Wall paneling makeover

I’m making over the house I just bought, getting it ready to move in 2 weeks from now.

The future master bedroom has paneling my wife despises. We took a look behind it this past weekend, and saw studs. I have neither the time nor the money to hang that much sheetrock, so the paneling stays.

If I happened to spackle the grooves to make the walls smooth, will it stay put? Will I need to tape the joints like drywall to make this work? My goal is smooth walls that I can paint.

I don’t think spackling will do it. Over time, the slight expansion and contraction of the paneling would give you a crack down each joint. I suppose you could tape and compound each joint, but that’s more work than drywall is. Why not just paint the panel directly, using a primer for semi-glossy surfaces, such as BIN Sealer of Kilz? You’ll still have the look of paneling, but at least it’ll be in the color of your choice.

But if you ask me, you’ll be spending a lot of work on a second-best solution. I’d bite the bullet and either pull the paneling off, or go over it with 1/4-inch drywall – preferably the former, so you don’t have to fuss around with the trim work and all the electrical boxes. If you’re doing the work yourself it’s not that expensive – maybe $150 if you save and reuse the trim.

Hiding the joints is the wife’s idea, actually. I just want to paint it and worry about drywalling at a later date.

I don’t think priming will be necessary, unless latex paint won’t adhere to the vinyl pattern. The color is tan, and the paint is darker than the paneling.

This will not look good in the end, especially if you try to make the walls smooth. You will be able to see every joint and stud after you finish painting it, maybe not when looking straight on, but if you look down the walls they will be wavy.
People will think you really effed up the drywall. Better to go with rock and be done with it. I know that it’s a pain in the balls, but you will not regret doing it now (before you move in) rather than waiting a few months or years and doing it after you’re settled in.
I just think the look of panelling that’s been smoothed out will look cheap. You may be able to pull it off, and best wishes if you try, but I would take the chance to drywall it now before you move in. Who knows, once the panelling is off you may find some interesting things in the wall (like poor electrical wiring, plumbing, air ducts, etc.).

Whatever you choose to do, take some before and after pics and post 'em for us.

Here’s a shot of the room in question that I took during the property inspection. The room is obviously empty now.

Whoa! That will be fun to make over. It’s good that there are fewer grooves that the “normal” panelling; painting over it in a lighter color actually doesn’t look bad from what I’ve seen in designing shows.

What shade are you planning on, a taupey brown?

Good God Almighty! That room doesn’t need drywall, it needs an exorcist!

My curiosity is piqued by picture 20. What on earth is happening there? The brickwork looks like it’s melting into the ground. Or is that just a weird photo distortion?

JPEG losses after I compressed the photo. The exterior brick is in excellent shape.

And now you know why the room needs a fast and dirty makeover… :wink:

I couldn’t tell you for sure. I work in the paint application department. The color selection department belongs to the wife. Whatever color it is is based on the printed material she chose for the drapes she’s making.

Trust me on this. Primer is necessary - something like Kilz, BIN or similar. **Sal’s ** right, it needs an exorcist - what’s on the paneling? Some sort of “woodsy” scenics? If you don’t hit that with a stain-blocker primer, those scenes will show through. Besides, that room just looks like it’s been occupied by a smoker. Stain-block will keep the nicotine from bleeding through the new paint.

Personally, I’d either paint the paneling and keep saying “I’m not trying to hide ugly paneling… I’m not trying to hid ugly paneling…” or rip it out and rock the joint. The effort to tape and mud sheetrock is not going to be much more than attempting to tape and mud paneling joints.

Rip out that paneling and toss it into the old shed so it gets burned.

Yeah, that panelling isn’t as grooved as I thought. You could get by with some paint.
I wouldn’t bother filling in the joints if you’re going to upgrade in the next couple years. Just give er a couple coats of paint and live with the lines. At least they’re all equally spaced.
Nice shack, looks like a fun project. :slight_smile:

Holy carp that’s the most hideous paneling ever! I just ripped off a whole room full of only slightly less awful paneling. Had to repair 9,000 holes in ancient plaster and now I’m wallpapering. No real suggestions for you - you could put up wallpaper and then paint over it if primer and paint don’t solve the problem at least temporarily. What were they thinking!!!

The previous owner is an old bachelor who fashioned himself as the Great White Hunter, and it was reflected in his decoration. I have to admit that if I was single, instead of stuffed animals and hunting, my version would have railroad memorabilia, old guns and antique toys and tools.

I used to think that this would never work. However, my father did it to his house about 4 years ago and it still looks good. He didn’t leave a smooth wall though. He filled in the grooves with spackle, sanded them smooth, and then textured the entire wall. Once the wall were painted, it looked good, but I think the texture is required to help hide where the grooves were filled in.

If you can live with textured walls, it should be ok. If you need smooth walls, do it the right way with new drywall.

I had dark wood paneling with more grooves (but no pictures). I used Kilz and then just painted it over with a flat khaki color. It was easy and looks good to me. I don’t really notice the grooves. Congratulations on your cute new house!

I did the spackle-over-wood-panelling thing once, and it worked out OK, although it’s not an ideal permanent solution. I don’t recall cracks being a problem (but it was a long time ago and I may not remember).

I do think it would be a lot easier to just prime and paint, especially if someday you may do a permanent solution anyway.

Does anyone know if you can plaster over wood panelling? Would that be more permanent? (Of course you’d have to hire a plasterer if you can’t do it yourself.)

p.s. – In line with the wallpape suggestion above – There is special thick textured or patterned wallpaper that you can put over bad walls and panelling. Then you paint over the wallpaper. Ask at a good hardward or decorating store.

So the deer heads aren’t included in the deal?

Nope. I asked for one, just so I could appall my wife. It worked.

He’s still not out of the outside buildings, so there’s a chance I might get to keep his antler collection in the garage. Could I set you up with a dozen pair?

Heh. I’m picturing a base for a glass-topped coffee table.