Wooden paneling hangs on the wall. Some have got used to it, others panic at the thought of expensive renovation. It is not known what secrets the wall hides behind the cladding. Fortunately, we don’t have to remove the paneling to give the interior a whole new look. Can you paint wood paneling?

Wainscot, or … what?

Interestingly, paneling in the living rooms (and quite literally) appeared in the Baroque period. Before centuries, not only the walls, but also the ceilings were decorated and secured in this way, in fact entire chambers. Boards reaching from one-third to two-thirds of the wall height became popular only in the 18th century, when it was noticed that it was the optimal way to protect the surface and reduce the amount of material needed for it. Painting such paneling allows you to achieve a very interesting effect!

Painting paneling: which paneling paint will work best?

Choosing the right paint for paneling is half the battle. It’s best to reach for high-quality acrylic enamel for wooden and metal surfaces. The enamel is water-dilutable, and therefore odorless and completely safe for health. It provides good coverage, dries quickly and leaves a smooth, durable coating on the painted surface. Before using acrylic enamel, the surface should be properly prepared to increase its adhesion. For varnished wainscot, it is necessary to matt the surface or completely remove the old varnish layer.

Can you paint wood paneling?

How to prepare wood paneling for painting?

paneling from old varnish layers. With fine sandpaper, so as not to scratch the strips, we sand the paneling together with the grooves, then vacuum and wipe with a damp cloth to collect the rest of the dust. If, in the end, we want to leave natural wood – boards on the wall, we must do it accurately, if we paint with paint – it is only about tarnishing that the new paint will hold. This is the most labor-intensive stage of our paneling renovation.

How to renovate wood paneling: varnishing boards on the wall

If we like natural wood or want to give the interior a rustic character, we will secure the cleaned paneling with matt varnish, preferably maximally protecting against darkening, or a stain adapted to the character of the flat, e.g. bleach it, and then depending on what we like:

  • press into any vertical slit so that it remains visible as in highlander’s cottages thick natural or braided colored string. In combination with a rag pavement, felt armchair, table or chair made of stump, simple light wood furniture creates a fashionable interior.
  • add elements with a grain of salt to such a natural wall – e.g. hangers made of uncrowned branches, plywood antlers, “leather” made of wool, shelves made of boxes, etc.



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