Faux Wood Paneling: A Modern House No-No

One of the leading questions that homeowners ask with regard to their homes is if they have to take off the faux wood paneling and replace it with something more modern.

Faux Wood Paneling

In today’s market, using faux wood paneling in a modern home is not a redeeming characteristic. If the wood paneling in your home is one of those 4×8 sheets then you have to take them down.

Do not rush and have the wood paneling removed, though, if you are living in an old home. Many of the older homes actually have high quality wood veneer paneling. This is not faux and should be left alone. This is not the faux wood paneling that you are supposed to take down.

Remove the Cheaper Versions

Majority of faux wood paneling does not come with that unique natural wood top layer. If you want your home to look more upbeat, be sure to tear it down, repair the wall, then apply a fresh coat of paint so that the room will appear bigger – and better. If you are trying to stage your home for sale in the market, then this is also an effective way to generate a much higher sales price.

About 99% of the time, fake wood paneling is not a good material to place inside a home. Just rip it out because it has a strong implication of the ’70s basement rec rooms. Of course, everyone already knows that such rooms are not only cheap but are also fake.

To have an inexpensive, quick fix, it is best to cover it with paint. A few homeowners painted over their fake wood paneling and they marveled at the unique texture that they were able to achieve. They also saved a lot because they just invested in paint – a project that is a lot cheaper than recreating the texture with real wood.

It’s Time to Paint

Quality primer disguises that seemingly plastic layer and you end up with a look that is similar to authentic wood paneling.

Depending on how the faux wood paneling was made, though, many have a wood-grain texture that can show right through the paint. This will show as a bead board of sorts and so it can appear quite nice.

Now, it is time to learn what materials you will need for this weekend project and how you would proceed in painting those walls –


Any brand of liquid de-glosser
Shellac or oil-based primer
3/8" Nap paint roller
Satin or latex eggshell finish paint
Painter's tape
2" Nylon-Poly brush

Step 1: De-gloss

Start by cleaning the faux wood paneling then taping off the windows, adjoining woodwork and ceilings. Be sure to turn off fans and to open windows to ensure good ventilation.

Apply the de-glosser. Using a cotton rag with zero lint, lightly apply the de-glosser to the paneling in five-foot strips. Let it sit according to the label instructions then –

Step 2: Priming

Using a brush or roller dipped in an oil-based primer, cut in and prime to the paneling grooves. Be sure to roll out the remainder.

Step 3: Painting

Finally, brush the satin or eggshell finish onto the dried primer. Cut in lengthwise into the grooves of the paneling. Roll out the remainder using the 3/8″ nap roller.

Allow the base coat to dry out for about 6-8 hours before applying the second coat. Remove all tapes as soon as you are finished.

Painting the wood paneling in your home can create a huge difference in the overall look of your space. This is an affordable way to update or upgrade the look of an otherwise dull home.

If you do decide to paint, be sure to use a good primer. This is important since the paneling often has a sort of plastic top layer.

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