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paneled walls

We have a home built in the 60's & every room is paneled. I was told that you can use drywall plaster over the paneling, paint & it looks like drywall. Can this be done? If yes, how do you go about this? Sandy

Re: paneled walls

You will want to remove that paneling.
You have one of two scenerios here:
1. The paneling is nailed to the studs with no sheetrock beneath.
This is a firetrap situation.
In this case you will want to remove the paneling and add new sheetrock and insulation. Keeping your current paneling in place and sheetrocking over it is not nearly as firesafe as removing it (Ask your home insurance company about this. They will agree.) and you will gain the insulation to make your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter and save fuel.
2. The paneling is applied over existing sheetrock.
In this case you may have to remove some glue and patch it up before you can paint.

Adding sheetrock over your existing paneling will create lots of issues around door and window trim too. Better to do it right.

Anonymous (not verified)
Re: paneled walls

I have seen attempts at covering
paneling and none of them worked out . Sorry to say that your best bet ( not cheapest ) is to remove the paneling and hang drywall .Try it in one room and see how it works out .

Re: paneled walls

Ok, so you've gotten all the right answers; you should take it down and put up drywall or whatever. But what you asked is how to paint over the paneling, so I'm guessing you've already decided that you don't have the time or the resources to tear it all out. So here's how you can go about it.

Treat the paneling cracks just like joints in newly hung drywall. First, be sure all nailheads and screwheads are well sunk. Then, using a wide drywall trowel (8 or 10 inch), apply a light skim coat of joint compound, over the cracks and the "fields" between the cracks. Let it dry, sand it, and go over it again as needed. Final sand it and paint it.

I grew up in a mobile home - 60 feet of that cheesy paneling - and we eventually painted or wallpapered every inch of it. Obviously if we'd had enough money that we could rip out all the paneling we probably wouldn't have had to live in a mobile home. Wallpaper is a great option, by the way. Just apply a layer of sizing, then paper over it.

Re: paneled walls

I had dark plank paneling in my gameroom. Many wide grooves. I paperd over the paneling. Eventually multiple layers did hide most of the grooves. My last attempt to cover was the tissue paper style. It worked great and now the walls have a plaster look. I think it was called elephant wallpapering. It was quite simple. You mix white elmers glue with water, spread the glue on the walls and put tissue paper over the glue. You may have to layer the paper to complete the finish. After I placed the paper on the walls with my hand I used a paint brush to smooth it out. It dries very hard like plaster and you can paint it any color you wish. I am very pleased with the outcome and it was inexpensive way to cover wood paneling.


do it better

Re: paneled walls

I don't have photos of it....but my step mother had dark paneling in her dining room. Instead of filling in the grooves...she painted vertical stripes on the paneling...using a light green and a slightly darker green and alternated them.

It looks very pretty and it was quick fix for her to not have to fill in all the grooves and sand.

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