How to Hang Wallpaper Over Wood Paneling

Wood paneling helps to create a cozy atmosphere in a room. However, you may tire of the panels after a while and desire a change. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution that doesn’t require removal of the panels. Obtain wallpaper of your choice to hang over the panels. A wide variety of patterns, styles and colors are available on the market. Use the guide below to hang your wallpaper over the paneling.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Filling compound
  • Putty knife
  • De-glosser
  • Soft cloths
  • Pry bar
  • Wallpaper primer
  • Paint roller
  • Scissors
  • Sponge
  • Water
  • Straight edge
  • Razor knife
  • Wallpaper roller

Step 1 – Prepare the Surface

Remove nails and similar objects from the paneling with a pair of pliers. It is vital that you install the wallpaper on a smooth surface. Fill holes and cracks with a filling compound. Let the compound dry completely. Use a pry bar to remove edge trim. Remove outlet covers with a screwdriver. Place aside the items removed to be re-installed later.

Step 2 – De-gloss

In most cases, paneling has a shiny surface. This hampers proper attachment of wallpaper. However, for older paneling, the sheen may have worn off. Use a de-glossing solution and soft cloth to clear the gloss.

Step 3 – Prime the Wood

Apply an acrylic wallpaper primer onto the paneling, with the help of a roller. It is best to begin from the top and apply downwards. Make use of long, smooth strokes, to achieve an even distribution. Let the primer dry overnight.

Step 4 – Cut Wallpaper to Fit

Obtain the height of the paneling. Cut a strip of wallpaper that is about 4 inches longer than the height. Prepare to cut a second strip. However, you need to place the first strip cut next to the uncut portion. Shift the wallpaper until you attain a consistent pattern on both sections. It may require that you allow a few inches of waste wallpaper to achieve consistency.

Step 5 – Wet the Adhesive

In most cases, you need to wet the adhesive at the back of the wallpaper. Lay your first strip of wallpaper on the floor, with the back side upwards. Saturate a sponge with water then squeeze out excess water. Use the sponge to make the adhesive wet. Once you feel the sponge is dry, saturate it with water again then squeeze.

Step 6 – Attach Wallpaper

Attach the wallpaper onto the paneling, from one corner. Be sure to align it perfectly at the top and along the side. Use a wallpaper roller to attach the wallpaper firmly onto the paneling. Roll firmly, from top to bottom to clear any ridges. The roller also helps to eliminate air bubbles from underneath the wallpaper. Attach subsequent strips of wallpaper in the same way. Be sure to align the paper carefully so as to create a consistent patterned. Avoid gaps when you attach the wallpaper. It is better to overlap slightly instead.

Step 7 – Finishing

Use a razor knife and straight edge to cut off excess wallpaper. Mark the location for placement of outlet covers removed in Step 1. Reinstall the edge trim and outlet covers.