How to Refinish Knotty Pine Paneling

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  • 4-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-75
What You'll Need
Orbital hand sander
Fine grit sandpaper
Wood varnish

Knotty pine paneling is beautiful because it has a natural and country look. However, with time, it may start to look old and worn and may need to be refinished. A refinishing job can revitalize the wood so that it looks better. You can do the work yourself if you follow the steps noted below.


First, sand the paneling. It is best to use an orbital hand sander to make your work as easy as possible. Make sure to remove as much of the coarseness as possible. You may have to sand corners and other areas that are beyond reach by hand. Make sure to avoid doing any sanding against the grain of the knotty pine.

Once the sanding process is ready wipe the panel with a damp rag in order to remove the dust particles and other residues.


Once the paneling is dry, you can start painting it. Use a good, quality wood varnish and apply it in even strokes. Allow it to dry, and then sand it lightly with a fine-grit sandpaper.

Next, apply a second coating of varnish so that the finish is neat. If you would like to achieve a darker finish you may wish to apply more than two coatings.