By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Yes, you can hide that old paneling with a wallpaper coverup, but it's not a quickie job. First, you've got to fill in the grooves in your wall and cover them with liner paper, creating a solid, flat surface suitable for new wallpaper. We admit this is a labor-intensive (or time-consuming) project, but it beats the more drastic task of removing all the paneling and trim, patching all the holes in the wall and then making new trim for the room.
The coverup process has several steps, some of which require significant drying time. First, secure the paneling and nails and clean the surface with a wash down of mineral spirits. Next, fill in the grooves with a wide putty knife and drywall compound and wait for it to dry before sanding it smooth. A coat of primer, such as Shieldz, comes next and, once applied, you're ready to hang the liner paper. Paint the trim to match the new wallpaper and re-install it. Now you're ready to hang the wallpaper.
Sound too complicated and time consuming? Here's a link to Home Advisor, a free referral service that matches homeowners with local contractors.
Brewster Home Fashions has this advice Hang Wallpaper Over Paneling.
A contractor will charge $888 to prepare the paneling and hang liner paper and a moderately-priced wallpaper in a 12-foot-by-15-foot room. That includes labor and material. You can do the job for $275, which includes all the materials. You'll save 69 percent.
Determine the number of rolls of wallpaper needed to cover any or all of the walls in your room at this website Lowe's Wallpaper calculator.
Now you know the average cost to hang wallpaper on paneling, which includes the labor and material, and what’s involved, so you can decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor. Don’t forget to adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020