Everyone wants beautiful wood panels in-house. You might have selected a real beauty, but over time its colors and shine fade away. So if you are living in a house with out-dated panels then now is the time to give your home a smart makeover by painting wood panels. Well, it is not at all an easy task, since wooden surfaces are very daunting to paint as compared to metals. This is the main reason that many people don’t upgrade their wooden panels. Well if you follow our instructions, you can get this job done effectively and efficiently.

What Will You Require?

When it comes to getting beautifully painted wood paneling, you would require the following materials and tools:
Painted Wood Paneling

  • Soap and water
  • Interior latex paint
  • A sandpaper
  • Trisodium phosphate solution
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint sprayer or paint roller

How to Prepare for Painting Wood Panels?

The most important and the foremost step for any painting session is the preparation stage. So before attempting to paint the wooden panels prepare the panels. If your wooden boards have a glossy coating, scratch that off by using sandpaper. It is essential to clean the surface coating of panels entirely. For fake paneling, using liquid sandpapers is also very much useful.

Once you are done with scratching all the old coats from panels, clean the wood with trisodium phosphate solution. You can also combine it with water or wash away the impurities by using soap and water. However, with trisodium phosphate solution you must be careful because any deviation from its standard use can cause problems for your paneling.

If there are any shiners on the wooden surface, then you would have to use de-glossers to remove that glossy coating. In case, veneer has problems then you should secure it during the priming session and don’t put harsh chemicals on the surface, instead use sandpaper.

Sometimes old wooden panels take on messy appearance due to accumulated soil and impurities, in such a case you would have to use strong solvents to clean the mess.

How Can You Paint Fake Wooden Panels?

MoldingHallwayWhen it comes to painting fake wooden panels, you should always start by cleaning session. Use any mild detergent or soap and wash away the impurities with water. In case, you have painted fake wooden panels in the past then it would require sandpaper to remove the old coating. Sandpaper can also help to create an even surface of wood panels for priming and painting sessions.

After using sandpaper, always make sure you remove residues and debris created by sandpaper. For maximum cleaning, use liquid sandpaper. You must understand that to create beautifully painted wood paneling; the surface should be cleaned thoroughly; otherwise, it might interfere with the painting session.

Using regular primer is highly recommended in this case. Your best choice can be a latex primer. Apply a coating and if your eyes can still see through it then apply another coat. Once you are done with cleaning and priming, you can use the paint on the fake wooden panels. Evenly paint the boards and let it dry for a reasonable amount of time after each painting session.

How to Paint Dark Wooden Panels?

wallhaven-116276Before painting any wooden panels, you must clean the boards. So if you are dealing with dark wooden panel then rinse it thoroughly. You can use mild detergents and warm water to wash away the impurities. Since dark panels need multiple coatings of paints, so you must make sure that paint doesn’t stick with dirt or debris.

Before painting dark wood panels, it is also essential to deal with holes and scratched surfaces. Patching up the holes and dealing with uneven surfaces would be ideal. For this purpose, you can use sandpaper to remove minor unevenness on the wooden surface. Areas that need trimming should be trimmed, and the areas that don’t need painting should be taped.

Applying light primer is ideal; however, it is always recommended to follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Moreover, to cover stains, consider using stain production that matches with the primer. For oil based primer you should use oil-based stain production and for water-based use water-based topcoats.

Let the primer dry and once it is completely dry, start the painting session. The choice of paint should match the primer used on the dark wood panel such that both complement each other. You can check it by initially applying a small amount of color on the edges of the wooden surface. It will give you an idea. Once you are done with the painting session, let the dark wood panels dry for a reasonable amount of time. If you feel it needs more coating then apply more coats and allow it to settle over the previous coats beautifully. Let the painted wood paneling dry.


Though the overall process of painting wooden panels is quite tricky but following our how-to guide on painting wood panels will prove to be helpful in creating beautiful wood panels. You have to prepare wood panels first. In case of glossy surfaces or painted coats, you must remove them before painting. Also, before starting with the painting session, you must have all the necessary materials and tools for art.

Wash the panels with trisodium phosphate if necessary. However, mild detergents and soaps are recommended for household users. For holes on the surface, use the spackling compound.

After you are done with preparation stage, use drop sheets and make sure you remove all the furniture and objects from the painting location.

First of all, lay a layer of primer on the wooden surface and let it dry. Before applying paint, make sure that both primer and paint are compatible. A right way of checking it is by using a small amount of color on the edges of the surface. Once you are done with appropriate paint coating, let it dry.

Always take care of wooden panels and don’t wait for them to be a total mess. Apply the aforementioned painted wood paneling ideas to give your household a fantastic makeover. Now you should be ready to get started with this job and choose some excellent paints for your wooden paneling. Happy painting!