I am always looking for great ways to reduce my rehab expenses, so I recently came across a great way to make paneling look like wallboard and decided to share it with everyone.
Probably the biggest deterant to having paneling is that it has obvious grooves and is characteristically dark. Oh and it is associated with the 70's!!! If you cannot afford to tear out the paneling and replace it with wallboard, you can actually fill in the panelling grooves with wallboard muck, primer, and paint.
The overall technqiue will require that you sand down or use gloss removing chemicals on the exisiting panelling. Next you will clean thoroughly and then apply caulk or wallboard much to the groves in the panelling. Go over these areas with a putty knife or some other flat straight edge tool to remove the excess material to make sure the grooves are full and flush with the paneling.
Next you can use seam tape and muck to remove the seam marks on the paneling. YOu can use watered down wallboard muck to apply a thin consistent layer to the paneling or apply kilz to the paneling to keep the paneling color from showing through your new paint. Once you have a smooth prepped sruface, you can then paint with your color of choose.
To add to this effect, I have replaces the cheaper paneling trim pieces with builders grade trim pieces and painted them a different color than my wall color. It adds a lot to the room and makes a huge difference. If the room is small, a white colored paint will make it look larger and update it tons.
I have kept the cost down even more by picking up the left over materials from drywall contractors.
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