Removing Paneling


Old 02-22-04, 06:17 AM
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Removing Paneling

Is it possible to remove paneling and paint the drywall? Any hints on how to do this? If this is not possible, what are my options?
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Old 02-22-04, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
In general: pull the paneling down; reposition the electrical boxes and trim; repair, mud and tape the sheetrock as needed; prime and paint.

Hope this helps.
Old 02-22-04, 07:14 AM
Dave_D1945's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 1,178
Removing paneling can be a real mess if it was glued to the wall (and lots of it was).

Pick an unobtrusive place and pry a corner loose. If it was nailed on, you're home free - it will come right off.

If it was glued on, you have some decisions to make. If you rip it off, you'll have quite a bit of glue residue to deal with and it doesn't come off easily. There's no magic "stuff" that will remove the old glue and not disturb the drywall. You can scrape the old glue off, but it takes a long time and makes a huge mess. (Sanding doesn't usually work since it melts the glue and just gums up the sandpaper.) When the old glue is gone, you'll need to skim the walls with drywall compound to get a fresh surface to work with.

My first choice would be to rip the old drywall and paneling, then hang and tape new drywall. If you have blown-in insulation in any of the walls, you'll need to put in batt insulation before you hang the new drywall.

Second choice would be to rip the paneling and scrape the old glue so the walls are reasonably flat, then hang new 1/4" drywall over the old stuff. This option eliminates the insulation issue but you'll have to deal with trim problems (door and window casings) and extensions to the electrical boxes.

One final option which I tried in our first house in the early 70's. Rip the paneling off, scrape off as much glue as you can without wrecking the drywall, then prime and paint. This only works if you can convince yourself that those "wiggly lines" are part of the texturing. We weren't convinced and put up a highly patterned wallpaper. That helped, but we weren't totally satisfied. Fortunately, the people who bought the place either didn't notice or didn't care.

Good Luck.

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