How to Remove Bathroom Wainscoting

Lead Image
  • 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Claw hammer
Crowbar or pry bar
Flat scraper
Protective gloves

Although wainscoting adds depth and texture, it may be necessary to remove it for structural or aesthetic reasons. Follow these steps to remove previously installed wainscoting.

Step 1 - Determine if Removal is Necessary

If you don’t like the wainscoting in your bathroom, you can remove it with a few tools and some muscle work; however, if it’s the color, stain, or wood grain that you don’t like, consider painting it the same color as the rest of the wall instead. The wainscoting will be less noticeable, but it will still provide texture to a plain wall.

Step 2 - Start With the Top Molding

Begin by removing the top section of molding with the crowbar. Start at one end and carefully work towards the other end, only removing the molding. The molding will most likely be attached with nails; therefore, you will have to be a single section at a time. Wear gloves to protect your hands.

Step 3 - Remove the Baseboards and Trim

Use the pry bar to remove any decorative trim or strips, as well as the baseboards.

Step 4 - Remove Nails at the Corners

Use the claw hammer to remove the finishing nails which attach the wainscoting to the corners.

Step 5 - Remove Remainder of Wainscoting

Remove the furring strips, which are wooden slats that run parallel with the floor across the length of the wall. Pry the slats where the nails attach them to the wall. Wainscoting is commonly attached to the wall with glue. If that is the case, use adhesive remover.