How to Remove Paint From Paneling

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Things You'll Need

  • Paintbrush

  • Bucket

  • Gel or paste paint removal solvent

  • Old strips of fabric

  • Soft bristle brush

  • Rag

  • Water


If the paneling is in bad shape, consider refinishing it, or removing it and installing a new sheet of drywall. If you know the paneling is in bad shape underneath the paint, you can sand and scrape the paint off.

purple painted paneling

Removing paint from paneling is a delicate process if you want to preserve the paneling, because you can't scrape the paint off. Scraping the paint with a putty knife can damage the wood underneath it. Instead, you must dissolve the paint and gently scrub it off with a soft bristle brush. If you're lucky, the paint will come right off with just a bit of wiping. To be sure, try the steps below on a small area before deciding to remove the paint on the entire wall.


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Step 1

Mix up a batch of the paint remover in the bucket according to the directions on the package. Starting at the top, apply the solution to a one or two-foot square area. Use a paintbrush, and apply it generously.

Step 2

Place a piece of old fabric over the gel or paste. Press firmly. After you saturate the fabric, carefully peel it off. The paint should come off with the fabric. If it does not, press the fabric back down and let it sit for another 10 minutes.

Step 3

Continue in this fashion until you have removed as much paint as possible. Then, apply the solution again to the remaining spots of paint. Let sit for 10 minutes.


Step 4

Remove the remaining paint. Use the bristle brush to gently scrub at the remaining areas of paint, using a circular motion.

Step 5

Rinse the paneling clean of any remaining paint and solution with a rag and clear, cold water.



April Sanders

April Sanders is a writer, teacher and the mother of three boys. Raised on an organic farm, she is an avid gardener and believes that good growth starts with a rich, supportive foundation -- a philosophy that serves her well in both gardening and teaching. Sanders has written for Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, Smarted Balanced, PARCC and others.