Wood paneling can trigger a healthy debate when it comes to deciding if you should upgrade or remove it. Wooden veneer wall panels were very popular in the 1960s and 1970s, and while they can give your home a retro vibe, not everybody likes that look. For many people, wood paneling looks dated, and they want to make a change for a more modern look–the good news is that wood paneling can be easily removed.
Removing the wood panels gives you several options to completely transform your home's look and feel. You can replace them with drywall, paint them, or refresh your home with new wall paneling.
Options After Removing Wood Paneling
When deciding what to do after removing the wood paneling from your home, you have several options to upgrade the look and feel of your home. You can cover the surface with drywall, apply a finish to give them a plaster-like look, or paint.
Replace the Panels With Drywall
The most common option that homeowners choose is to replace wood panels with drywall. Quarter-inch drywall is the default thickness for covering walls after removing wood paneling.
You can use a crowbar to pull back and remove the wooden panel. After removing the panels, replace them with drywall and use drywall putty to fill any nail holes and reinforce the studs.
After removing the panels, extend the window jambs and power outlet boxes to adjust to the new thickness of the wall covering. If there’s any paint stain on the jambs or boxes, use a chemical remover to get rid of it. It’s best to hire a professional if this is difficult for you to do safely on your own.
Give a Plaster-Like Finish to Your Walls
Another unique decorating idea is to give your walls a plaster-like finish after removing the wood panels. To do this, scrape off any excess paint from the existing surface. Then, apply a thin coat of plaster-like finish to the surface.
You can find numerous plaster-like finishes on the market, which are incredibly easy to use and offer great results. Venetian Plaster products create incredible finishes and can hide wall blemishes to give your walls a unique look and feel.
Paint the Walls After Removing Wood Paneling
One of the best ways to rejuvenate a room after removing wood paneling is to paint the walls. Keep in mind to always use flat paint because glossy paints tend to highlight imperfections. Flat colors, on the other hand, can better hide these issues.
Before you start painting, it’s important to ensure that there aren’t any big holes or cracks in the walls. If you see any small holes or gouges, use some putty to fill them, let the putty dry completely, and sand lightly. This will give you a smooth surface to paint over.
The next crucial step before painting is applying primer. Primers will fill in any small imperfections and smooth out the surface of a wall to prepare it for the painting process. You can use a roller to apply the primer on the wall, but using a brush is a better choice because it can easily reach small spaces that the roller can’t get to.
After the primer dries, use a flashlight to check for thin spots. You can add multiple coats if you think it’s necessary, but wait for the previous layer to dry first. With that, you’re all set to paint in whatever color or design you want.
Wooden panels can make your home feel outdated–removing these panels and doing something different, like painting or adding a plaster-like finish, can bring new life to your home. If you’re determined to keep them for that retro look, though, be sure to learn about cleaning wall panels to make sure they always look their best.