How to Finish Pine Paneling

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  • 4-8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 45-120
What You'll Need
Old sheets
A screwdriver
A putty knife
A paint brush
Tack cloth
Cleaning cloths

Pine paneling can add a sense of rustic elegance to a room. Pine paneling needs to be properly finished to properly protect it. You can easily finish your panels yourself as part of a home DIY project. Be sure to use top quality conditioners, stains, and sealers. A pair of latex gloves should be worn when handling any of these solutions.

Preparing the Room

Remove everything you can from the room. Be sure the walls have nothing hanging on them. Use a screwdriver to remove any outlet covers. Put the screws and outlet covers in a safe place until it is time to secure them again. Lay old sheets over any remaining items and the flooring to protect them. Open the windows to create a well-ventilated space. If possible, use a fan to circulate the air.

Filling Imperfections

Smooth out any imperfections in the pine paneling with a filler you can make yourself. In a bowl, combine some epoxy with some sawdust to create a wood filler. Use a putty knife to apply the filler to any cracks or gaps. Allow the filler to dry completely.

Sanding Your Paneling

Put on a dust mask. Use 200-grit sandpaper to smooth out your pine. Work the sandpaper in the same direction as the wood grain. Apply more sanding over the areas where you applied filler. Continue the sanding process until the pine is smooth and even.

Conditioning Your Pine

Use a clean cloth to apply a conditioner to your pine panels. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the conditioner before you use it. The conditioner will keep the stain from streaking on the wood. Allow the conditioner about 15 minutes to sink into the wood. Wipe off any excess conditioner from the pine.

Staining Your Pine

Use a tack cloth to wipe your pine to remove any dust or residue from the paneling. Apply the stain with a paintbrush. Work in the same direction as the wood grain. Let the stain sit on the paneling until you have the stain tone you want. If necessary, apply a second coat of stain. Remove any excess stain with a clean cloth. Allow the stain to dry for about eight hours.

Sealing Your Pine

Slowly and carefully stir an oil-based sealer to prevent any bubbles from developing. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the sealer before you use it. Apply a thin layer of sealer with a paintbrush. Work in the same direction as the wood grain. Allow the sealer to dry for about two hours. Sand the sealer with 220 grit sandpaper. Wipe off any dust that is left on the paneling. The roughened surface will make it easier for the second layer of sealer to adhere. Allow the sealer enough time to dry completely.