Tips to Help You Paint Your Outdated Paneling

As much as you'd love to rip out that outdated paneling in your living room, it might not be in your budget right now. Instead of continuing to live with it, you can paint it. Here, you'll find a few tips that will help you get your paneling painted.

Start with a Good Cleaning

Before you even think about popping the lid off of the can of paint, the walls must all be cleaned very well. All of the dirt, dust, and cobwebs hiding in the corners will cause problems with the finished look of the paint. If you allow the dirt and cobwebs to remain while painting, you could end up with discolored areas and strands of cobwebs dried onto the wall.

When cleaning the walls, use a mixture of white vinegar and water. Add a cup of white vinegar for every gallon of hot water. This mixture will get the walls clean without leaving any residue behind that would prevent the paint from adhering to the surface.

Let the walls dry for a day before you begin painting. Painting damp walls will result in blistering or cracking of the paint—then, you'll have to sand it all off and start over again.

Tape the Trim

Take the time to tape off all of the trim and anything else that you don't want to get paint on. You might go into this project thinking that you have a steady enough hand to skip the tape, but honestly, you will end up cursing yourself a few times when the paint gets on the trim and you have to struggle to get it off before it dries.

Get the Right Supplies

Those grooves in the paneling can be a real bear to get painted. You'll need to use thick-nap rollers to apply the paint. If you try to go with the cheaper, thin-nap rollers, you're going to end up having to paint each groove by hand before using the roller to smooth things out.

Buy a Good Primer

So, the most important decision you're going to make when selecting the paint is the primer that you'll be using. Look for a primer that is meant for use on all surfaces and that will not require you to sand—it will state right on the label if it is a sanding-free product. If you opt for a lower quality primer, you will have to spend days sanding the surface and then wiping it all down in order to get the primer to stick.

If you are uncomfortable taking on a project such as this on your own, hir a local painting contractor, such as Fagan Painting.