How to Remove Old Wood Paneling

Wood paneling was once commonly-used wall decor but is not as cherished in today's decorating style.
Wood paneling can be removed, painted or drywalled over for an updated look.Wood paneling can be removed, painted or drywalled over for an updated look.
Removal of wood paneling from your home is possible, but doing so may cause damage to the walls behind it. How much damage will depend on what type of material your home's walls are made of, and if nails or adhesive was used to attach the wood paneling to the walls.

Step 1

Remove any trim and baseboards surrounding the wood paneling. Prying the trim and baseboards off, gently, with a crow bar works well.

Step 2

Remove any switch plates around your light switches with the appropriate screwdriver.

Step 3

Pull a corner of the wood paneling back to inspect the wall behind it, if possible. Determining if the wall is made of drywall or plaster will help you choose the best way to remove the wood paneling with minimal damage.

Step 4

Look for nails in the wood paneling that were used to attach the paneling to the wall. If no nails are present, the paneling may be attached with glue.

Step 5

Remove a section of the wall paneling, beginning at a seam or corner of a panel. Slowly pull the panel straight out from the wall to minimize the damage done to the wall behind the paneling. A crow bar or similar tool, inserted between the panel and wall, will help to separate the two.

Step 6

Continue to remove the paneling, one panel at a time, until all the paneling is removed from the walls.

Step 7

Fill nail holes or repair any damage to the walls with drywall compound. If damage to the wall is extensive, new drywall may need to be placed over the existing walls.

Step 8

Remove any adhesive residue from the wall with an adhesive removal product.

Things You Will Need

  • Crow bar
  • Screwdriver
  • Drywall compound
  • Adhesive remover

About the Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.