There are several options for covering wall paneling, including paint, wallpaper and tile. Depending on how much effort consumers want to put in, they can easily create a new look in a room with old wood panels.
If a homeowner chooses to paint the paneling, they need to sand the paneling down first. To fill in the grooves in the panels, the homeowners should apply joint compound and allow it to dry completely. Next, they can sand the compound and prime the wall before beginning to paint. If they do not want to use joint compound, many hardware stores offer wall liners that paste over the paneling, hiding imperfections and providing a smooth surface for painting.
To wallpaper over the paneling, homeowners should first fill in the grooves with caulk. They should allow the caulk to dry, then cover the wall in acrylic emulsion. They can use a stain-blocking latex primer to prepare the wall before hanging a heavy-duty wallpaper liner horizontally over the paneling. They should then coat the liner with paste and begin hanging the wallpaper vertically across the liner. This helps to hide any seams.
Another option that takes more work is to hand tile over the paneling. Homeowners can install concrete backer boards over the paneling, then hang the tile on top of the backer boards.