Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: The Very Tip of Lake Michigan
Um, I don't know where some of you have been, but painted paneling is extremely trendy right now. We had the very nice for it's time 1/4" solid plywood paneling with deep grooves and knot features. Using quality FLAT paint, I was astounded at the difference it made to the room. It looked just like T&G boards. Though I went into the project kicking and screaming (the War Wagon gets what the War Wagon wants!), I have never regretted the wall treatment. The realtor actually made it a selling point of the house when we relocated (go figure).
For the most part, paneling, especially the cheaper type with shallow grooves and printed patterns really date a room, and even the entire home. Those who wish to live in the 70's and 80's will keep it forever. Younger folks or those who follow trends will either paint it or replace it with something else.
That said, and like all those above, I would never fill grooves, and I probably would not attempt to treat the cheaper presswood or thin paneling at all, even though it is way easier to paint than to install and finish drywall. On the other hand, since it's way easier to paint than to replace, what have you got to lose besides twenty bucks in paint and an afternoon? Give it a go and see if you like it. If not, then get the screw gun out and cover it in DW.
Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,