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How to Prep and Paint Paneling

Help Around the House host Henry Harrison shows how to prep and paint paneling. On his elbow grease scale of one to four, Harrison gives this job a three.

Materials and Tools:

paint tray
paint roller
rubber gloves
safety glasses
liquid deglosser


1. Surface preparation is crucial when painting over paneling. Thoroughly clean the surfaces to be painted. Apply liquid deglosser with a towel, using smooth even strokes and always working in the direction of the grain. Apply the deglosser to a small section at a time, then allow it to do its work. Do not scrub the wall with deglosser.

2. After the deglosser has worked for about 20 minutes, apply the first coat of primer. Use a paintbrush to go around the perimeter of the paneling, then fill in the center areas using a roller. If you notice areas where stains are bleeding through the primer, come back and give it another coat or the stains will come right through the top coat of your paint.

3. Continue deglossing and painting one section at a time. Fill in any seams between paneling pieces with a bit of caulk.

4. Once the primer is dry, come back and apply the top coat. Wait at least eight hours, then come back and add a second coat if desired.

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