How to Paint Over Knotty Pine Wall – Notable Methods You may Don’t Know


Have you found a house that you’re over, but the interior is completely covered with pine paneling? We understand that not everyone is a fan of pine paneling. Many people aren’t a fan of it when it’s covering wall after wall. Wood wall panels were popular in the 1940s (and likely for a few years before) up to the mid-’80s when they began to disappear from stick-built homes but were still prevalent in log-style properties and in cottages. Nowadays, many people think of how to paint over knotty pine wall. One of the simplest ways to completely alter the appearance can be to spray paint the paneling with a lighter shade. Paint over knotty pine wall with grey or white paint can give a sleek contemporary look to match every paneling design.

If you’ve never tried similar work before, it’s a straightforward procedure. However, there are some steps you must follow to paint over knotty pine wall. First, because knots can bleed into the resin, it is essential to seal the knot to keep it from spreading.

How to paint over knotty pine wall

Knotty pine wall, although beautiful with specific patterns of decorating, do not suit all houses. Paints made of knotty pine are rough. Oily pine may not take paint well, but unfinished pine can absorb many shades, leading to uneven coverage. In addition, the pine’s resins may bleed into the paint, causing unattractive stains on your wall. However, it is possible to paint over knotty pine walls with some attention and preparation to give your space an updated appearance.


  • Mix together a solution consisting of one cup ammonia with 2 cups of water that is lukewarm. Dip a rag in the solution and scrub off any grease, dust, or dirt that has been accumulating on the pine’s knotty wall.
  • Drop cloths must leftover furniture, extensive strip moldings, or areas you do not want to be painted. Doors and windows should have adequate airflow.
  • Check your walls to determine whether they’re glossy. If they do, sand the entire surface using an electric sander as well as fine-grit sandpaper. Wipe the walls down with a damp cloth to get rid of dirt and dust. 
  • Use the lumber filler as per the instructions of the manufacturer to fill gaps inside the knotty pine wall. Apply the sealer to the cracks using an apex knife, holding the blade’s flat end with the wood filler against the wall before slowly sliding it down the gap. The filling of cracks around knots can help prevent bleeding. Dry the product. Sand the sealer using fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the wall.
  • Prime walls with a high-quality latex primer/sealer or oil. Be sure to note the primer’s notes to stop bleeding. Allow the first coat to set for 24 hours before you apply another coat. Put a third coat on if the previous coat is still irregular after the drying process. Make use of a smaller or a 2-inch brush to remove the edges, cut off areas, and use a roller to cover large surfaces.
  • Paint your walls using an interior latex or oil paint, depending on if you’re using an oil primer or a latex one in the color you prefer. Use an area-wide paint roller and a smaller brush to trim edges or tiny areas. Make sure the paint is completely dry before cleaning and decorating the space.

How to paint over knotty pine wood paneling

While shopping at home, I noticed a particular pet peeve: no wooden panels in rooms. Personally, I’m not a fan of the look of the dark orange wood. Knotty pine looks the worst for me as I think it is a signpost to the 70s and think it’s cheap and old-fashioned. It also makes the space seem sluggish and claustrophobic. So now I’m done with my rant, I’ve decided to buy the house painted over knotty pine walls.

It’s a shocker! It’s true before, when the furniture was set, I had painted it. What do you think, is it possible to cover knotty pine with paint? Yes, With a few tricks, you can paint twisted pine wood panels in roughly the same amount of time it takes to paint regular walls. My final product has the benefit of an ocean-like feel. However, you can paint your walls in any color you want.

Till now, we have discussed how to paint over the knotty pine wall. Now we will give some advice on how to paint over knotty pine wood paneling. Pin, A lot of people dismiss the idea of applying paint over wood that is natural? It’s beautiful, surely? The pine is not knotty, I think. Some steps are crucial to creating a glue-like effect for the paint on the paneling and making sure it looks professional. Let’s look at these steps in the next section.

Clean the walls

It’s not that simple, but it is important to wash the area first when making preparations to paint your room. It was an issue that made me mad since my mom would always talk about cleaning before starting any project. I believed it was her method of encouraging me to clean since she knew I was eager to decorate or paint; however, it was an excellent idea.

A majority of people paint the walls, hang their photographs, then forget the pictures. You clean the windows, and you dust your knickknacks. Do you wash your walls? Most likely not. The majority of people don’t know. However, walls absorb things, such as food smells and smoke, in time. They also accumulate dust, hair, fur from pets and cobwebs, which are dreadful.

Paneling is a bit like a grove between wood slats which is where the gunk will accumulate. First, wipe your walls clean with some water. Certain companies offer items that are all-purpose cleaners that can be used to clean walls. However, getting rid of all dirt can make the final look even more attractive.

Prep knotty pine wall panels

As you would paint a regular wall, you’ll need to create a look as fresh as possible. Because this isn’t about repairing knotty pine holes, this article will go over the basic process of smoothing out any holes that you might have created with shelves or pictures. Filling in large gaps for another time. Put some painter’s tape in the opening (not in). It should take up to three or four pieces of tape, based on their size and how you place the video. Although you can use spackle for walls, it’s a different type of material, and you’ll need to use the correct filler, which can be described as wood putty.

The hole must fill by using putty made of wood. If you use too much, it can result in the putty drying down over time and shrink back. Instead, fill it up until the putty is just beginning to expand away from the hole. Let the putty dry for about a time of about an hour (though it is preferred). Sand the hole with a fine grit (about 180 is sufficient). After this, clean that part of the wall to remove dust and grit. Then, take off the tape.


This is a non-negotiable step as there’s a way around the polyurethane coating that is on the wood – by priming. I would still suggest giving the wall a thorough sanding to eliminate any flaws. It is impossible to know who put up the panels initially, and if they applied the varnishing, there might be drips. If you’re not concerned about minor imperfections, move on to step three. If not, you can use sandpaper of 200-grit to scratch the polyurethane’s surface off of the wood. This will aid the primer to adhere more effectively.

Apply primer over the knotty pine

It is the most critical step to take when finishing knotty pine paneling. The wrong primer could result in disastrous problems that can result in wasted time and energy. There are a variety of primers available, and you can enticed to pick the cheapest. Be attentive to the components. Do you have an old primer that you have in your basement you’d like to utilize? Start by priming only a small area and then let it dry. Make use of your thumb to scratch the primer. Did it get removed? Did it, right?

Latex primer, which is the most popular kind, is water-based. It doesn’t work to protect knotty pine. It isn’t able to adhere to oil-based primers. If you’re using an oil-based primer, you’re in the right direction. It will adhere much better to the wall. However, it takes a minimum of 24 hours for drying, and that doesn’t mean that the tannins resulting from knots won’t seep through the final product.

This leaves the primer of Shellac. It’s the best choice. Although it does have an extremely strong odor, Shellac will dry very quickly and cover knots completely. It won’t scratch away the wood and will stick best. Additionally, It will also cover any old smells like smoke, which are that absorb from the timber. It is also possible to use any kind of paint to protect it. Be sure to wear an air mask to shield yourself from the toxic gases it releases.


After allowing the primer to dry for 45 minutes (it will dry to the touch by 20 minutes, but you must wait to get the second coat) then you’re now prepared to paint. Note that I did not suggest applying the primer or paint is one that many companies sell currently? While it’s a good idea, however, the primer-plus paint combo won’t stick to the wall in the way you would like it to. In reality, you’ll pay more for the combination, and you’ll discover that you’ll still require shellac primer. So instead, you should spend your money on a primer in an ordinary paint can.

The kind of paint you choose and the color are entirely dependent on you. The primer made of Shellac can stand up to any type of paint. However, if you’re looking for a shiny finish, you should opt for oil-based. This is the best option when your wood paneling is knotty and is outdoors or in an environment that is humid. It is less expensive, simpler to clean, dries quickly, and gives more choices for finishing.

Flat or eggshell finishes are likely to work best on walls and give your room a soft look. Knotty pine can be difficult to paint due to the tongue and groove characteristics. You can use a rolling tool to paint the boards. However, you’ll require a smaller tapered brush to get spaces between grooves. It takes time and effort. However, it will pay dividends.


We are convinced that this article provided you with the knowledge to paint over knotty pine wall, the suggested tools to use, and other important details discussed throughout the text. We hope you understand what you have to do now to paint over the knotty pine wall. 

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