Make Wood Paneling Look Like Drywall: Transform Your Space with These Pro Tips!

Wood paneling can give a space a warm, rustic charm, but if you’re looking for a more modern or sleek look, it can feel outdated. The good news is that you can easily transform wood paneling to make it look like drywall, giving your room a fresh, contemporary feel. In this article, we’ll explore various techniques and tips for making wood paneling look like drywall.

Make Wood Paneling Look Like Drywall: Transform Your Space with These Pro Tips!


1. Fill the Gaps and Grooves

One of the most effective ways to disguise wood paneling is to fill in the gaps and grooves between the panels. Start by cleaning the paneling to remove any dirt or residue. Then, use a high-quality wood filler to fill in the gaps and grooves, smoothing it out with a putty knife. Once the filler is dry, sand the paneling to create a smooth, even surface.

2. Prime the Paneling

Before painting the wood paneling, it’s important to prime it to ensure that the paint adheres properly and provides a consistent finish. Choose a high-quality bonding primer specifically designed for use on wood surfaces. Apply the primer using a roller or brush, making sure to cover the entire surface evenly. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

3. Apply Texture

One of the key characteristics of drywall is its smooth, texture-free surface. To achieve this look on wood paneling, consider applying a texture compound to create a seamless finish. There are various texture options available, including smooth, subtle textures or more pronounced patterns. Once the texture compound has been applied, let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before proceeding.

4. Paint the Paneling

After the texture has dried, it’s time to paint the wood paneling. Choose a high-quality paint in the color of your choice, and use a roller or brush to apply an even coat to the entire surface. For a truly seamless look, consider using a paint sprayer for a professional finish. Multiple coats may be necessary to achieve the desired opacity, so be sure to allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.

5. Finish with Trim and Molding

To complete the transformation from wood paneling to a drywall-like appearance, consider adding trim and molding to the space. Installing crown molding along the ceiling and baseboards at the floor can help create a polished, finished look. Choose a trim style that complements the new aesthetic of the space, whether it’s modern and minimalist or classic and traditional.

Frequently Asked Questions On Make Wood Paneling Look Like Drywall: Transform Your Space With These Pro Tips!

Can Wood Paneling Be Painted Over?

Yes, wood paneling can be painted over to give it a fresh, modern look.

What Is The Best Paint For Wood Paneling?

Acrylic latex paint is the best choice for painting wood paneling due to its durability and easy application.

How Can I Fill The Grooves In Wood Paneling?

Use spackling compound to fill the grooves in wood paneling for a smooth finish before painting.

Is It Possible To Install Drywall Over Wood Paneling?

Yes, you can install drywall over wood paneling to completely transform the appearance of a room.


Transforming wood paneling to look like drywall is a fantastic way to update the look and feel of a room without the cost and effort of removing and replacing the existing paneling. By filling the gaps and grooves, priming, adding texture, painting, and finishing with trim and molding, you can achieve a smooth, modern finish that mimics the appearance of drywall. Whether you’re tackling a single room or an entire home, these tips can help you achieve a beautifully updated space.

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