Painting Over Paneling
I’m sure there are thousands of finished basements in Toronto with wood paneling. This was an easy and quick way back in the 70s to finish basements into living spaces. The paneling was thin and flexible and easy to cut. It could be installed with just a hammer and a bag of paneling nails, a circular saw.
Tradition back then was natural wood look and paneling came in various different types of wood textures and looks. Some paneling would be oak and some paneling would be Cedar. These panels would have indents in the panel itself that were 3/16 inch 1/4 inch wide allowing room for the nail to be set so that they’ll would not sit on top of the flat surface of the board but in the indent to hide the nail. This is also good place to join boards/panel giving it a natural continuous look.
After the paneling had been installed it looked very good. In its natural state of assembly one could not detect gaps on the walls were the panels joined.
If the homeowner decides they want to up date their basement room with painting the wall wood paneling or painted their wainscot paneling in their family rooms or dens a certain amount of preparation has to be done. Firstly we make sure that all the paneling is clean and free of dirt and dust and of course grease and grime so the paint can stick to it. Once everything is has been cleaned we suggest using a finding nap roller something like a 10 mill roller to start rolling the wood paneling.
A word of caution, I strongly suggest using an oil-based primer to ensure two things. Using oil-based primer gives you the strongest adhesion to the paneling also it seals any tarnish and stain on the wall that cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Once all the paneling has been primed it is now time to inspect for any gaps and cracks and paneling joints discrepancies. They can be filled in now with latex paintable caulking. Make sure that you do the caulking smoothly and evenly. Because caulking when it dries and painted over will look like a painted over caulking if there are globs and heavy deposits and overruns making it look ugly. So make sure that you smooth out your caulking.