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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Plano, TX
    Posts
    1,901

    Default Removing wood paneling?

    Our family room has dark wood paneling, circa 1974. We recently discovered that the paneling was installed over drywall. We're seriously considering removing it, either ourselves or (preferrably) having someone else do it. Has anyone tackled a job like this? How much did you spend to do it (or have it done)? Any before and afters?
    Giovanna
    DH ~ 2001 | DD ~ 2006 | DS ~ 2008

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    upstate ny
    Posts
    1,729

    Default

    We've removed a TON of paneling in our house. Some had been installed over the original plaster walls, some over studs. We've done all the work ourselves, so cost was pretty negligible. Taking it down was really easy. Any major cost would come about due to the condition of the drywall underneath. You could have an issue how the paneling was installed. Some of ours was just nailed on, and that came off easily. Just some holes to patch on the walls. Some was glued in addition to the nails, though. It ripped up the wallpaper underneath when we pulled it off. That was no big deal since I didn't want the wallpaper and our plaster walls were fine. I'd be a little nervous about that ripping the drywall. Still, I can't imagine it totally destroying the drywall.

    Anyway, I'm really glad we did it. It a million times brighter. If I get a chance after the kids go to bed, I'll dig out some pictures.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    5,224

    Default

    Agreed, you might have a lot of surface finishing to do. We have paneling over DW in the basement. We have glue and nails, and none of the seams are taped. In one place, a 2x4 was flush with the DW, so DH had to skim coat it all to work.

    Soooo, we painted as a 2-3 year solution after testing a few spots. We realized we wanted to insulate behind it. I understand that painting may not be a solution, but I can that the work is worth it and will make a considerable difference.
    She'd be his wife and make him her husband 5/03Ds1 12/22/09...Ds2 8/31/12

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Gorilla Village
    Posts
    8,745

    Default

    We removed paneling off the lower half of our living room walls. The drywall underneath it would've been in decent condition had the previous owner not used a TON of glue behind. Anyway, we ended up sanding the extra glue down and painting with a faux finish to hide the imperfections.

    I don't have any decent pics of our wall uploaded, but here's the technique we used. I covered nicely and only needed one coat after priming.
    Women are angels, and when someone breaks our wings
    we continue to fly...on broomsticks.
    We are flexible like that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1,785

    Default

    only have 1 small room with wood paneling and i just painted over it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,050

    Default

    DallasLady,

    Is it not an option for you to just paint over it? Personally, I love the look of painted paneling. I think it has a cottage type of look and from some of the pics I've seen of your home, I think it would look great.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    6,312

    Default

    We've removed paneling in 3 rooms. The family room had that incredibly flimsy, cheap type so that came off easily. The kitchen and spare bedroom had a thick, pine paneling that had 3 inch nails into studs. The kitchen demo was easy as we gutted the entire room so being careful was not an issue. The spare room DH took more time as we have recently redone hardwood floors that we did not want to scratch. Still it only took a couple of hours to remove.

    Fortunately or perhaps unfortunately for us the paneling was nailed directly to the studs. We've done all the work ourselves including installing the drywall. Honestly the mudding and sanding part is the biggest PITA and most time consuming.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Plano, TX
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    I wouldn't mind painting the paneling, especially since we have picture frame vs. slat paneling. I think it would look nice and many people in our neighborhood have done it. But, DH is dead set against it, he says he hates painted paneling Plus, we are wanting to possibly relocate the doorway that goes from the family room to the hallway. This would be (relatively) easy to do if the room was drywalled instead of paneled.
    Giovanna
    DH ~ 2001 | DD ~ 2006 | DS ~ 2008

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    724

    Default

    We recently removed paneling in two rooms in our house. The small bedroom had paneling on one wall. My husband pried up the nails and it was fairly easy to pry it off. Unfortunately, we were left with a lovely glue design. We were afraid that this design (despite sanding & spackling) would still show through so we skimmed that wall with new drywall. We got the 1/4 stuff and now it is the best looking wall in the house!

    In the family room we had paneling below the chair rail. This was a bit harder to rip out, however, it did come up eventually. We were left with okay drywall that needs lots of patching (still finishing up on that). We haven't yet painted this room, but we'll see how it comes together.

    My sister had numerous rooms of paneling in her house and they simply skimmed all the walls with new drywall. This is another good option.

    My best friend and her husband simply painted their paneling a creamy white, and you can't even tell it is paneling anymore!

    Also, check out this blog link and scroll down to the "den" -- a good use of white paint to brighten up a darker room.
    http://www.thisyounghouse.com/photo-gallery-2/
    Our First Home: 05/2009

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    2,442

    Default

    In my previous house, there was a converted garage and they put paneling over drywall at the ends of the room. Come to find out they did it to cover up a HUGE mold problem. We paid someone to completely tear down and put up new drywall and then to do a wall finish (knock-down I think it's called). It was about $1500 (well, that includes some stuff they did in the bathroom, too... but the bathroom hardly cost anything). I would estimate that each wall was 10 ft long and 12 ft high ceilings, to give an idea of square footage.

    My advice is to make sure that the paneling is not glued to the drywall and then go ahead and pull it down yourself. If it's all screwed up you're going to just pay someone to fix it, right? So you may as well give it a try to do yourself and keep in mind that you may have to shell out some cash to fix it (if you're going to do it either way, I mean).
    CPW - 05/07/07 & HBW - 10/26/09

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