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Taking off Paneling?

Recently my husband and I bought our first home. It is a small house that was built in 1915. There is paneling in the majority of the house except for the bathroom and spare bedroom which has the plaster walls which seem to be in relatively good shape. I really hate the paneling and want to remove it, plus there are a lot of holes in the paneling from nails and where it has been broken. I have removed some of the paneling to see what it looked like and it had old wallpaper on it and there are the firing (sp?) strips nailed all over the walls that the paneling was nailed to. I took off one firing strip as carefully as I could but the holes left are bigger than a regular nail hole because it kind of crumbled a little. I am afraid that after taking all the strips down that I might cause more damage than what it is worth and I am also wondering if paneling was put up to cover up larger holes? I don't want tear down the plaster because of cost sake, I was thinking just repair the walls as needed with new plaster. I am working with a budget, and so we are just doing a room at a time. I just want to get other peoples advice before I start ripping all the paneling down. Will this be a bigger headache than it is worth?

Re: Taking off Paneling?

Well, I would really cost out your options. If room is small, and you're doing one room at a time, you might be surprised. Cost out gutting the room, removing the material, and reboarding..could be sheetrock and tape, or blueboard and plaster. It also depends on whether you can do this yourself or not. I assume you would be doing it yourself. Plastering is an art... I would probably stay away from that...but that's me.

There are other creative things you might be able to do...but it depends on the shape of what's left. I personally like the look of the thin strapping that you might see in older-style houses..where the thin strapping creates a panel like look....like you might find on a mission-style house (e.g. bungalow).

THere is bead-board paneling if you like that. My entire cottage was bead-board..the real stuff, but I've put up the thin MDF material to cover up poor plastering job at my full time residence. I put up the bead board, a stained pine ceiling (thin v-tongue and groove, and then put up some crown. The bead-board, trim, crown were all painted an off-white (cream). Lots of comments on that entry way.

Even painted paneling can look pretty good. I wouldn't discount that either. You can go with paneling, with the thin strips I've talked about above.

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