That shag carpet from ’73 is easily replaced, but wood paneling is a little harder to get rid of. Although it added a natural wood tone to any room, dark paneling also absorbed light and today’s homeowners prefer a lighter style. But don’t panic! You don’t have to spend a bundle to update the look. You can paint or wallpaper over your old paneling with the right preparation. First, wipe it down with a de-glosser like liquid sandpaper. If you want to fill the grooves use spackle or joint compound and lightly sand afterward. Next coat it with a stain blocking primer sealer. If you plan to paint, you might want to tint the primer toward the color you’ve selected. If you choose wallpaper, apply a lining or blocking paper first.