Should You Drywall Over Wood Paneling? (Is It Worth It?)

If you still have wood paneling walls and are wondering if covering your walls with Drywall without removing the wood paneling is possible, you’ve come to the right place. 

You can Drywall over Wood Paneling as long as you have extensions on sockets and trims. In fact, it’s one of the easiest and cheapest ways to renovate old houses without sacrificing functionality or appearance.

Both options have benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential to weigh your options carefully before deciding. But in the end, it would probably come down to preference, or would it? 

Is It Worth To Drywall Over Wood Paneling?

Wood paneling was once one of the most popular wall-covering materials out there. Today, as those homes are remodeled, the wood paneling is either covered or removed. As removing paneling is time-consuming, most builders recommend covering it using Drywall.

Installing Drywall is one of the best and most economical approaches to renovating an old house with wood paneling. As long as you have extensions on sockets and trims, you can install Drywall over paneling without much effort.

Generally speaking, drywalling over wood paneling is worth every single penny. It allows you to remodel your home without sacrificing functionality or appearance.

In addition, this practice is easy and cost-effective. You don’t have to worry about removing damaged wood panels, as the new Drywall will cover them completely. Plus, Drywall is one of the most budget-friendly wall-covering materials out there, so you don’t have to spend extra on remodeling your home!

Pros Of Drywalling Over Wood Paneling

When it comes to remodeling an old home, different people choose different approaches. While some prefer removing the old paneling, others cover it using a new wall-covering material, such as Drywall. You can use Drywall for numerous reasons, including the desire to improve fire insulation, insulation, appearance, and much more.

Here are some of the potential benefits of drywalling over wood paneling:

Additional Strength

First, Drywall provides additional strength and durability to your existing walls. You can use this wall-covering material on both walls and ceilings. On average, Ddrywall’s lifespan can fall between 50-70 years, so you won’t have to worry about remodeling again for decades!

Furthermore, Drywall is available in different variations. You can get moisture-resistant Drywall (The Green Board), mold-resistant drywall (The Purple Board), or fire-resistant drywall (The Type X Drywall), depending on your renovation project!

Smooth Finish

By installing Drywall over wood paneling, you can finally get the smooth surface you always wanted. The front side of the sheetrock contains flat paper that provides an even surface.

Moreover, once you hang your Drywall and secure it using joint compound and drywall tape or mesh, you can even get a seamless surface, improving your room’s appearance. Due to the smooth finish, Drywall is relatively easy to prime and paint as well.

Cost-Effective Approach

Covering wood paneling is recommended because it is less expensive than removing it. To remove existing paneling without damaging your building, you might need to get professional help. You will also need to buy drywall putty, a heat gun, and a pry bar if you want to remove old paneling.

Alternatively, the better option is to cover an existing paneling using drywall panels. Although Drywall is durable, it’s quite budget-friendly. Plus, even a homeowner can install Drywall without any additional help.

Cons Of Drywalling Over Wood Paneling

Some builders prefer removing wood paneling instead of covering it using Drywall. This is because removing paneling beforehand can make the drywall installation project stress-free. You don’t need to buy and use a stud finder or install extensions with window and door trims.

Plus, if you want to cover the wood paneling, you’ll need to get box extension rings. Box extension rings are crucial to comply with local building codes relating to the distance between the electrical box and the wall surface.

How Do You Drywall Over Wood Paneling?

Drywalling over wood paneling is a straightforward process. You can simply secure your drywall panels to already hung wood paneling using screws. However, the problem begins when the thickness of Drywall and wood paneling does not match the door and window framing and molding well.

Here’s a complete step-by-step guide explaining how to drywall over wood paneling:

Step #1

First, you’ll need to find studs on your wall. You can get a small tool known as a stud finder to find studs. All you need to do is first the one corner stud. Other studs are usually 16 or 24 inches apart. Once you find all the studs, mark them on the wall using a marker or pencil.

Step #2

Use a pry bar to remove the existing molding around the door and window. Also, you must use extensions to avoid wall trims and attachments looking sunken.

Step #3

Next, you’ll need to hang your drywall panels. It’s best to start from the bottom of the wall and screw your Drywall using drywall screws along the studs. 

Step #4

Once all drywall panels are in place, add wood pieces to the door and window jambs. You can nail or screw these pieces in place. The lumber should stick out at least 1/32 inches past the sheetrock.

Step #5

Once done, reinstall the molding around the window and door. You will need caulk, molding, and wood putty to do so. Before you purchase your molding, measure the room’s dimensions and get 10% extra for waste. 

Step #6

You’ll need to connect the seams between the drywall sheets to finish the installation. To do so, put a thin layer of joint compound over seams using a putty knife and run drywall tape over it. 

Step #7

Afterward, cover the drywall tape with another layer of joint compound. Using as much joint compound as needed is recommended to hide all imperfections. 

Step #8

Let your dDrywalldry overnight and sand it afterward. Keep in mind that you don’t want to over-sand your Drywall Otherwise, you will need to re-apply drywall tape over drywall joints. Once sanded, you can prime the surface and paint it; if desired!


Alternative Ways To Cover Wood Paneling

Drywall might be the best option to cover wood paneling, but it’s not the only one. If you are tired of your old paneling but don’t want to waste time removing it, you can paint over it or use wallpaper to make the room look brand new!

Here is a complete guide about how to paint and wallpaper over wall paneling.

Painting the Wood Paneling

To paint old wood paneling, clean the wall using a damp cloth and TSP. Also, make sure to put on an N95 mask and rubber gloves to protect yourself while cleaning. To paint over wall paneling, follow these steps:

  1. Sand the paneling with a 220-grit sandpaper
  2. If your Drywallhas big gaps, cover them up using spackle
  3. To protect your flooring, cover it using a drop cloth before painting the wall
  4. Prime your wood paneling and let it rest for at least 1 hour
  5. Once the primer is dried out, apply 2 coats of paint over the paneling.
  6. Let the paint dry before you renovate your wood painting any further!

Covering the Wood Paneling with Wallpaper

You can also apply wallpaper to cover your wood paneling. This option is perfect if your old paneling has holes and cracks. To wallpaper your wood paneling, you can follow these steps:

  1. Use TSP and a cloth to clean the paneling to remove grime, dirt, and dust
  2. Apply a pre-wallcovering primer using a paint roller
  3. Depending on the width of your wall, cut a strip of wall liner
  4. Wet the wall liner and let it rest for at least 5 minutes
  5. Use a putty knife to smooth the wall liner onto the wood paneling
  6. Trim off the excess wall liner using a box cutter
  7. Continue applying wall liner until the entire wall is covered
  8. Hang the wallpaper over the wall liner


How Do I Turn Wood Panels Into Regular Walls?

To transform your old wood paneling, you can fill in the spaces and cracks between the panels and then paint or wallpaper over them. Also, make sure to prime the surface beforehand to get a smooth surface!

Can You Put Thin Drywall Over Paneling?

You can use any drywall thickness to cover wood paneling. Although it is recommended to use 1/2-inch drywall panels, you can also use thinner sheets (1/4-inch sheetrock) to cover wall covering. Thinner sheets will cost you less but also are less durable than thicker drywall panels.

What Thickness Drywall Over Paneling?

You should use thinner drywall panels only if there are some space constraints. Otherwise, it’s recommended to use 1/2 or 5/8-inch thick drywall panels over wood paneling. They are stronger, more durable, and easier to work with than thinner sheetrock.

Can You Put Drywall Over Paneling In A Mobile Home?

Mobile homes are usually designed to be light. If you want to drywall over wood paneling in a mobile home, make sure it has wooden studs before installing Drywall. As long as your mobile home has wall studs, you can install Drywallover paneling without worrying about consequences.

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