Friday, July 19, 2013

How to Paint Red Gloss Paneling White

paneling from red to white

Sharing how this paneling went from dark red gloss to bright white.  Horizontal paneling adds great architectural dimension and we're lucky to have it already installed in the kids play room BUT it was painted red.
paneling from red before to white after
And too much red is not a good thing.
There's red paint all over this house - the exterior is classic barn red and we love it:

primitive farmhouse barn red exterior

But the red family room, which is above the play room, will be painted including the railings and handrail:
red painted family room

And the bazillion reddish kitchen cabinets will also be painted:

red kitchen cabinets

Back down in the play room the white is fresh, clean and makes the space look twice as big:

horizontal tongue and groove painted white

horizontal tongue and groove before and after

Covering up all the red only took 4 coats of paint, no complaints because I love the results:

horizontal tongue and groove after
horizontal tongue and groove before and after
And people please don't paint your outlets!
In this case I can understand, the previous owners had cream outlets and painted them red so I had all the outlets changed to white:
painted outlets before and after
The white paint really highlights the black door hardware and you still get a bit of red coming from the painted windows:

farmhouse style tongue and groove playroom

I started painting the stair risers but I have yet to tackle the vertical paneling going upstairs:

farmhouse style tongue and groove playroom up to family room

Here's how to paint over red paint:

1. Start by sanding everything:

sand old semi gloss paint well

2. Cut in with oil based primer.  I recommend Zinsser cover stain.

White primer is great when trying to cover red, it will highlight all the nicks and nail holes you forgot to spackle and most importantly it will reveal any left over carpet glue:

first coat oil based primer

3. Use a blade scraper to remove the old carpet glue:

scrape off old carpet glue

4. Use a 2" angled brush to cut in with the primer into all the crevices and tight corners:

brush to cut in crevices

5. Then go over the large areas with a 6" foam roller:

roller to paint large surfaces

6. After two coats of primer we're ready for paint:

two coats of primer

7. Repeat the same process, cutting in and rolling with two coats of Benjamin Moore semi gloss white:

benjamin moore semi gloss white

And the red paint is completely covered.


  1. Jaime this looks great, so much more spacious and bright. I love that horizontal paneling!

  2. I do love red, but red walls would be a bit too much! Love the white.

  3. What a difference! The room looks twice as big and bright! It also draws more attention to all those great details - and I love those windows.

    Red is totally my favorite color, but it's best handled in small doses, right?

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