You can’t paint wood paneling, right? Sure you can. What’s more, paneling is an open invitation to get really creative without a lot of work. A client of mine once complained about her dreary wood paneled living room and asked if I knew anyone who would tear it out. I asked her what she wanted most for the walls. “I really want stripes, “ she said, “happy, bouncy stripes.” Happy and bouncy; I kid you not. Well, tearing out paneling because you really want stripes is a little like skipping the circus because you really want clowns. So here’s what you do.
The hardest thing about painting stripes is getting them nice and vertical. There’s measuring and plumb lines, levels and spacers, tape and more tape; it is more than many of us have time for. Paneling however was made for stripes. It is the best thing about the stuff if you ask me. The vertical is there already. Just pick good colors and you are good to go.
Well, not so fast. Some paneling is diabolically hard to get paint to stick to. Somewhere in its history maybe it was waxed, or oiled or god knows what. It’s been there since Welcome Back Kotter. Clean the paneling with a wax stripper, then sand it a bit with 120 grit sand paper and prime it with oil based primer. There will be nail holes to set and fill and seams to caulk but after that it’s a breeze.
Elegant tone on tones are really nice, or the more sassy plumb and maroon…happy and bouncy turned out to be pale yellow and white with indigo curtains and dust ruffles. Whatever you fancy is there for the doing. Email me if you have a question.