View Full Version : Painting over veneered paneling?

Ron Jones near Indy
04-16-2006, 2:19 PM
We have a room finished in a nice oak paneling in something a little darker than a golden oak. It is very nice typical Ď70s paneling. It is real oak veneer, open grained and not filled. LOML want to lighten the room up, but neither of us wants to remove the paneling and drywall. Yes, the paneling is glued to the drywall. A new drywall job is not on my list of priorities. Could this be primed and painted and look half way decent? Iím not sure that paint over this paneling would look good; but I donít see an alternative other than doing nothing. Any suggestions?

Chris Fite
04-16-2006, 3:06 PM
Yes, you can clean, prime, and paint the paneling. Painted paneling looks quite good, in the eyes of the beholder, of course.

Lee DeRaud
04-16-2006, 3:15 PM
What kind of finish is on it now? Can you use one of those light "pickling stains" over it to lighten it up? Maybe find a small inconspicuous area to experiment on...

Wes Bischel
04-16-2006, 6:51 PM
We were in a similar situation when we moved into our house - built with the paneling in the living room. It was glued to the brown coat of plaster - as you said - not on the priority list to tear down and refinish! We cleaned it with TSP first, then primed/sealed it with Kilz (Zinser product), then paint. Our paneling was veneer as well, and was very dark. It took two coats of finished paint to get good/consistent coverage. It's been 13 years - still not on the list, and still the finish is holding well.
Good luck, Wes

Jamie Buxton
04-16-2006, 8:40 PM
There's two kinds of paint you might use, depending on the effect you'd like. One is conventional latex wall paint. It is thick, goes on with a roller, and the texture provided by the roller may hide the pores of the oak. The other would be a thinner paint -- like what goes on a car. This thinner paint conforms to the surface of the paneling, and adds no texture of its own. I've used this sort of paint on wooden furniture, and I really like the effect. From a long way away, you just see the color of the paint. From close up, you see the texture of the wood telegraphing through the color. To do this, I use pigmented waterborne lacquer applied with an HVLP sprayer. To experiment with the effect, you can use a standard spray can of paint.

Jim Becker
04-16-2006, 9:26 PM
It's worth trying the paint route to see if it works out to look good for you. Worse case, you can cover it all with either 1/4" rock or heavy textured wall covering and paint.