How to Replace Garage Wall Paneling with Drywall How to Replace Garage Wall Paneling with Drywall

What You'll Need
Pry bar
Tape measure
Straight edge
Joint compound
Joint tape

Garage wall paneling gives a very dated look. It’s much better to replace it with drywall which is much more functional and can be painted as you wish. It’s not difficult to take out garage wall paneling and hang drywall in its place. You can do it even without construction experience.

Step 1 - Removing Paneling

The first step is to remove the garage paneling. To do this, put the pry bar under one edge and pull. You’ll slowly be able to lift one edge. Keep working along the edge until you’ve loosened it. Go around the panel until it’s off the wall. If there are any nails left in the studs use the claw on the pry bar to pull them. Continue until you’ve taken out all the paneling and nails.

Step 2 - How Much Drywall?

Drywall comes in sheets that are 8 feet by 4 feet. Measure the garage walls to determine how much you’ll need. If the garage wall is over 8 feet tall, install the drywall vertically. If it’s lower than that install it horizontally as it will require fewer joints.

Step 3 - Installing Drywall

When installing drywall horizontally begin at the top, pushing the sheet into the top of the wall and attaching to the studs with nails. Make sure there is adhesive on the studs over which the drywall will rest. The nails on the studs should be 7 inches apart. Press down along the drywall so the adhesive holds on the back of the drywall. Attach more sheets in the same way. If you need to cut a sheet, measure carefully and then cut with a knife, using a metal square and straight edge to be certain the line is straight.

Step 4 - Tape and Compound

You’ll need to apply joint tape where the sheets meet. To begin, use joint compound to cover the nail heads and depressions. If you’re using non-adhesive tapes you’ll need to use a few coats of compound before applying the tape to the seam. With self-adhesive tape just press into place over the seam with your knife. You’ll need to apply a finish coat over the tape so it won’t show later. Apply with a trowel, going out 4 ½ inches from each edge of the tape and feather into the drywall. Allow it to dry then apply another coat, feather it a further 1 ½ inches into the drywall.

Step 5 - Finishing

Once the joint compound has dried fully it needs to be sanded smooth. Use a fine grit sandpaper and ensure that you leave a smooth finish. You should not be able to see the tape and the joint compound should feel completely smooth when you run your fingertips over it. The drywall is now ready to be primed and finished or painted. Discard the old garage paneling as you no longer need it.

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