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Painting over wood Paneling to make it look like drywall.

I moved into an older mobile home recently and in the living room it has wood paneling. I would like to paint over it to make it look like an actual wall with out putting up drywall. Is there away to do this ?


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Posted 2010-12-24T03:00:36+0000  by MeaganDawn747 MeaganDawn747

I would imagine that your paneling would have groves in it. If you just painted over the paneling, the groves would still be there. Hanging drywall is not that hard, it's just heavy. And if you take down the paneling, you would also have the opportunity to add better insulation, then hang the drywall. Your completed project will have your desired look and instead of just looking like drywall, your walls will actually be drywall.


I put Customers F.I.R.S.T.

Posted 2010-12-24T14:49:25+0000  by peteinthepickup

Peteinthepickup, I love your handle and I love your advice.


Insulate and then recover. Much better repair than just painting over.


My HD has one quarter inch repair sheetrock.


Meagan could shortcut the repair by covering the paneling with the one quarter inch repair sheetrock. That would give her a smooth sheetrock wall.


Meagan, ask your local HD to show you how to locate support beams behind the wall and how to attach the sheetrock to the beams and then mud the repair sheetrock seams.


If that is too much repair, live with the grooves, prime with an oil-based primer and then paint.


Santa Clause is Coming To Town!

Merry Christmas!!!


Posted 2010-12-24T15:32:03+0000  by ELV



ELV has a great suggestion with the 1/4" drywall. And don't worry about the mud (spakel) you can do the messiest job in the world, but if you let it cure, then sand, sand, sand.... your job will turn out like a Pro did it. Then don't forget you Behr Ultra, best paint on the market. Your home will look awesome.


I put Customers F.I.R.S.T.

Posted 2010-12-25T05:32:38+0000  by peteinthepickup

Hello Meagan and thank you for joining our How to Community


Meagan, there is a way to prepare wood paneling to look like drywall, but in my opinion, it is a wrong and time consuming approach.


I’m saying wrong because of the several reasons.


First wood and wood paneling contracts and expands more than drywall gypsum panels, which will over time result in cracked joints. Taping joints does help with this problem to some extent, but in most cases fails, especially in areas of frequent temperature changes.


Also in addition, to achieve  smooth surface you would need to prime and skim coat an entire area with drywall compound. This is very difficult and time consuming and being that most paneling its only ¼” thick and flexile, low density compound will separate from paneling with next moderate impact.


My suggestion would be similar to ELV’s and peteinthepickup , but before you make a decision remove one of the receptacle covers and take a look what’s behind your wood paneling ; you could easily have drywall. I’ve come across quite a few projects where homeowners have actually covered their plaster or drywall walls with paneling at some point of time.


If this is your case, you could simply remove one small section of the paneling and evaluate the installation method they have used. If you notice large amounts of construction adhesive that is not coming off, you should know that that still needs to be covered, scraped and patched up.


Some people just decide to go over paneling with drywall.


Keep in mind that adding a new layer of drywall, over existing paneling, will require adjustments to the door and window casings and electrical boxes.


This all said you are almost always better off removing paneling.


My advice to you would be to remove one small section, evaluate what’s behind, and do following:


If drywall it’s found behind the paneling either remove adhesive (if any) or if there is too much adhesive, cover it with new layer of ¼ "drywall, use quality stud finder to  locate the  studs and install ,if possible ,drywall horizontally. Also for better bond, in between two layers, use drywall adhesive.


If bare studs it’s all you got behind the paneling than consider re insulating if needed and like peteinthepickup said use one layer of standard drywall.



Hope this helps and good luck with your project.



Posted 2010-12-27T15:59:47+0000  by George_HD_CHI

We just painted over it. We used Gripper as the primer and then a latex paint. It completely transformed the look of the room! Best of luck.

Posted 2010-12-28T12:23:21+0000  by Mommy2boys

I bought a home 20 years ago with dark wood paneling on the living room walls.  I used a product by Baer, that you first put on in a heavy layer and then roll with a textured roller.  Sorry it has been too long for me to recall the name of the product but it came in 3 different texture depending on what you want.  Not smooth but boy did it make a huge difference!  Good luck on your project!

Posted 2011-02-10T15:37:11+0000  by GoldMoon
Hi MeaganDawn747,

Vinyl spackle will flex with your panels to prevent breaking free.

It is easily sanded and perfect for paint ... probably the easiest way to make your transition.


1) Use a shop vac to remove dust or debris from the entire wall;

2) Prime with Zinsser Cover Stain tinted to be similar to your new color;

3) Apply Vinyl Spackle with a wide-blade trowel, following the exposed ridges in your paneling;

4) Use 220-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface;

5) As you complete sanding, shine a light back toward you working area to see any imperfections; and

6) Prime again, then paint about two-hours later using any topcoat.

Walls finished this way tend to look better and last longer than walls using less flexible spackle.

Your key to success is priming both before and after you spackle.
Posted 2015-12-08T19:58:23+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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