Cover or Leave Paneling

14 Replies

I am in the process of purchasing a duplex rental that is currently covered with paneling in every room.  Is it more advisable to remove the paneling, paint it or skim coat it with drywall compound?  The paneling has already been painted at least once and is in good condition.

@Geren Knight III

If the paneling is in good condition and you can paint it, just paint it. I use the BRRRR strategy and if that is the case I would drywall it to get the highest ARV from the appraiser. You might get lucky and there is drywall or plaster behind it.

Paneling is very outdated . 
painting it is the least expensive fix . 
tearing it off and replacing it with Sheetrock is best , but more costly . Whatever you do , anything is better than old paneling , IMO . 

Originally posted by @Kenneth Garrett :

@Geren Knight III

If the paneling is in good condition and you can paint it, just paint it. I use the BRRRR strategy and if that is the case I would drywall it to get the highest ARV from the appraiser. You might get lucky and there is drywall or plaster behind it.

 Exactly what we discovered. Took down the paneling found fiber board. Took down the fiber board to discover old drywall. Then when trying to install outlets we discovered the drywall was attached to pine planks an 1.25 inches thick. Some walls we took it all down to run new circuits.

In 2080, people will be writing posts / showing pics on BP about how elated they were to remove drywall and find unpainted paneling. LOL. 

Some of the paneling we found was painted then later had that sticky plastic cupboard covering stuff on it like a wallpaper finish??? We also found thick roofing tar paper between the drywall & the old lathe/plaster that it was installed on top of??

@Geren Knight III

Use a good etching paneling primer, paint it it’s stronger then just Sheetrock. If your going resale, tear it off and see what’s behind it. It sucks when it’s glued on and pulls paper that requires skimming. We don’t take it down unless we have to until it’s resale time...

It's pretty standard to paint it in our region of the country.  Oil based primer and a good latex paint.  Brightens up a room but still has some texture.  Also, sometimes when removing 1/4" paneling and installing 1/2" drywall, it will throw off your door/window trim.  

In Section 8 homes, we leave the paneling.  That stuff is nearly bulletproof.  

I don't ever recommend skim coating it or filling in the cracks.  I've seen many attempt this and many fail.  Paint or new drywall are the only fixes.