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Old 12-30-2009, 02:34 PM   #1
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Updating from the 70s


First time homeowner, just moved into a house that hasn't been updated since it was built in the 70s, complete with orange, red, and yellow shag carpet.

The entire house is has wood paneling on the walls that just looks awful. I know there are several options and I would prefer not to pull it down and drywall the entire house. I've seen others say that you can put mesh tape and joint compound over the grooves, primer, and paint the walls. I'm wondering if anyone has done so and how did it turn out? Any other options that I need to be looking into?

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Old 12-30-2009, 02:57 PM   #2
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Updating from the 70s


If used it and it works fine. But in your case you may be better to remove the paneling and drywall. this way you can inspect that you have adequate insulation, no water or termite damage, a solid vapor barrier. It will give you a chance to use spray foam around the electrical outlets and be sure the critters did not eat your wires. walls can be straightened out if needed. Windows can be sealed better.

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Old 12-30-2009, 03:15 PM   #3
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Updating from the 70s


I'd never try mudding the paneling, too much work & I doubt it would hold up
I have painted paneling white/off-white & it came out pretty good
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Old 12-30-2009, 03:24 PM   #4
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Updating from the 70s


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I'd never try mudding the paneling, too much work & I doubt it would hold up
I have painted paneling white/off-white & it came out pretty good
With the mesh product made for this purpose it does hold up. But it is more work then it is worth. I use it more for fixing old plaster than anything else.
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Old 12-30-2009, 03:41 PM   #5
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Updating from the 70s


In a fire, you and your family would have more time to escape with drywall on the walls.
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:33 PM   #6
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Updating from the 70s


So how would you fill the space in the door jams and window sills if I went with the drywall method? The paneling is very thin, even if I use 1/2" drywall, there is still going to be a space between the window sill and the molding.
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:00 PM   #7
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Updating from the 70s


So there isn't any drywall behind the paneling ?
Not even on the outside walls ?
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:30 PM   #8
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Updating from the 70s


No, it goes straight to studs.
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:46 PM   #9
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Updating from the 70s


all trim gets removed. Drywall goes up to about 1/4" from the door jams and window frames. Leaving space for insulation around the windows with spray foam. The jams get planned or shimmed to be flush with the drywall so the trim sits square. It is work, but doing it right will give you a lasting and rewarding job.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:48 PM   #10
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Updating from the 70s


Quote:
So there isn't any drywall behind the paneling ?
Not even on the outside walls ?
Quote:
No, it goes straight to studs.
I don't mean to scare you and maybe you already know this, but that's why mobile homes used to burn from end to end in 15 minutes or less. Most of the time, families didn't have time to get out.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:25 PM   #11
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Updating from the 70s


Thanks everybody, I think I'm going to go ahead and put up the drywall. Now where is the painting discussion board....
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:37 PM   #12
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Updating from the 70s


"Scuba_Dave"- -I read your question regarding paneling being placed onto studs with no drywall behind it, with a chuckle. Back from the mid '70's and into the '80's it was popular around here to do just that. When it came time on the project to cover the interior walls, 1/4" panels were just nailed to the studs, no drywall. I remember well what happens when you cut out for a switch or outlet and you were off any at all. No mud to help with the panels. Those were called "The good old days"? Thanks, David
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:51 PM   #13
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Updating from the 70s


Rather than pulling off the wood panels, you may be able to install 1/4" drywall right on top of them. The walls should feel very solid when you're done. I've seen this recommended in various places over the years, often in the context of updating mobile homes.

1/4" drywall is a little more expensive than 1/2", but it has the advantage of not altering your wall thicknesses as much (an important consideration for things like wall switches, plugs, and to a lesser extent door and window openings. For manufactured homes, there's also an issue of the added weight, which favors 1/4" drywall.

Here's a step-by-step how-to: http://www.mygreathome.com/fix-it_guide/drywall.htm

And some guidance from the Ask the Builder guy:
http://www.askthebuilder.com/542-Dry...Paneling.shtml

Last edited by TitaniumVT; 01-02-2010 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:18 PM   #14
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Updating from the 70s


I'd say pull the paneling down and start fresh. As stated above, it gives you the opportunity to inspect/repair any deficiencies as well as upgrade wiring, add low voltage lines, etc.

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