You won't regret painting your dark paneling. We had the same scenario and it took several years for my wife to convince me. Bruce's directions are accurate. I found it is also a good time to do work inside the walls (run wires,lines, or even some insulating if you want). It was easy to remove a sheet and reattach it before painting. One additional thought: I found after the first coat of paint that there were many gaps that weren't visible; go over the walls with a good caulk to cover these before painting.