Update Paneling with Chalk Paint





Rustoleum Can.jpeg

I’ve been working on an easy home update for the past few months that honestly has made a world of difference in the entryway of my home.  Yes, it has taken me a few months because I have a toddler that doesn’t nap very long, but in reality it can be completed in a weekend. 

If you have paneling somewhere in your home, I’d highly recommend painting it.  Not only does painting it make it look up-to-date but it also disguises it to the untrained eye.  Thank you to the design goddess Joanna Gaines for making “shiplap” a thing because white painted paneling now resembles the farmhouse look that is very in right now.   If the farmhouse look is not your thing, don’t worry, most paneling is installed with vertical panels which still gives it a traditional design feel.  You’ll need a few supplies, but for the most part it is a rather inexpensive update that looks costly!

You will need:

Paint brush—buy two, unless you don’t mind washing your brush after using it on chalk paint

Chalk paint—chalk paint can be expensive, so I purchased the Rustoleum brand which works just as well as more costly alternatives, plus Home Depot and Amazon sell it making it rather easy to purchase

Sealant—water based, NOT oil based

First, be sure to prep your space by giving the paneling a good wipe down.  You might want to vacuum after wiping if you have a dog or cat.  I made the mistake of wiping as I was painting and found myself trying to remove dog hair from a wet paint brush.  Once your area is prepped begin by painting with the chalk paint.  Here’s the thing with chalk paint, you don’t need a primer on a wood surface and it dries incredibly quick.  Most paneling I’ve seen has a slight sheen on the wood, you can paint right over this; no need to prime, no need to sand.  Depending on how dark the wood is, you may have to do a few coats of chalk paint, but like I said, it dries quickly so you can do one coat, come back in an hour and do the second.  If it’s warm in your room, you can probably do a second coat within 30 minutes, just be sure to check it with a little tap.  If it is sticky wait a little longer before applying the next coat.  Also, again, it dries quickly so make sure you cover your paint brush with a plastic bag between coats so it does not dry out!

Note, the first coat is going to look streaky.  The paneling will soak some of the paint up, so don’t be alarmed when the first coat dries and it looks terrible;  after a few coats it looks awesome.  Another thing to note, the paneling I painted had a very slight yellowish tinge coming through after the third coat.  I happened to like the way this looked.  It had a rustic feel that goes with the style of my house.  However, if it does bother you, do another coat, but make sure to really look at it to see if it is, in fact, noticeable.  Maybe even have another set of eyes check. You may see a tinge whereas someone else may not. 

Next is your sealant coat.  Let your last coat of chalk paint dry for at least 6-8 hours.  I let the area dry over night just to be sure I didn’t lift any of the chalk paint.  Sealant dries a lot slower so this is the labor intensive part.  I did a total of three coats to be sure it sealed the paint properly.  My toddler threw a cup with a raspberry smoothie down the stairs causing some splash marks on the unsealed chalk paint.  I had to repaint the spots with the white paint, thus causing me to take extra steps in sealing the chalk paint with multiple layers of sealant. 

The before and after photos are night and day.  My entryway leads directly up the stairs to the main living space of my house so brightening and updating with paint really opens the area.  This update will make a huge difference in small spaces as well! 

 Stay tuned for a continuation of this post.  Painting the paneling is just the beginning to an entire facelift of this area!  


Thanks for reading!