Tips for Painting Light Colors Onto Dark Wood Paneling


Wood paneling is something that was once very common in homes. Houses built before and well into the 1980s often have dark wood paneling. You will find that while many people enjoy the look of the wood; however, there are many people who want their homes to have a more modern look. Removing wood paneling can be a lot of work and cost a lot of money. Wallpaper is another solution, but many people do not want to hang wallpaper in a large section of their house, not to mention that it is very expensive as well. Painting dark paneling is something that can be done with the right amount of time and knowhow. Read this advice if you are considering painting the wood paneling in your home.


Painting a room a dark color will make it seem very small. Many people prefer a lighter color for a room because it opens it up and creates a more inviting feel. The problem with that is the fact that dark paneling is very difficult to paint a lighter color. The first thing that you are going to have to do with this type of job is pick out the color that you want and be ready to purchase it a little differently than you normally would for a regular painting project.


When you have decided which color to paint your wood paneling, you are going to need to start a few shades darker than you want. While painting over wood is something that is very difficult, painting over a lighter color is actually quite common. Get the color that you want as well as paint that is a few shades darker for the base. Make sure that you get it in a flat finish. You will need to paint the base and then give it time to dry before you move on to the following coats.


Each coat that you paint following the base is going to need to be about 2 shades lighter than the one before. You will then need to make sure that you use a pearl finish for these layers. Using a different finish will create a very subtle stripe. You will find that whenever you go back to stripe the paint, there will suddenly be dimensions. The flat finish will not attract the light like the pearl will. It will not even be noticeable after all of the coats have been applied.

Primer and Base

Apply a primer to the paneling before the base. Once the primer is in place, you will need to apply several base coats. Use a 2-inch roller so that you can apply 2 coats of your lighter shade to every other panel of the wood. You will not need to tape off the wood.