I’m feeling quite the amount of bravado (bravada?) then real triumph about certain parts of our home fixing upping – especially the kitchen sink and oak floors. But though I’m still on the fence about keeping the knotty pine paneling, I just blasted some cheap 1970s shite out of its misery.
I looked at several blog posts about people filing in the cracks of cheap paneling to make it look like drywall. A few of them claimed you couldn’t tell it was ever paneling! But many of them you could – it looked awful. And there are message boards full of testosteroni contractors saying it could never work – it would just look like patched paneling and worse than it was before…
…but my friends (in Ira Glass’s voice) it can be done.
(Well, as long as you don’t suck at patching and have giant reserves of patience).
But wait, let’s back up. In the beginning, I wanted to rip out the paneling and replace it with drywall. This would have been easy and not that expensive. But I don’t have a truck and I don’t have friends with a truck (and I don’t have friends here at all, but that’s not the point) and I’d have to rent one (trucks not friends) or pay for delivery (again of the drywall, not friends). If we were better organized and not living in the house while we rehabbed it (that really doesn’t matter, but in my head it does) we should have rented a truck once and bought a bunch of drywall and backerboard and lumber all at once like we’ve done before. But I’m also trying to be as conscientious about waste as possible (and we have to pay a fee to trash things like paneling) and the paneling still functions as a wall, so it stayed and got a face lift.
This is the closest thing to a tutorial I’ll probably ever post:
(I didn’t even stop to take a before picture)
Peel off stickers and wash off the disgusting gooey bits and boogers.
Sand/scuff/gouge up paneling – a few swipes of 80 grit paper will do it.
Tape all seams and channels with mesh tape.
Add joint compound in thin layers, sanding in between. Repeat and repeat and repeat more than you want to.
Prime the hell out of it – I used BIN, followed by a coat of latex primer – you could prime beforehand, and maybe you should, but the joint compound adhered really well to the “wood” for me.
(But I still need to come up with a plan to make those hollow sliding closet doors less awful).
We’ve been banging on the walls and floors around it and my patched paneling is holding up fine – it might not hold up forever, but hopefully long enough until I find a friend with a truck.