Installing & Painting Paneling In The Kitchen

GASP! You mean we bought and installed paneling in our home... ah! Typically, it's the opposite way around where we're ripping down paneling! Not putting paneling up.

BUT, you saw correctly- we're throwing it back to the 80-90's with some wood paneling for the kitchen. We bought about 8 sheets of this embossed white oak vertical paneling from Lowe's that come in a 4x8' sheet. I chose to go the route of installing paneling with the aspirations of painting the paneling and having a vertical shiplap look.

With the costs of building materials sky rocketing, paneling seemed the cheapest route vs. installing shiplap boards. I never did a cost analysis but I figured this would be easy to install and easier on the wallet. The guys started in the back corner and worked their way towards the left of the kitchen. They used small brad nails (and should have used a construction adhesive) to hang the panels vertically. The goal with using brad nails is to find studs to nail into for a secure hold. Cutting around the window trim and outlets using the jigsaw, the project didn't seem to take too long. My brother-in-law was a saint and finished hanging the paneling.

Once all the panels were hung, it was time to start sanding and painting. Since each panel has a glossy finish- sanding and priming are extremely necessary. I started using my disc sander and a rougher paper to scuff up the panels for extra adhesion.

Once sanded and all our trim seams were caulked (caulk hides all seam imperfections for a seamless look where any paneling meets the trim)- it was time for priming. We used Bulls Eye Primer to do the job as this primer had great reviews. I'm very happy to have used primer (even though most paints say they're a primer and paint in one) because this allowed any wood yellowing from the panel to stop bleeding through before painting. I used one layer of primer and 2 coats of paint which did the trick.

It was so great to finally be able to paint the paneling because after a few days of seeing bare panels- I started to feel very uninspired and stuck in a 80's sitcom, haha! True story. I opted for Sherwin Williams, "Origami White" in a satin finish for a creamy, fresh white look. The window trim was painted in SW "Into The Gloaming" for a greigey-mushroom color.

Painting the paneling has never been more rewarding. The paneling gave the subtle vertical shiplap wall I was desiring and the fresh white coat of paint was a new beginning to the kitchen. We have minor trim to paint, yet but the kitchen already feels leaps and bounds better. 

I found these accordion farmhouse lights for above the windows from Decor Steals about three years ago and finally got them hung to finish the lighting in the kitchen. Like I mentioned in the previous kitchen blog here, we plan to paint the cupboard fronts and hang some floating shelves. For all other kitchen sources, check out that blog, too!

So... would you ever consider installing paneling in your home? Or do you have paneling in your home that needs new life?! Hopefully, this inspired you to look at paneling in a new light!

Hugs, Alyssa

1 comment

  • Angela

    Thank you for your post. We have a very blah split level home and I really want subtle texture. As a family of 7 ideas making ideas happen feels overwhelming or I’m stuck with ideas because I don’t want to spend money and hate it. This may have given me the encouragement to actually try this.

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