Cover Up, Please! Painting Indecent Paneling


Have you ever wanted to paint your paneling?  Wondering if it would make a difference?  Want to know how to paint your paneling?  Let me tell you my story, and how I got rid of this dark man-cave you see here.

home office makeover

I’ve just completed my home office redesign.  I am no stranger to paint, but I hesitated on this project because I thought, for a time, that I just might drywall over the entire office.  But, no, I decided to tackle a true redesign rather than a remodel.  On a cold January day, I sent my hubby out to Home Depot for “the best primer there is” and a really strong paint to cover up.  Faithful followers know that I am a dyed in the wool Sherwin Williams Duration paint fan.  But hubby was on it, so I used what he came home with, which was this.  Before Duration, I was a huge Behr fan, and this is the next gen stuff, so I said, “Let’s roll!”

home office makeover

You might be thinking, Holy Cow! Didn’t she sand???  Didn’t she prep???  This Gripper primer is made just for this application, so it does not require any special prep.  You see the detail on this paneling, right?  There is just no possible way to manually sand these grooves. I know you people must love me, because you put up with way too many pictures of my projects covered in primer.

home office makeoverBecause of the deep grooves in this really high quality paneling, this project took longer than a normal room, but it was so worth it! The approach we took was a generous rolled coat, with a second person immediately following behind with a brush to ensure the primer, and later the paint, went as far into the grooves as possible.

home office makeoverThere may be one person in my universe who thinks the before picture was better.  Go ahead and leave your comment if it’s you.  I have some neon shaker sweaters and a prairie skirt I’m sure you’ll love.

Yes, I even painted over the window seat and the built-in bookcase, which are both high-traffic areas.  The only tricky part was where my assistant taped a clean edge where I switched paint colors. Bad idea. In this application, I needed another day of drying and 3M ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape for delicate surfaces, which is a type of painter’s tape that can go over fresh coats.  Clearly, we did not have the right tape that day.

home office makeover

These spots got another coat of primer and paint. The hard part was waiting two whole weeks for the paint to cure to be able to put stuff on the bookcase.  If you put stuff on your freshly painted surfaces, without waiting for the paint to cure, all the books, binders, and cases are going to stick to the paint and pull it off next time you re-arrange, so it’s best to be patient, and let the paint cure fully. Don’t even put the shelves, also painted, back in yet.  Just let them dry. And dry some more.  And then sit undisturbed while they continue drying.  Fourteen days later, they should be cured.

The only thing I didn’t paint was the railing in front of the radiator.  It looks hideous, but I’ve got something special planned for that, and I’ll show you why and how it turned out in the end.  Here is the mid-project view.


recycling rules for organizing for home office

We painted back in January, and this is now November. I work in this office every single day.  Although some days I feel like I climb the walls, you wouldn’t know it.  The finish is rock hard now that it is fully cured.  The paint+primer has not peeled, flaked, or scratched off the paneling.  It takes occasional dings just as well as any drywall finish would.  I’m really happy with its durability, and even more pleased that I have an actual color scheme now.

Have you painted over your paneling or wanted to?  I’d love to hear what’s stopping you or if this post provided the answer to your problem.