood paneling, selecting the appropriate primer is crucial for achieving a smooth and long-lasting finish. The first step is to assess the condition of the paneling.

If the wood is in good condition, a high-quality latex primer will suffice. However, if the paneling has knots or stains, it's recommended to use a stain-blocking primer to prevent any discoloration from bleeding through the paint.

Additionally, for a more professional finish, consider using a bonding primer that promotes adhesion to the wood surface. It's important to ensure the primer is compatible with the type of paint you plan to use.

Filling in Panel Grooves

To achieve a seamless finish, it's essential to use a spackling compound and sandpaper to fill in the panel grooves and smooth them out. This step is crucial in covering wood paneling and creating a fresh, modern look for your space. The spackling compound helps to fill in the grooves, while sandpaper ensures a smooth surface for painting or wallpapering.

| Tools Needed | Materials Needed | Steps |

| ————- | ————- | ————- |

| Spackling compound | Sandpaper (120-220 grit) | 1. Clean the wood paneling to remove any dirt or grease.

  1. Apply the spackling compound into the panel grooves, using a putty knife.
  2. Allow the compound to dry completely, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  3. Once dry, sand the surface using sandpaper, working in the direction of the wood grain.
  4. Wipe away any dust and debris.
  5. Repeat the process if necessary for a smooth finish.

Finishing Touches and Maintenance

I can easily maintain the fresh look of my wood paneling by periodically dusting and polishing it.

Wood paneling adds warmth and character to any space, but it requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best.

Dusting should be done weekly using a soft cloth or feather duster to remove any surface dirt or debris.

For a deeper clean, a mild wood cleaner can be used, but it's important to read the manufacturer's instructions and test it in an inconspicuous area first.

After cleaning, it's essential to polish the wood paneling to restore its natural luster.

A high-quality wood polish can be applied with a clean cloth, using gentle circular motions.

This not only enhances the beauty of the wood but also helps to protect it from moisture and wear.

With proper care, my wood paneling will continue to bring joy and aesthetic appeal to my space for years to come.

Final Thought

Can we summarize our discussion on how to cover wood paneling before we conclude?

Throughout our conversation, we've explored various methods to transform and update wood paneling in a way that liberates the space.

We began by discussing the importance of proper preparation, such as cleaning and sanding the paneling to create a smooth surface.

Next, we examined different options for covering the paneling, including painting, wallpapering, and applying texture.

Painting emerged as a popular choice, with suggestions to use a high-quality primer and paint that adheres well to wood surfaces.

Additionally, we considered the advantages of using wallpaper to add pattern and texture to the paneling, and the process of properly sizing and hanging it.

Lastly, we delved into the possibility of adding texture to the wood paneling, either by using joint compound or applying a wall liner.

Both methods can help to create a fresh, modern look while ensuring a strong and durable finish.

Overall, our discussion has provided valuable insights and options for covering wood paneling, allowing individuals to transform their spaces and achieve a sense of liberation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Paint Over Wood Paneling Without Sanding It First?

Yes, you can paint over wood paneling without sanding it first. However, it's important to clean the surface thoroughly and use a primer to ensure proper adhesion. This will help the paint adhere and provide a smooth, long-lasting finish.

What Type of Primer Should I Use Before Painting Wood Paneling?

Before painting wood paneling, I recommend using a high-quality primer. It helps create a smooth surface and ensures better adhesion for the paint. Trust me, it's the secret sauce to achieving a flawless finish!

Is It Necessary to Fill in the Grooves of the Wood Paneling Before Painting?

Before painting wood paneling, it is necessary to fill in the grooves for a smooth finish. This ensures that the paint adheres properly and gives a more polished look to the final result.

Can I Install Wallpaper Directly on Top of Wood Paneling?

Yes, you can install wallpaper directly on top of wood paneling. It's a simple and effective way to transform the look of your space and bring a fresh, modern feel to the room.

How Do I Remove Wood Paneling Without Causing Damage to the Underlying Wall?

To remove wood paneling without causing damage to the underlying wall, start by finding the seams and edges. Use a pry bar or putty knife to gently lift and pry the panels away. Take your time to avoid any unnecessary damage.

Go Top