5 Ways to Update Faux Wood Paneling

5 ways to update fauz wood paneling

The 70’s trend that continues to rock modern-day homes is no longer everyone’s favorite. So many have asked me, how can I update my faux wood paneling without spending a fortune.

Fortunately, you can erase the past with only a few tools and materials and a couple extra days of time.

Option 1- Spackle and Paint

Although this takes a bit more time, this will ensure you get a nice consistent look.

The 4 step process

1- Clean the panels

Wipe down the panels to remove dust and debris before doing anything else. This will ensure a smooth, uniform finish. Let dry completely before moving onto the next step.

2- Cover the grooves with spackle

Use a putty knife to apply evenly spackle over the grooves. Take this time to cover any holes or scratches in the paneling. Let the spackle dry completely before moving on to the next step…sanding.

3- Sand It

The amount of sanding that you do will depend on how smooth you would like the surface. If you want a more textured look, you may not have to sand much at all.

4- Prime and Paint

Make sure you remove any dust from the surface from the sanding process. Then, prime and paint with the color of your choice!

Option 2- Caulk and Wallpaper

Ahh! I am absolutely in love with all of the fun wallpapers out there these days…they are so beautiful. Because the faux paneling is mostly smooth, take this opportunity to wallpaper that wall!

Similar to the steps above, you will want to use caulking to seal the grooves. Next, give it a light sand to smooth it out. Then make sure you remove all the debris. Pick your favorite wallpaper and put that bad boy up there!

Option 3- Paint it with a Shellac-Based Primer and Paint

Shellac based primer and paint is also a good option. Because faux paneling is usually covered with a slick coat of who knows what, applying a shellac-based primer and paint will ensure you get a nice coat of paint without the fear of it chipping off. (Bonus, it also will help disguise any weird smells). Before painting, you may want to use a latex caulk to caulk the paneling seams as these surfaces are usually more rough and soak up the paint differently.

Option 4- Wall Liner

Wall Liner is similar to wallpaper but is thicker so it will cover the grooves in the paneling on its own so you can skip the caulking. Once applied, you can paint it or wallpaper it. There are many different textures and styles you can choose from so have fun with it!

Option 5- Removing it or covering it up 

The last option and one you may be trying to eliminate all together is either removing the paneling or covering it up with a wainscotting or shiplap.

If you do decide to remove the paneling altogether, you will need to remove the trim pieces and use a pry bar to pry the paneling off the wall.

Once removed, you may notice some significant glue remaining. You can then use a scraper to remove the remaining glue. Follow this up by applying a thin coat of mud to the wall to repair any damage. This of course will take some time but the end result is totally worth it!

I would love to see your paneled wood projects! Send me a pic…hello@tarynkiltydesign.com!

As always, if you need some ideas to help you with your project, book a free discovery call with me here!


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