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Thread: old panel walls

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Unhappy old panel walls

    I just purchased an old house with paneling on the walls. Not the old paneling. This was put up in the 70's. Is there anything/any way I can cover the paneling? If not I am going to have to take it all out and redo it with something else? Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: old panel walls

    I my opinion, panels have done their job, good or bad, and their time has passed.

    I would suggest removing them, and sending them to the decorator's museum hall of shame in Whashington DC.

    After you remove them assess the condition of your drywall. In most cases simple repairs will allow you to have nice walls. But sometimes, if the drywall is in poor condition, a new drywall job will be needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    nova scotia, canada

    Default Re: old panel walls

    you can definitely take down the old panelling, take a look at the condition of the board underneath, if its in really rough shape you can either tear it out and put new board up or you can simply skin over it with a layer of 1/4" drywall and mud it accordingly.

    ive done this many times instead of going through the time and mess to remove old wallpaper, its much quicker and results in a much cleaner looking wall
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago

    Default Re: old panel walls

    There are products which can go over paneling, but in my opinion, it ends up being just as much or more work as removing the paneling, with only acceptable results.

    One such meathod is to go over the paneling with heavy wallpaper liner. This stuff is almost like cardboard. Then you have to still hang paper over it.

    Personally, I would at a minimum, carefully pull a section of the paneling to see what you are actually dealing with. I did this in my former house and was delighted to find the walls were drywalled and taped. If you find mastic was used in dabs or squiggles to glue down the paneling, you can simply use a sharp razor knife to cut the drywall paper along the edge of the mastic, peel back the outer paper, prime the exposed brown under-paper with oil-based primer and then patch with drywall compound. This is similar to what I would do when removing large glued on mirrors. Even where there are extensive mastic squiggles, this is less work than pulling down the drywall, assuming the drywall is basically in good condition.

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