To paint wood paneling, sand and clean the paneling, apply caulk to any grooves or cracks in the paneling, and then prime and paint the paneling. Make sure to tape off any areas that are not being painted and cover the floor with a drop cloth.
Sand the wood paneling with a 100-grit sandpaper using an orbital sander, and use trisodium phosphate or an alternative to clean the walls. When priming the paneling, use a primer made for wood surfaces, and sand the walls after priming to help the paint adhere to the paneling. After each coat of paint, check the color to see if another coat is necessary. Wood paneling usually requires two to three coats of paint. For a smoother finish, sand the walls after each coat of paint.