How to Paint Over Paneling
If a kitchen looks dated because of dark paneling, it can easily be brightened up with a few coats of paint. Lighter walls are much more stylish than darker paneling.
It would cost a bundle to rip out paneling in this space (Image 1). DIY experts give the space a bright new look by simply painting the paneling and hearth to make the most of the natural light (Image 2). They also add plenty of wooden storage units with a light, nontoxic tung oil finish.
Sand the walls lightly with 100-grit sandpaper, wiping away any dust with a dry cloth. This is important to give the primer a clean surface and also to remove any glossy finish from the paneling.
Clean the hearth bricks, using a stiff nylon brush to remove any loose dirt or debris.
Decide whether to fill the grooves in the paneling. To fill grooves (if desired), use a putty knife to spread putty or drywall compound. Let dry and sand smooth before priming. For this project, the crew chose not to fill the grooves.
Lay down drop cloths and mask any areas, such as windows, that won't be painted. Prime the walls and hearth with a latex primer and spray gun. Keep the nozzle at least 6 inches away from the wall to prevent overspray. Let the primer dry completely. If the finish coat will be a dark color, use a tinted primer for better coverage.
Safety Alert: Make sure to wear eye protection and a breathing mask when working with any kind of sprayer.
Use thick-nap rollers to apply the thicker finish coats of paint. For a subtle striping effect, mix the final coat with a glaze and paint every other panel
When painting the brick hearth, start with a thick roller and follow up with a brush to get paint into the deepest crevices. Match the color to the wall color for a hearth that fades into the background, or highlight it by picking a bolder, contrasting hue