Do you have outdated wood paneling in your home? Once the most popular wall covering for homes and basements and now tacky and outdated, wood paneling is one of the more challenging design elements to remove from a home. More often than not there is no drywall installed behind wood paneling, making the change quite a costly update. There are two ways to remove the wood paneling look from your home depending on your budget and final expectations, painting the paneling, or replacing with new drywall. Take a look at these solutions and decide which is best for you.
Painting Wood Paneling
You can paint the wood paneling in your home with the right process and products and have a brighter more modern look on a budget. The first and most important thing to remember when painting your wood paneling is to NEVER try to skim over the wood with joint compound. Joint compound will NOT adhere to wood paneling. Over time it will crack, yellow, and break down making it worse than before. The first step in painting your wood paneling is the preparation of the surface. To properly prepare the surface your will need to clean and sand the entire area to ensure it is ready for adhesion. Next you will need to apply a primer to the wood (we recommend using a shellac primer) once the primer is dry you are able to add the topcoat. This project will require 2 coats of a high-quality paint (we recommend Benjamin Moore Aura). Once you have applied your topcoat your transformation is complete. If you choose to paint your wood paneling, keep in mind if there is a texture or pattern on the panels your final product will still show this pattern or texture. This is the most cost-effective way to rid your home of the outdated wood look.
The more costly solution to rid of your wood paneling is removing and replacing with drywall. This will give you a clean new look with no remnants of the paneling remaining. This process is best left to the professionals for a proper result. Step one is to carefully remove the wood paneling, generally it is attached with glue and nails. Once the paneling is removed you will have a blank slate to begin rebuilding your wall. Next you will have to measure the space and cut your new drywall sheets to size and properly install. Once the drywall is screwed in place you will need to tape and mud the drywall for a finished look. This step requires knowledge and experience for a flat even finish on your new wall. Next comes sanding and priming the drywall for a smooth surface for your topcoat to properly adhere. The mud must be sanded smooth and free of any debris before adding any coating. Finally, you can apply your topcoat, which will require 2 coats to achieve an even finish. We recommend using Benjamin Moore Regal for a smooth finish.