Remove Beadboard Paneling Cleanly

beadboard interior wall paneling
  • 3-5 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-30
What You'll Need
Alcohol-based solvent
Safety gloves

Beadboard paneling, which is also called wainscoting, is a form of wood paneling used in many homes for rustic decor. It has been very popular throughout the past few years, but should you wish to remove it, there are a few steps you have to take to make sure it comes off cleanly.

Determine the Type of Beadboard

More than one kind of beadboard paneling exists, so you should first take a look to determine the kind that you need to remove. Some kinds have a layer of trim that may be on just the top, but others have trim on both the top and the bottom. Others may have additional decorations on them that you will have to remove.

Determine How Panels Are Attached to Wall

You must also determine exactly how the beadboard paneling is fixed to the wall. Some types of paneling are glued on, while other types are attached with a tongue and grove procedure. Examine any areas of paneling that are near electrical sockets to see if you will have to turn off the power before you start removing the panels. Special care has to be taken to remove paneling that is installed over an electrical socket.

Remove Electrical Sockets if Needed

If the beadboard paneling is next to an electrical socket, you need to take off the electrical panel covering by unscrewing it with the screwdriver. Be sure to put the screws where you can find them later.

Loosen Any Glue on the Panels

If the beadboard paneling is glued on, use the knife to lift up the edges of the paneling to loosen the glue. If necessary, use some alcohol based solvent to help remove the adhesive.

Take off Any Existing Trim or Decorations

Remove any trim or decoration that is attached to the beadboard paneling. You can remove these with a screwdriver by placing the screwdriver underneath and gently pry the trims and decoration off. If that doesn’t get them all the way off, put on the safety gloves, and pull it off after it has been loosened by the screwdriver.

Take off Panels

Once you have taken off any trim or decoration, you can remove the beadboard paneling. Put the screwdriver, or if necessary, a crowbar, into the area where there is an opening between the paneling and the wall. Then, gently pull it forward until the paneling comes loose. If a section of it is near electrical outlets, be sure to be careful when pulling off the paneling.

Continue the steps above for each section of beadboard paneling until you have removed all sections from the walls.

Finishing Up

If you had to take off any electrical socket covers, you can now put them back on using the screwdriver. Now that the beadboard paneling is gone, your walls are ready for a new look.