Prime the paneling with a stain blocking primer. By selecting a primer close to the paint color, only one coat of paint may be needed. Use a sash brush to paint near the corners, ceiling and base molding.
Apply a small amount of paint as a test spot; this area reveals if the paint adheres to the paneling. Wash the paneling with mild detergent and water before painting. Lightly sand the walls with high grit sandpaper. After sanding, wipe the dust away with a damp cloth. Mask the walls and ceiling with tape. After allowing the paneling to dry at least a full day, paint the paneling with an interior latex paint. Applying a satin finish improves the durability of the paint. To remove any grooves, fill them with spackling or drywall compound. Sand any filled areas to the desired smoothness.