How to Take Down Paneling

Taking down wood paneling is fairly simple. Most panels are installed with panel nails and can be removed with a small prybar. Occasionally, the paneling will be mounted to the drywall behind it with adhesive.

Removing the paneling is the same as with just the nails, but you want to be careful that you don't rip the drywall backing up too much when you remove the paneling.

  1. Remove any light switch or electrical outlet cover plates from the front of the paneling by unfastening the screws with a screwdriver and setting the cover plates out of the way.

  2. Slide a small prybar along the side of any trim pieces on the top or bottom of the paneling and carefully pull the trim away from the wall until it is loose. Remove all the trim boards and set them aside.

  3. Locate the seam between two of the panels and gently slide a flat head screwdriver between the seams, prying out with the screwdriver to detach the panels from the wall.

  4. Unfasten the rest of the panel carefully from the wall all the way around with the trim bar and set the panel out of the way.

  5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with each panel until they are all removed from the walls.