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Old 08-12-2009, 10:42 AM   #1
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Icky Wood Panelling


Long story short, my fiancee and I just started renovating a home we had previously been renting out. The house is completely covered with dated wood paneling. We've pulled most of the wood paneling down, but when we got to parts of the house that were late editions, there is no drywall behind the paneling. The paneling in those areas is still intact, but I really want to either replace the walls or find a cheaper but durable solution to concealing the panel grooves to have the illusion of drywall. I've seen where people have recommended a type of paintable wallpaper to go over the panels. I've read about caulking, taping and joint compound as possible solutions. My concern is that because there are only studs behind the paneling, if someone where to apply pressure on those walls the wall would bend and any of the caulk/putty would crack. What is going to be the best solution and how will that compare to having the walls replaced financially?


Last edited by elaineNeedsHelp; 08-12-2009 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Posted before i was done typing.
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:43 AM   #2
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Icky Wood Panelling


And, the question is...

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Old 08-14-2009, 12:03 AM   #3
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Icky Wood Panelling


If it were me I would pull out the paneling, insulate walls, make sure everything is safe and sound, vapor barrier where nec., drywall, texture, paint, reinstall trim and call er good.

If you know there is a possible threat by taking short cuts don't. I don't advocate covering things up because that tends to create problems down the road with issues that lie beneath and reveals and all that other stuff. If you are going to go through the work of renovating the place do it once and do it right.

Good luck and be safe I will monitor for any other situational questions that may arise.
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:00 AM   #4
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Icky Wood Panelling


Elaine, Welcome to the Forum
Another advantage of pulling off the paneling that is applied directly over the studs is that with the studs exposd it is easy to update the wiring, add outlets, etc.

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Old 08-14-2009, 09:03 AM   #5
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I think that is what I really wanted to hear. While doing the other necessary demolition in the house I've found places where the previous owners had taken shortcuts and done really shabby work. I don't want to fall into that same trap just to save some money, but I also want to explore all my options. After getting some price quotes for paper and caulk it really isn't too much more expensive to do a complete overhaul. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. It put me in the right mood about getting that stuff out. Thanks a ton and i'll keep you posted if anything else comes up.
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:57 PM   #6
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Icky Wood Panelling


You could put drywall OVER the paneling to get a more solid wall. Any attempt to make paneling look like drywall is not a good idea. And not much point in doing that when it's an easy demo. As pointed out above, access to the wall cavity allows for more upgrades which may enhance the "rentability" of the house.....
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:49 AM   #7
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Well, the demo isn't what is the concern. Neither of us has any experience installing drywall. I imagine it isn't very difficult, but there are a few outlets and the ac control pad that are going to pose a problem to place back in the wall. My sister thinks we should leave the paneling in place as it offers a sturdier wall for our teenage boys to bang up, but I really dread looking at those walls since we will be moving in and living there for the next few years. What kind of drywall would be best for placing over the paneling and how easy is it to install?

I also made a call to Sherwin Williams, that a friend had suggested for the wallpaper liner. The price is cheaper than drywall and they have had a lot of customers who have had great results using that product. I talked to my finacee and he thinks the wallpaper liner is going to be the most viable solution. It's cheaper, easier to install, and we won't have to fool with setting the ac control pad back into the wall.
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Old 08-15-2009, 03:33 PM   #8
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You could go with 1/4" drywall over the paneling and have a much sturdier wall. Not too tough to install. Do a google search and I'm sure you'll find several helpful "how to" sites. With the wallpaper liner don't you still have to fill the grooves in the paneling??
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:10 PM   #9
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Don't put anything over the paneling. You'd be sorry later on. Tear it out, and drywall. If your concerned about finishing the drywall with mudding and taping, just hire that part out. You can still save a bunch and unless you completely butcher the drywall hanging the finish guys can make it look professional.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:21 PM   #10
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I agree with bjb and also ask the same question. I don't think that you will find dealing with the control pad to be that much of a burden but I respect your wishes to simplify the project as much as possible.

As far as thickness of drywall you could go any thickness you want however I would determine what effect it will have on your trim. If you are going to choose to drywall the one thing you will probably want to do is remove the paneling so that you gain a little depth in your favor. make sure you record heights and locations of things such as the ac controls etc so that you can get them back in their origional locations. Also now when you go to replace the rock one thing you will be facing is the sheetrock or drywall is going to stick out further than the casings. I am going to reference a page on my website because if you opt to drywall you are going to intentionally create a situation like I dealt with on this project. http://paragonrenovations.net/basementtrim.aspx The way that you are going to deal with this problem of the drywall sticking out further than the casings is you are going to measure out and back cut the drywall just short of the outside edge of the trim. I am not going oto go into this real deep because it sounds like you and your Husband are leaning towards lining hose walls. But if you do opt to drywall take a look at the link I provided you with and if you can't figure out how the back cut trick works follow up with a repost here or email me and I will walk you through it. You may be scratching your head right now wondering what the heck I am talking about but trust me once you have the room stripped out and you had the drywall taped and textured and you were going to reinstall the trim the answer would rise up and become real evident real quick.

So you guys need to decide exactly what it is you want to do and ifdrywall is the way you decide to go let us know and we can guide you through the project the rest of the way but this is your project and your comfort level and you need to work within those parameters.

Let us know what you decide to do and we can all go from there if need be.

Take care, be safe and enjoy the new place!
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:22 PM   #11
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Yes an to echo Cibula a good taper can fix anything, lol
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:06 PM   #12
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Icky Wood Panelling


One reason I suggested the 1/4" drywall over the paneling was your reference to a "sturdier wall for our teenage boys to bang up". I doubt yours any harder on walls than any others, at least at home. I did some remodeling in a couple of fraternity houses at Emory University a few summers back. The hallway walls were trashed from the parties. Fist size holes, head size holes, foot size holes. We removed what was left of the drywall, hung 1/4" luan paneling and 1/4" drywall over it (being sure to use adhesive too). The result was a wall that I'm sure got some people's attention at the first "kegger". Actually, your best bet would be to tear out the paneling and replace with regular 1/2" drywall. As paragon mentioned, with the walls opened up you can adjust any electric boxes/control pad as needed (and add new). Your doors are likely "prehung" and have a "slip jamb" which can be adjusted to accommodate the difference in thickness. The base will have to be removed and if done carefully can likely be cut down and reused (especially since it's probably stained now and can be caulked/puttied//painted for drywall). You may need a small jamb extension for any windows, but again, with caulk and paint will become almost "invisible". It seems like a daunting task, but you will be much happier doing it the right way. And I agree that if the finishing part is the main worry, hire it out. Call a local drywall supply house or even paint store and ask for a recommendation for someone who does small jobs, ask friends who have had work done on their houses, but definitely get references. I would avoid Craigslist ads.....
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:00 PM   #13
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Icky Wood Panelling


My house was built in 1965. Around 1970 they made an addition of a family room off the kitchen with a nice brick fireplace but then they put up dark wook paneling!!!!!!!

So my husband and I decided to paint over it with a cranberry red. You can still see the grooves but it came out SO nice. We did white trim for molding, heaters, windows and there were already dark wood beams that ran across the ceiling.

So, my point is that you can paint over it...ours looks rustic and very nice.

You can see some of it in this pic of my daughter.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:50 AM   #14
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Wow everyone thanks for so much input! With the wallpaper liner, yes, you do have to fill in the grooves. The grooves in the paneling that is currently installed in the house are very shallow and I don't believe would pose too much of a problem. We have taken how installing drywall over the paneling will effect the molding and trim into consideration. We still haven't come to a decision. I would love to see the paneling come out and start anew with fresh drywall, but Jon wants to explore other options. I find that we reach an agreement and change our minds the next day. So, it's still up in the air what we will do. I'll definitely keep everyone posted and hopefully have some nice pictures to show our progress when we finally come to a decision.

Thanks for your comment, Sephora, my sister bought an older home a few years back and she and I had agreed to simply paint over the paneling as you have done. It does look fantastic, but I grew up in a home with paneling, I work in an office with paneling and every house I've lived in since has had paneling. I'm just to the point where I'm ready to see something else on the walls for a change.

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