Latex paint and clear sealants are the best types of paints for wood paneling, according to Today's Homeowner and F&B Painting. These products work best when applied over primer.
Old paneling often contains scratches and other imperfections that require repair before priming and painting. Caulk fills these flaws effectively, and sanding the entire panel creates a smooth surface that is ready for priming.
Stain-sealing primers are the best choice for all wooden panels, according to F&B Painting, and should be applied with a roller for a streak-free finish. After the primer dries, the panel is ready for one or two coats of latex paint.