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How to Fill in Paneling Cracks

Ruth O'Neil

Taking paneling off the walls is a difficult and time-consuming task. Painting the paneling is the easiest way to change the look of the room. A necessary step to prepare paneling for painting is filling in the cracks in the paneling.

Use Caulk

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water. Dilute some cleaner in the bucket. Use a sponge with a scrubber on the back to thoroughly clean the walls.

  2. Use the rags to wipe off the walls as you clean so dirty water will not collect on your floor. Allow the walls to dry completely.

  3. Brush primer onto the walls at the cracks. Brush primer on the entire wall if you are going to paint the walls. Allow the primer to dry for a couple of hours.

  4. Cut the tip off the caulk container using a utility knife.

  5. Load the caulk gun with the caulk. Fill the cracks in the paneling using one smooth pass of the caulk gun.

  6. Wipe the caulk immediately with a damp rag to even out the caulk and make it flush with the rest of the paneling. Let the caulk dry completely.

  7. Inspect the caulk-filled cracks. Check to see if the caulk has shrunk as it dried and is no longer flush with the rest of the paneling.

  8. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 if necessary to completely fill the cracks in the paneling.

Use Filler Compound

  1. Clean the paneling as in Steps 1 and 2 above.

  2. Fill the cracks in your paneling using a wood filler compound instead of caulk. Use a putty knife to apply the wood filler to the walls. Smooth it out as much as you can and allow the putty to dry completely.

  3. Sand the putty to smooth it out and remove any excess.