How to Use Joint Compound to Fill in Seams in Between Wood Paneling

Written by sal marco
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Installing wood panelling is a great way to hide less-than-perfect walls. Unfortunately, when installing panelling over walls that are not square, noticeable gaps between panels occur. Wood panelling is easy to install. It comes in a variety of finishes, colours and price points, making it a popular alternative to paint and wallpaper.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Low-tack masking tape
  • Flexible plastic putty knife
  • Plastic spoon
  • Plastic bag
  • Rubber gloves
  • Paint
  • Artists' paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Apply a 4- to 6-inch protective barrier of low-tack masking tape to both sides of the exposed seam to protect the wood finish.

  2. 2

    Dip a flexible plastic putty knife into joint compound to get a small amount and press it into the gap between the panels. Build the layer of joint compound up to the same height as the edge of the panelling.

  3. 3

    Run the back of a plastic spoon down the line of joint compound to smooth it out and press it in deeply, or place your hand into a plastic bag or rubber gloves and run your finger down the line of the joint compound. This technique eliminates the need for sanding.

  4. 4

    Allow the joint compound to fully dry, usually one or two hours.

  5. 5

    Paint the seam in a matching wood colour paint with a thin artist paintbrush. Do not use wood stain because it will not properly adhere to or colour the joint compound.

  6. 6

    Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

  7. 7

    Remove the low-tack painters' masking tape from both sides of the seam.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a damp rag to remove joint compound from wood panelling before it dries.
  • Clean up paint splatters immediately.
  • Do not leave low-tack masking tape on the panelling for longer than 12-hours to avoid adhesive residue.

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