How to Care for Wood Paneling

BioPark I

Learn how to care for your wooden paneling correctly.

If you care for wood in your home properly, paneling can add beauty and elegance to any room. Besides the charm of beautiful grains, one of the attractions of wood paneling and natural woodwork is that they require very little upkeep. Generally speaking, the only maintenance required is simply dusting from ceiling to floor with a soft cloth or the vacuum cleaner brush. The finish on the paneling protects the wood, preventing light moisture from reaching it. When you clean your paneling, you are really cleaning the finish.  So, check out our quick and efficient checklist for maintaining your wood paneling!

Simple Routine

  • Before cleaning, inspect the wall for chips, cracks, or other damage because these areas may require special handling by a professional.
  • To remove dust and dirt, use a soft cloth or a vacuum with a brush attachment to dust the paneling. It’s best to repeat this process every two weeks.
  • Regarding cleaning products, avoid solvents and strong alkali solutions. If the paneling varnish or shellac is cracked, clean it carefully because moisture can penetrate the surface and stain the wood grain.
  • Bare wood should not be cleaned because it absorbs fingerprints, grease, and moisture. Cleaning may only make it look worse, and polishes and oils must be applied regularly to keep the wood from drying.
  • Products used on paneling should be tested first. If all appears okay, the cleaning solution should be applied sparingly using a clean rag or sponge. Work from bottom to top to prevent drip lines, rinse the surface, and immediately buff dry using a clean cloth. Oil soap is a good general cleaner, while difficult stains might require mineral spirits.

Wood Paneling Repair

Where necessary, a good carpenter or joiner will normally be able to repair old paneling. It is best if work is carried out without any dismantling but this is not always possible. Paneling weakened by fungal decay can frequently be reinforced from behind. Split panels may be re-glued, ideally after freeing the edges to accommodate humidity-induced movement, or covered with a fabric-based tape. Do not indiscriminately strip old paneling, and when redecorating bear in mind that a semi-gloss finish is frequently desirable. Wax can be used on waxed or resin-varnished surfaces.


Mahogany Inc. is a general contractor that specializes in quality construction for residential and commercial projects. We have the expertise and experience to tackle whatever your custom woodwork job is (and acquire those hard to find woods you might want to use!). If you are looking for work that will set your living room, kitchen, or business apart, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 727-0334. To see examples of our wonderful work and see what our customers have to say, check us out on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 7:29 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.