Tongue-and-groove paneling consists of sections of timber held together by a locking mechanism. Paneled walls add visual interest, but they could also cause a room to appear dated. A coat of paint on your paneling can quickly brighten the space and give it a more contemporary feel. Painting above tongue-and-groove paneling isn’t difficult, but it takes a few more steps than you’d typically use when painting over a level surface like drywall.
Tongue-and-groove paneling typically has a finish coat of paint or sealer that protects the timber. This has to be roughed up with fine-grit sandpaper so that paint will adhere properly. When sanding the walls, then be certain you sand the surface of the timber completely. Wash your paneling using a damp cloth to remove sanding dust and other dirt. Gouges, holes and other flaws in the paneling may be filled with wood-filler and sanded smooth before priming and painting, however, the grooves of the tongue-and-groove paneling do not require filling. Wood shrinks and expands the varying humidity levels each season. Should you fill the flux with caulk or wood filler, the patches will crack and fall out, leaving an unsightly mess that will be hard to repair.
Painting tongue-and-groove paneling is more challenging than conventional drywall or plaster because where each bit of timber joins there are grooves that collect excess paint from the brush. When priming and painting the paneling, remove the excess paint that accumulates in the grooves of this timber with your paintbrush as you cut in along the edges of the room. When you’ve finished cutting in, start at the top of the wall and paint the flux. Load your brush gently and prevent drips by passing the tip of the brush above the flux, feathering the paint as you go. Follow by rolling the primer and paint on the wall in 3-foot sections, starting at the very top of one corner and working your way across the room. As you complete each 3-foot part, pause to feather any extra paint out of the grooves along with your own brush. Paint each part in columns, from ceiling to floor and bend each move marginally for a uniform finish.
Oil-based or pigmented shellac primers are excellent stain blockers and will block the resins in the wood that might bleed through a latex product. These primers will also adhere to surfaces that aren’t perfectly clean. Should you prefer to use a latex product, then pick a stain-blocking urethane-modified acrylic, which is a good stain-blocking primer that will block resins. The paneling, however, must be entirely clean before painting to ensure proper adhesion.
After the primer is dry, paint the walls with a standard 1/2-inch nap roller. A thick roller is not necessary as you’ll have painted the flux when cutting in. The excess paint a thicker remainder holds doesn’t remove the requirement to fill in the flux first. It will only gather in the grooves and cause runs and drips. Use either latex or oil-based goods, but pick a finish that suits the space. As an instance, tongue-and-groove paneling in a kitchen will need washing, so a flat paint isn’t perfect. A semigloss, however, may highlight blemishes from the wood. A satin finish provides a happy medium between a semigloss and a level finish. Apply at least 2 coats of paint for a uniform finish.