How to Remove Paneling in a Garage
LESLIE: Susan in Tennessee, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
SUSAN: I was calling because I have a large room that was converted from a garage into a living room but it’s got some dark, ugly paneling on it. And what’s the best way to remove it or how do you undo paneling?
LESLIE: I mean it really depends on how much work you want to do and how that paneling that’s there was attached to the existing structure.
Now, it was the garage previously?
SUSAN: Yes. And it was ridiculous. It was paneled and – like it was a really elite garage when we moved in. It was crazy.
LESLIE: Now, do you know, is the paneling just attached directly to the studs of the wall? Or is it attached by glue to drywall? Have you had any clue what’s behind it?
SUSAN: I don’t.
LESLIE: I wonder if there’s a place where you can lift up a piece of trim or remove a switch plate and see what’s sort of going on with that? Because it could be that it was a garage. It could just be that the paneling was put directly onto those studs and then you could pull that off and have a clean slate and just go ahead and put some drywall up. And while you’re at it, add some insulation. Because if it was a garage, there’s a good change there wasn’t any there before.
Now, if you do find that it was attached to some drywall, it’s probably glued on and everything behind it is going to be a mess. So you’ve got two choices there. You can either just make that paneling look attractive by painting it. And you know what? When paneling is painted like a glossy white or a glossy neutral color, it actually doesn’t look so bad. It can kind of be that great, interesting base texture with sort of a modern country feel, if that makes sense.
But if that’s something that you’re like, “Oh, God, no, I don’t even want to see it,” you can easily go over it with ¼-inch drywall. The only thing is where you’ve got switches or outlets or trimming, those things are going to have to bump out a little bit. So that requires a little bit of carpentry but it’s not the end of the world and it is a do-it-yourself project.
SUSAN: OK. So it really depends on what it’s over.
LESLIE: Depends on what it’s over, how it’s attached and how involved you want to get.
SUSAN: OK. Well, I guess the first thing I will need to do then is take a piece off or figure that out and go from there.
LESLIE: Don’t sound so down; it’s not a difficult project.
SUSAN: OK. Well, I appreciate the advice.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.