After brainstorming about how to cover those panels, I was left with not many options. I could paint them, but that was last on my list. I could rip them out and put up new sheetrock, and that was my first choice (but last on my budget). Or I could experiment, so I chose to experiment. The main reason I didn’t want to just paint the panels was because the grooves would still show, and I hated that. So I needed to come up with a way to get rid of those grooves. I could have used wood putty or even drywall paste, but that would take a long time and would be quite tedious. So I came up with a different idea…wallpaper over the paneling.
The type, brand, color, and style of the wallpaper does not matter. So I picked up several roles at a thrift store and got to work. It was interesting to glue up two contrasting patterns next to each other, but I knew it wouldn’t be seen by anyone.
The wallpapering took one night. While the cost of the wallpaper was extremely cheap since it came from a thrift store, the glue was not. It’s approximately $20 per container. We were generous in our glue application to secure the seams. Unfortunately, this became an issue later on. After wallpapering the entire room, I got to work priming it. I used an oil-based primer (which I hate to use because of clean up).
After priming the entire room, my plan started to fall apart. My next step was to use texture paint (in particular, the sand texture paint from Lowe’s). I firmly believe that sand paint would mask the wallpaper, and it would have except for one problem. Our seams on our wallpaper did not stayed glued. Even after an application of super glue, they wouldn’t stay flat. With the seams rising, it wouldn’t have made sense to paint over it because the seams would have been visible. If you can get the wallpaper completely glued down, then you can apply the sand paint (or any texture you choose) over the wallpaper. The benefit of the wallpaper is to get rid of the grooves of the paneling and to create a smooth surface for the paint.
While I’m sad that my wallpaper didn’t cooperate, I still believe it would work. If you try it, let me know. Looks like I’m ripping out my wallpaper covered paneling and biting the bullet for new sheetrock.