Removing Paneling

We would like to remove the Paneling on our living room. But whoever put it up Nailed and Glued it. We are not looking to paint it but we were wondering if anyone has removed the paneling and also removed the glue without ruining the drywall.


Rhonda from Detroit, Michigan

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May 4, 20050 found this helpful


Has anyone removed paneling from plaster walls as opposed to painting the paneling? What type of success did you have? In the alternative, if you have painted paneling, I would welcome any suggestions on color choice, ideas, etc.



Anna (Guest Post):

Our living room had very dark brown paneling and I painted it white. It took 3 coats and the seams took 5 coats as they bled thru. If I were to do it again I would put some type of a sealer especially on the seams first. I also painted some light paneling and that I lightly sanded first, that took only two coats. I use a painting pad instead of brush or roller, that way there are no marks of any kind, very smooth finish. Have also painted a bureau made from pressed board, same manner, great results. I like pads for painting best.


Julie (Guest Post):

My 108 year old house had been updated in the 70's with very rich pecan wood paneling. The color is nice, but who likes paneling? So I got an idea from our local attorney's office. He restored his office (an old auto supply store) which had peg board walls. What we both did is bought wallpaper glue (not the kind for pre-pasted wallpaper), and rolls of brown packing paper (brown bags will work). Then rip them off in various sizes, squish them up, then flatten them out and cover them with a coat of wallpaper glue.

When putting the paper up on the wall, overlap and such. You can't believe the difference in your room. It looks so comfy and cozy in there. I have pictures of my bedroom which I did a few months ago. What a money saver though, we were very close to tearing down our paneling also. And another note, this paper can be painted too. I did put a light coat of satin latex clear paint on it to seal out any stains. And also, when doing this, the seams are very (if at all) unnoticeable.


CONNIE (Guest Post):

Yes i have. But i had it done by a contractor. Then he put up a layer of sheet rock and i had it papered. It came out very nice

Post by Kim McGrantham:

My husband took down our ugly old paneling in our living room not thinking it was going to be any big deal, and what a mess he got himself into! The paneling was glued onto the sheet rock and he ended up tearing big holes in the walls. He ended up having to re-sheetrock the whole living room.

Litton (Guest Post):

I would recommend painting it rather than trying to remove it. Working with what you have is always preferable to finding out what you MAY have. There is a simple faux finish that would effectively mask the paneling lines, as well. It's either called Strie or Combing. You just paint a solid base coat. Then mix another shade of paint with a faux glazing medium. Use a roller to cover about 3'X3' with the glaze, then steadily drag a wallpaper brush (or similar) from top to bottom, REMOVING the wet glaze (MUST BE DONE WHILE GLAZE IS WET).


The result is a simple vertical design that is not quite striped, but visually camouflages the paneling. You can choose your two colors to achieve either a subtle or strong effect. If interested, do a web search for strie, combing, faux finishes, etc. to find printable instructions and such.

LauraM (Guest Post):

I have done them all. When we lived in Florida, one room we removed the paneling. They actually hadn't done a bad job, in that they had put it up with nails and firing, therefore all we had was nail repair. We did this by first repairing nail holes, then we skim coated the whole room, texturing as we went.

The kitchen in the same house we decided to leave the paneling. Now mind you this was real wood, tongue and groove paneling, not the laminated stuff. To paint the paneling, I sanded it to rough up, I then used a high quality primer made to seal the wood, I used a Kiltz brand. I put on 2 coats of the primer, then covered it with 2 coats of a satin white paint. It came out very nice, no bleed through. There was a lot of brush work to get into grooves.


Now I'm in an old farm house built in 1933, here they have taken the cheaper laminated paneling, nailed and glued it to the wall. I wouldn't try to paint this stuff, it is already obvious that the quality of the paneling would not make the paint job quality nor last long. I am presently removing the glue as much as possible from the walls. I plan on sanding more of it that isn't popping off with scraper (this glue is old old and hard and popping pretty good). After this I am planning to repair cracks, nail holes, etc. in the old plaster lath walls (which are in surprisingly good shape), then skim coat the walls with DuraSand. Hoping that works for my side !

Post by Carrie Wigal:

Check out this article on "A Quick and Simple Solution to Your Dark Wood Paneling Nightmare" here:


I have four rooms in my home with paneled walls, my husband's a contractor. We chose to paint over the paneling in two rooms but now knowing better plan to do our next room with this paperillusion product mentioned in the above article. Painting is okay but we're at a point where we need to redo the one room already because the paint is peeling off the wall.

Julie (Guest Post):

To the posting with This is pretty much the same thing I did to my room, for much less... see my photo in a previous listing below. And you can paint it any color you'd like. The way I did it has a few more steps, but will save money in the long run. It looks great!

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By Vanet Uvino (Guest Post)
March 13, 20060 found this helpful

I, also had dark paneling in my 'den'. Didn't want all the work involved in removing it, so I painted it. It looks wonderful. First, I put 2 layers of Kilz on so that the paint would stick. I then painted it with 2 coats of an off white paint and it looks like real wood. Very easy and affordable.

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By Alex Rock (Guest Post)
March 14, 20060 found this helpful

Can you just put the drywall over it?d

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By (Guest Post)
March 14, 20060 found this helpful

I have put sheetrock mud in the seams, sanded the walls and painted them. It came out good, but a painter could probably do a better job. My friend had a painter fill in the seams sand and it looked just like sheetrock walls, smooth and pretty. She painted it a butter color and the room looked great.
I have also painted paneling, some good TSP helps clean the surface and get it ready to prime. Always prime, it helps paint stick to surface and not bleed other color through. I have primed smoke stains and it came out great. I like Kilz oil based. Good Luck. Also just putting sheetrock on top maybe the easiest, and it would give you extra insulation, if possible.

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By glmrgrl007 (Guest Post)
September 27, 20060 found this helpful

I had paneling in every room in my home, and I hated it!! For my dining room we actually pulled all the paneling off, then had to strip all the hideous wall paper off, until we were down to the plaster. We were left with a million nail holes and dents in the wall. Very time consuming, but it looks really good. For the bedrooms we left the paneling up. We sanded th top layer off paneling to get the glossy coat off, then put drywall tape over the seams, and put a thin layer of drywall over the paneling. We made the mistake of not priming my daughters room first, so the paneling bled through the drywall. this method was way cheaper and way easier, and the final out come was much better!

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By nikki (Guest Post)
November 2, 20070 found this helpful

I had the same problem in my den. The paneling was glued and taped. My husband and I just pulled it down because the paneling only went up to about four inches from the ceiling so it would have looked silly painted. We were left with lots of nail holes and tears from the glued sections. We just patched the hole and the tears and used a texured paint to camoflage the inperfections. We get the most compliments on that room.

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By Teri Robertson (Guest Post)
January 5, 20080 found this helpful

I have "Lawyer's" paneling in my den. I am limited to hanging pictures between the raised panels. I hate that! I want to remove it but have seen nothing online regarding "lawyer's paneling". Does anyone have any suggestions?

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By concerned? (Guest Post)
February 16, 20080 found this helpful

I have removed paneling from my living room and now have this black adhesive, I guess, to take off. How do I remove this?

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By meagan (Guest Post)
March 1, 20080 found this helpful

My husband and I striped paneling off our walls to and were faced with a wall full of what looked like tar and holes. We just took our time chipped of the chunks of tar that we could then we sanded the walls patched the holes and applied two coats of primer and it looks fantastic! It takes time but the effort is worth it.

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By Oscar (Guest Post)
June 24, 20080 found this helpful

When we removed the paneling that had been installed only half way up the wall in our kitchen, there was this nasty black/brown adhesive all over. We sanded, it didn't work well enough b/c we needed to add a coat of plaster and it kept coming through. What finally worked was scrubbing. We used Murphy's Oil soap, hot water and a strong brush. It took alot of work, and the smell was atrocious, but it came off!

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By Rob (Guest Post)
January 5, 20090 found this helpful

To remove the glue Use a HEAT gun and a very thin CLEAN sharp scraper I just did this on the weekend & was the only thing that worked with little to no damage to the drywall.

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By freelancer (Guest Post)
January 10, 20090 found this helpful

If your are going to paint the paneling instead of removing it, read the following:
I chose not to remove the paneling from my in-laws fireplace because it felt hollow and i was afraid of nothing being back there and i have no experience on hanging drywall. anyway, the first thing i did was cleant he whole thing well with tsp. then i filled in the lines with wood filler, then primed the whole thing. the wood putty works pretty well but you could still see little grooves. I'm sure if you really take your time with it and use enough putty you could leave a seamless appearance. The last thing I did was use SandWash paint they sell at home depot, you can have it made it whatever color you want. the sandy texture helped fill what was left of the seams. the finished project looks great!

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