How to Remove Drywall on Tongue and Groove Paneling

Is there an easy way to remove ¼” drywall from tongue and groove paneling? -John

Hi John,

I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that the drywall won’t be that hard to remove, unless it was glued to the paneling. The bad news is that you’ll have all kinds of nail or screw holes in your paneling once you remove the drywall.

Keep in mind that removing the drywall will generate a fair amount of dust, so before you get started:

  • Close any cabinets.
  • Move any nearby furniture and/or cover it with plastic.
  • Close off and/or cover any HVAC registers.
  • Consider masking off your work area with plastic.
  • Replace the return air filter on your HVAC unit after you’re finished.

Taking these steps will keep clean up to a minimum. To remove the drywall, follow these steps:

  • Take off any electrical outlet and switch plate covers.
  • Remove any molding on top of the drywall – such as baseboards, crown, and window trim.
  • Find a seam or edge in the drywall, and work a flat pry bar between the back of the drywall and the paneling. If you can’t find a seam, you can create a gap using a sharp utility knife, but make sure you retract the blade so only a 1/4” is showing to keep from damaging the paneling.
  • Use the flat pry bar to pull the drywall away from the paneling in large pieces.
  • Once the drywall has been removed, take out all the nails or screws sticking out of the paneling.
  • Finally, fill all the holes in the paneling with wood putty.

Good luck with your project,



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