Cavalier Wall Liner

How to cover up Paneling
Guy Cooper and Wallcovering Manufacturers Association (WMA)

Millions of rooms that have been paneled are now ready to be covered with wallcovering or painting. These Wallcovering Manufacturers Association (WMA) instructions combined with instructions in Guy Cooper's column  should be followed when attempting such an installation.

Paneling must be sound.

Check for tightness and Warping

Nail paneling where necessary to eliminate any vibrations or bulging. ( Warped panels that cannot be reset, may optically destroy some patterns or grounds, highlighting the condition.) Warping may also indicate water damage, lack of insulation or improper installation. 

Spackling the Grooves

Spackle the grooves using a good quality, pre-mixed spackle. Allow to dry and sand smooth. Deep grooves may require 2 coats of spackle. Apply fiber glass mesh tape at paneling joints to bridge the normal expansion movement at seams. Check to see if the spackle will hold tight by hammering paneling at seams after spackle has dried.

These instructions apply to both real wood and synthetic wood grain finish paneling in good condition.

1. Clean surface: Any soil, wax, oil, polish, or mildew must be removed. Use a detergent made for this purpose ( such as tri sodium phosphate) usually found at most paint or hardware stores. Be sure to thoroughly rinse after cleaning and allow to dry.

If paneling has been exposed to moisture and shows any trace of mildew, wash it with a mixture of equal parts household bleach and water. Scrub area with a medium-soft brush, keeping surface wet until mildew stain is bleached out. Rinse thoroughly with water and allow to dry.

2. Sanding: Sand the paneling with a medium-coarse sand paper to dull the gloss and scratch the surface so that the primer will adhere properly. An alternative to sand paper is to use a sanding liquid. This does not require rinsing and dries sufficiently within 30 minutes for the primer application. Be sure nail heads are countersunk.

3. Primer: Prime surfaces and grooves. A high-quality,  primer should  be used. Allow to dry, generally 48 hours. 

Application of Heavy-Duty Lining Paper (The Preferred Method)

Install heavy-duty non woven liner, using the adhesive recommended by the liner manufacturer. This will probably be a pre-mixed vinyl adhesive.
Allow the lining paper to dry for 48 hours. Now, paint or hang the decorative wallcovering using the adhesive recommended by its manufacturer.

Happy Hanging!


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