shiny and new

We have our first before/after shot of the house!

living room before with carpet (and last owner’s stuff)/after with shiny smelly new floors

here’s a more depressing before and after

magnolia tree out front before (78 degrees)/and after (31 degrees)

our next project is junebaby’s room which is covered in paneling.

we removed one strip so far which accomplished two things, leaving half the glue on the wall that needs to be sanded off and stripping off the other half of the glue with wall attached leaving crevices that need to be spackled or filled in somehow. anyone tackled this horrible project before? any tips?

68 thoughts on “shiny and new

  1. Lesa says:

    UGH the dreaded paneling. Been there, done that. I had such thick, messy glue that I ended up just putting new sheetrock over it all. Probably not what you wanted to hear. . . .

  2. UNIFORM Studio says:

    we had some paneling in our 50’s ranch -we ended up taking it and the wallboard off and re-drywalling.
    I think it was less work in the end than if we would have scraped/filled holes, etc. and it’s all new and crack free:)

  3. Melissa says:

    Gotta love hardwoods under carpet. We did the same thing 2 years ago and hard floors are awesome, especially with babies (and baby messes)
    As for the paneling, sand, prime and paint. I agree with the commenter above, if you take it off, you’re going to have to re-drywall. And if your home is plaster and lath it’s really going to suck.
    Congrats on the new house and new projects! Can’t wait to see what you do.

  4. elizabooth says:

    Our last house was entirely covered in paneling. After re-drywalling our living room (it was slapped up over particle board, so the walls couldn’t be sanded, hence they needed to be replaced) we just painted over the stuff in the bedrooms because we were afraid to see what was underneath. It looked quite nice, especially in our daughter’s room. We have one wall of paneling in our new house and we’ve decided to leave it as is.

  5. Heather says:

    We are going through this right now in our 1/2 bath. 1940’s house, plaster walls, tile over wallpaper–it’s a mess. Since it’s such a small space we’re just going to put up new drywall. If we were dealing with a whole room I’m not sure what I would do. Can you put drywall over paneling?

  6. capello says:

    i haven’t done tackled that kind of paneling before, but i have stripped wallpaper in a room to discover each of the four walls had a different sub-wall and then i plastered over the walls and made it textured to make them all look the same. urgh.

  7. HVM says:

    I’ve painted over it (save yourself! Run!), I’ve ripped it down and re-mudded (dear GOD), and my advice is to re-drywall. It’s worth it in the end! Good luck!

  8. Michelle says:

    Oh, I would’t take the paneling off, just paint over it like others have said. If you don’t like the grooves, you can fill those in before you prime. Sounds like a lot of work but it’s really not that bad and much easier in the long run!
    Could you please still call Junebaby “Junebaby” even after she has an official name? Junebaby is so catchy and cute. :0) Could say it all day long…

  9. Siri says:

    I can’t help you with any advice but I can see that you and Tim are going to work miracles with this place! Looking forward to seeing more.

  10. Angela says:

    Such pretty wood floors!
    WE had to remove a room of paneling too. Well, actually we ended up gutting the room down to the studs and having it re drywalled. fun stuff. Good luck! and congrats on the new house.

  11. Sarah says:

    Oh, how I look forward to the days of renovation and refinishing! I say that now, ha!
    I really love you blog and now I look forward to it even more!
    Good Luck with the paneling, it really seems you should paint over it.

  12. Alicia A. says:

    Been there, done that: We have painted paneling (it always turned out better than I thought it would), we’ve re-drywalled (always my top choice but hard to get professional results w/o hiring a professional), and we have scraped, spackled, sanded, and painted (works but is A LOT of work). You can add a little texture to your paint to help hide imperfections. We recently added some sandy-stuff to the paint for our living room and it looks pretty nice. Good luck whatever you decide to do!

  13. Debhogan says:

    From a lurker, congratulations on your new house and new baby on the way.
    When we moved in here, my to be son’s room was panelled with the same kind of paneling. Trying to take it off was going to cause major damage to the wallboard and we did not have the funds to replace all the wallboard in that room.
    I covered it all with a coat of Zinser (or any other primer/sealant) and painted it, then did some random striping on various panels in shades of a cool sea green. Turned out to be one of my favorite rooms in the house and he loved it.
    Good luck!

  14. Elise says:

    Definitely either take off the paneling and dry-wall or just put the new drywall (use the thinner type) right over the paneling. You won’t regret it.

  15. carol says:

    oh dear- flashback coming on! my house was covered in plexi-glassed wooden stairs and 4 layers of either wallpaper or wallpaper border in each room!
    your place looks wonderful- panneled or not.
    sad about the trees. everything is so flopped over and withered- what a cruel joke from mother nature.

  16. Anina says:

    Very nice. The magnolia is an especially fun touch.
    As for the paneling – new sheetrock would be the easiest method if you don’t want to just paint the paneling.
    Have fun!!!

  17. Sonya says:

    Aaargh paneling! We have a Victorian and someone had ripped down the anaglypta wainscotting and replaced it with, you guessed it. Re-plastering might be what is needed.

  18. Annika says:

    The floor is gorgeous! As for the paneling, I am with those who would paint over it. I think it would be lovely in a nice pale color. But if you are determined to take it down, I wish you luck! I have never tried, so have no ideas for you.

  19. Erin says:

    I agree with many of the others on this topic – I moved into a 50’s rancher with paneling (and fake wood beams made of a scary styrofoam that melted when painted by accident…another story)on two rooms. The big room, I painted over – a coat of Zinzer, and 2 coats of wall paint – I liked the results immensely. The other room had only one wall of paneling, so I filled in the grooves with spackling and painted it as well. If I had more $ I would have had it professionally removed and drywalled — and since you are on somewhat of a time table, my vote is for painting, besides the baby quilts will hide the grooves…. Good luck!

  20. Heels says:

    Commenting a second time to say that I actually like the grooves in the painted paneling. Great texture, especially in my house where all of the old part is that 1950s plaster.

  21. Sarah says:

    Oh dear…paneling! When I first moved into my house we had paneling in two bedrooms and our kitchen–even the cupboards had paneling on them! Ick! If it’s heavy-duty glued on you really may want to re-drywall. In one room we attempted to get rid of the ruts left by the glue by using a topcoat of drywall mud over the whole room. It’s not worth it. After a year we noticed cracking and bubbles. It takes time and practice to drywall but it’s well worth it.

  22. Miss Sassy says:

    Floors are gorgeous – were they under the carpet or a new install?
    Paneling – hmm, I think you might want to consider painting and see how you like the effect. It is a cheaper, quicker endeavor and you may like it.
    Trees – up here in Wisconsin we have the same. All my tulips that were close to budding are wilted. I’m so sad! Ah, but that is weather in the Midwest – very unpredictable!
    Congrats on the new home and the new baby. My Junebug ended up being a May baby!

  23. Reese Dixon says:

    I’m another vote for just painting the paneling. It soaks up the paint great and it really does look way better than you’d expect. My teenage bedroom was covered in the stuff, and after a couple coats of paint it really did look like a type of beadboard.

  24. Meg says:

    Paint if you can’t afford the new drywall.
    We are having “fun” redoing our new 1950’s house too. We found 3 different kinds of paneling just in our family room. THREE?!?!?! Soon to be a mod room because we need to work with the turqoise carpet. Thinking it will be fun! Anything is better than the rose colored painted trim and fireplace and the country hearts and baskets wallpaper.
    Agreed…….the poly on newly finished hardwood floors is smelly. It stinks for a LONG time. We have only done the bedrooms for now. Can’t get myself to do the front room just for that fact.

  25. ellen says:

    Congratulations on the new house. My friend just put up beadboard over walls that needed work and it looks wonderful.
    Best wishes on your new adventure!

  26. susaninfrance says:

    we’ve done varnish first and then paint and it worked just fine and looks nice AND was easy and eco.

  27. Holly Olszewski says:

    Try KILZ, it is a primer formulated to cover paneling, and prepare for paint. We have done this several times, and it works really well, gives it a “cottagey” look perfect for hanging mini quilts!

  28. Karyn says:

    peel it off, plaster board/drywall/sheetrock – whatever you guys call it over the top…that glue was made to last for ever. We bought a house that had EVERY flippin room paneled with that stuff…gaaah you’re giving me flashbacks!

  29. Lotta says:

    How exciting! The one good thing about homes that haven’t been touched since the 70’s is that the hardwood floor lurking under the crappy carpet is such a score!
    Have fun with the paneling – We had this wallpaper that was a bamboo texture but had been painted over so many times it was breaking down. Getting it off the walls was like peeling superglued shredded wheat. But when you have your first house your so darn excited you don’t even care!

  30. amy h says:

    Just from a couple pics, I can tell that is a cool house! The floors look great. I’ve never had to deal with paneling, but most people I know seem to either paint it or re-drywall.

  31. Kym says:

    Oh man, paneling. The paneling issues was the one reason that my parents never let me paint and redecorate my bedroom when I was a kid. My dad knew that the glue would stick too well to the paneling or to the wall and the only good way to take care of that is to replace the sheetrock entirely. Even now, that bedroom still has the same ugly black and white paneling.

  32. Katey says:

    Hi, this is my first time posting here. I love this site. I am thinking that it might look cool (or not) to actually leave some of the stripes of paneling–with the wood grain showing and then do maybe most of the room painted–my inspiration is from this blog
    This may not be your cup of tea, but it is another way to think about it. If I was going to try to rip it out though, I think I would just commit to going down to the studs and redrywalling. The glue seems like a nightmare.

  33. Oiyi says:

    Your hardwood floors look great! As for the paneling, I saw a design show on HGTV that just primed and painted over the paneling and it looked great. Of course, they were working on a budget and had to redo the whole room on a small amount. For myself, I would want to rip it out.

  34. islandginny says:

    My husband, who is a professional builder, says you should re-do the drywall. You could always pay someone to do the mudding. He says you’d probably be happier than if you just make-do.

  35. kml says:

    Delurking to agree with the either paint it or redrywall. I had a wall covered in cork — figured out really quickly that drywall was cheaper than many hours of sanding off glue. Good luck. I love your projects!!

  36. gkgirl says:

    our house was covered
    all through in panel
    when we bought it…
    i have no easy-out for you though…
    we had to gut the house
    anyway so that we could properly
    insulate so we needed
    new drywall anyway…
    but let me tell you how
    literal i mean…
    the stairway was
    entirely panelled…

  37. Amy says:

    Depends on the paneling and the glue in my opinion. We pulled some off with good results after sanding, but had some other paneling that we just left on and painted. Too thick and too much glue.
    Can’t wait to see how this turns out. Just one question… where is the craft room?

  38. Amanda May says:

    I painted my horrific panelling and it turned out looking great. One word of warning – don’t be tempted by the stripes. Maybe no one else has this problem, but I ended up with two rooms painted in stripes, and I love them both, but what a hassle!

  39. lsaspacey says:

    I agree with paint over it. I really like the idea of using the panels to stripe the wall, even if the color difference is really subtle. Another alternative (the first link) is where you paint the channels a different color for a very thin stripe.,21432,1197831,00.html

  40. Amy says:

    I am right there with you! I am in the middle of a move right now and is work! Love your new floors and good luck 😀

  41. Michael says:

    Congrats on the new house! That is terrific. The walls? Hmmmm, I’m thinking either paint over the panelling (the economical choice) or new drywall (cha-ching!). Going with the paint, I think a soft yellow or grey might look really cute in a girl’s bedroom. Sort of a cottage-y, Laura-Ashley look maybe? (See page 142 of the Laura-Ashley online catalog for an idea.)
    I wish you the best. I’m sure it will look great when you’re done.

  42. EA says:

    One other option (that I didn’t see when I skimmed the other comments) is wallpaper liner. I did it in my living room over the panelling. It’s really stiff wallpaper with nothing on it, you instally it horizontally and just paint it after it dries. A little more expensive than just painting the panelling, but cheaper (and much less dusty) than redoing the drywall.

  43. catherine says:

    My parents had a lakehouse full of this stuff. They pickled the wood. It sounds really tacky but completely changed the character of the house without having to deal with chipping paint etc. Very forgiving.

  44. kimberly says:

    We removed three rooms of paneling when we bought our house and in most places we ended up replacing the drywall too (we had someone do it for us and the cost was really not that bad), but in some places, it just needed mud (or whatever it is called) to provide texture and cover the imperfections left behind.
    I would love a Magnolia tree. So jealous!

  45. jennifer says:

    We had professionals drywall over our paneling and it looks great but if you want to go for a more economical solution, there is an article in this months “This Old House” about how to plaster over it and paint it yourself.

  46. --erica says:

    I wish I had an ‘oh so helpful’ hint.. I don’t. We’ve painted that stuff before.
    doesn’t turn out half bad.. for a quick fix. No way we had time for redrywalling…
    I love your new house..:))

  47. tamara says:

    I love your new hardwoods 🙂
    I say this very carefully, considering you are very pregnant (don’t hit me) but, paneling is such a pain to remove. The wall behind it is usually crap, I think drywalling is one of the only fixes when you remove paneling.

  48. sharon says:

    The cheap way? Paint over the paneling! The expensive and of course nicer way? Have a contractor rip out the paneling and re-drywall the space. It’s not so bad, really. You did a nice job on the HW floors. Good luck with the baby and your glasses! Many people paint over the paneling, make sure to use two coats of primer, don’t skimp with one or the paneling will show through. I saw it on HGTV not to long ago and that’s one thing I remember!

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