Cost to Paint Paneling – 2021

| Last Updated: November 27, 2021

National Average Improvement and Repair Cost







$ 795

$ 175

Would you do this project? According to our survey, 63% of respondents preferred DIY compared to hiring a pro.

The average price to Paint Paneling noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself.

How much does it cost to paint paneling? A painting contractor charges $795 to paint paneling but you can do it yourself for $175 and save 78 percent.

One of the least expensive yet most dramatic ways to change a room with dark paneling is to paint it with a splash of color. It’s a transforming facelift that lightens and brightens paneled walls with a fresh new look. A bit of preparation work is required to clean, patch, and prime the surface, but once that’s done it’s as easy as rolling on the paint.

A painting contractor will charge $795 to prepare and paint the paneling in a 15-by-18-foot room (approximately 500 square feet), which includes labor and material. But you can do the job for $175 and save 78 percent. The job involves several phases. First, fill any nail holes or blemishes with wood filler; when the filler is dry, sand the filled-in spots smooth.

Then clean the paneling with a rag saturated with a mixture of half household ammonia and half water, and let it dry. Next, apply a stain blocker like B-I-N with a roller to prevent any bleed-through of stains from knotty wood and to create a surface for the paint to bond to.

Finally, apply the finish topcoat of quality paint. If the paneling is very dark, you might need two finish coats of paint or have a primer tinted to the shade of the finish topcoat which will save in the number of finish coats needed. You’ll need a paintbrush, roller and pan. A power sander with 120-grit sandpaper comes in handy for smoothing the wood filler and any rough surfaces.

Here’s a link from Lowes about primers you may find helpful Primer Buying Guide.

The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to paint paneling with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision.

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Welcome! We hope you’ll find the job costs of home improvement projects useful when you’re deciding whether to do a job yourself vs. hire a contractor. We’re the authors of 20 home improvement books, most notably Home Improvement for Dummies©, Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies©, Carpentry for Dummies©, Plumbing for Dummies©, and Painting and Wallpapering for Dummies©. Our most recent book Fix It and Flip It is in its second edition. We’ve appeared as home improvement experts on television programs such as CNN, Dateline, the Today Show, HGTV and many others.