One of the things we are doing to prepare to put our house on the market is to update the very dated wall paneling in our lower level.
This stuff is nasty. It’s not even real wood. It’s a shiny, plasticy, fake version of wood that has seen better days since it was first installed sometime in the late 60’s.
Here is a before picture, mid-remodel and pretty messy. Sorry.
I did this section of our basement about a year ago and it has held up very well, despite daily use. There hasn’t been any peeling or chipping.
I will tell you that it is a giant pain in the you-know-where.
There are many ways you can go about painting over paneling, but a lot of them involve pretty nasty chemicals and strippers. I was pregnant and I had two toddlers in the house when I started this project, so those methods were quickly crossed off my list. This is the method I used.
Step 1: Wipe down the walls with a damp rag to remove any dust or residue.
Step 2: Use a high quality zero VOC adhesion primer. I used the Olympic brand from Lowes. Unfortunately, I found that I had to use a paint brush for this entire process because, no matter what kind of roller I tried, it either splattered or wouldn’t get into the spaces in between the panels. Don’t be scared because the first coat looks terrible. The most important thing is to get the cracks between the walls completely covered. Some people caulk the cracks and sand them for the look of a flat wall, but I actually like the texture of the paneled look. (Plus, I’m lazy.)
I’ve been working all weekend on the paneling in the rest of our lower level. I hope whoever buys this house appreciates all of this work. I wish I would have sucked it up and done this 3 years ago so that our own family could have enjoyed a prettier space.
C’est la vie.
I think it’s 100% prettier than it was before.