Wood paneling became really popular about four decades ago as a simple way to spruce up the home. Today, wood paneling comes in so many true-wood varieties that it is definitely making a come back. But for those of us who can’t afford to replace our old paneling with the new styles there are still a few things we can do to update our homes. Paneling can be painted, textured, plastered, or yes, even dry-walled over. Painting the paneling can be as simple as sanding the walls to rough up the surface, which helps the paint adhere, then applying two coats of the best primer you can afford, and one that is designed specifically for covering up stains and dark colors. Follow this with two coats of paint.
If you want to cover up the grooves in paneling to make it look more like flat dry-wall, apply joint compound in each groove and to any dings, scratches, or holes. Some experts recommend applying a second coat of compound after allowing the first to dry thoroughly. Sand the compound before applying the primer, and then paint. Prime the walls and fill in the gaps, grooves, joints, and holes with a joint compound before texturing, then follow the directions of the texture sprayer. Should you want to drywall the walls, you will be able to use quarter-inch dry wall if you leave the paneling underneath.
Updating paneled walls is a relatively simple solution that can have a major impact on not only how you feel about your home but also its value.