If your house was built or redecorated in the 1950s or 1960s, it's possible you have an abundance of paneling, which you may want to update by painting over at some point. The knotty wood is often dark, and modern homeowners may find it depressing or just plain ugly. Removing paneling can be difficult, as some paneling is attached so securely to the walls that removing it will cause significant damage. You can, instead, paint your paneling. The brighter paint will help to lighten your room and the texture of the paneling will give the walls visual interest. To complete this project, you'll need:
Before you begin, apply a small test of paint to several unseen corners of your paneling. Some vinyl paneling is extremely resistant to paint. It your test swatch slides off the panel or never dries, you'll be forced to remove it. If you paneling passes the test, begin by placing a drop cloth on the floor to protect your flooring from any paint splatter. Clean your paneling thoroughly. Dirt, grime and smoke will all cause the paint to adhere unevenly, or not at all. Any cleanser will do, as long as you apply it thoroughly and rinse it well.
Use your spackle to fill in any holes in the paneling. Use caulking to fill in gaps between individual panel sections and gaps between the panels and the windows and doors. After the spackle and caulking dries, sand it smooth and clean the entire panel once more. Apply two coats of oil-based primer to your paneling. Oil-based primer will adhere to the panels much better than latex primers. Next, apply two coats of oil-based paint using a standard roller with a 1/2-inch nap. Apply the paint smoothly, ensuring that it's evenly applied into the grooves in the paneling. Use a sash brush to reach inside corners and cover the area near the ceiling.