We started renovating the dining room and kitchen last year and have been going back and forth on whether to remove the panelling. The big question is "Why is it there in the first place?" I think someone put it in to be a feature wall in the room and it just got painted over at some point. My husband worries that is was used to mask a horror wall of crumbling plaster. To make matters worse, we knew there was (some) wallpaper behind it, they didn't quite cover it all when putting the panelling up behind the bulkhead / curtain valance.
|Before - Painted Panelling|
So it could be a gamble, should we just paint it like all the others before us? For me, it's been on the list of Stuff That Has To Go for a long time. I crossed my fingers, hoped for the best, and went to work. This is how I tackled the project.
- olfa knife
1. Use the olfa knife to cut the caulking where the panelling meets, the baseboard, ceiling or other walls, and the seams if necessary.
2. You may not need to do this, but we had to completely remove the baseboards because they were installed on top of the panelling and we wanted the save them.
3. Gently insert the the prybar behind the panels to remove the little nails. For me they were just around the outside so this was really easy. Don't push too hard or you could damage the walls behind.
4. Remove the sheet and throw it in the bin for the dump.
5. Use the hammer to remove any nails, your prybar may work for this as well, depending on what type you have.
Now it's time to tackle the wallpaper. A friend recommended using diluted fabric softener solution and it worked great on the border in the kitchen so I tried it here. This stuff was much more stubborn. I'm pretty certain this wallpaper is 50 years old. To make matters worse, they overlapped the seams requiring a double application. That's when we discovered the second layer of wallpaper under the first. With every step this job got bigger and bigger.
- paper tiger
- fabric softener
- putty knife
- white vinegar
|Paper Tiger at work|
2. Dilute the fabric softener. I filled the bucket up halfway with warm water and added a capful.
3. Liberally apply the solution to the wallpaper. Do this in manageable sections. You will need to keep the paper wet, if it starts to dry it gets sticky again so don't try to do the whole wall at once. I found removing each vertical piece, seam to seam, worked well.
4. Keep re-applying the solution to keep it very wet. It should start bubble up a little. After 10-15 minutes and 3-4 applications, it time to start removing.
5. If you are lucky, the entire piece will come off in tact. Use the putty knife as needed. We have hard plaster walls and I did not have to worry about the putty knife doing damage. If you have drywall you will have to be much gentler.
|Pull off the entire sheet, if you are lucky. I was generally unlucky.|
|Clean plaster wall at last. Patching and painting still to be done.|
And to all of you who are wondering, what is up with the green carpet? We know. It's on the List too.