How to Drywall Over Paneling

Paneling is a sure way to date a room, and many homeowners now choose to learn how to drywall over paneling for an updated look. When deciding how to drywall over paneling, it is important to first choose the thickness of drywall that you will be installing.

A 5/8 inch drywall thickness is often chosen because of its soundproofing qualities, and because it usually comes in wider sheets- 54 inch wide versus the regular 48. Another popular thickness is ½ inch, which also comes in the wider sheets, but does not have the same sound dampening qualities.

Installing the Drywall

When deciding how to drywall over paneling, the drywall sheets should be cut into the appropriate sized pieces. The drywall should be laid onto the paneling with the unfinished side against it. The paneling should be clean and free of any trim or nails in order to avoid any damage to the drywall.

Measure the drywall piece and mark it where you intend to cut it. Make your pieces slightly smaller, by about ¼ inch, than you have measured, as there will be extra gypsum at the edges. The pieces should also be cut to leave a ¼ inch gap at the floor level that will keep the drywall from absorbing any moisture from the floor.

One tip that many pick up when learning how to install drywall over paneling is to put the t-square on top of the piece, insuring that if the cutting knife should stray, it will not damage the drywall. The cut should then be made, breaking gently into the paper and then cutting slightly into the gypsum.

If you tip the piece upward, applying pressure to the opposite side of the cut will cause the sheet to snap and fold. The paper should then be cut at the point of the fold, and the two pieces will come apart.

Learning how to install drywall over paneling is not too different from installing it onto a normal wall. The drywall can simply be screwed into the paneling. The screws should be no more than 16 inches apart, and can be closer than that if desired. The screws should be set so that the screw head does not tear the drywall paper. If the paper is ruptured, placing another screw close by will help to stabilize the area.

Door and Window Jamb Adjustment

The next step in how to drywall over paneling is that the window and door jambs will have to be adjusted slightly. Small pieces of lumber should be added to all of the door and window jambs to extend them slightly. The best types of lumber for this job are fine-grained woods such as white pine or poplar.

The added lumber pieces should extend about 1/32 inch past the new drywall. This is a slight offset, but it will be helpful when you are reinstalling the woodwork around the jambs, or installing new woodwork.

The jamb extensions can be troublesome around doors that are made to pivot on traditional hinges. Whenever a standard door is hung correctly, the hinge is usually set so that the door will swing back on itself and then open to 180 degrees. Bringing the finished wall out from that pivot point can cause the door to hit the wall before it can open 180 degrees.

But, it would take the wall sticking out from that pivot point by more than ½ inch for it to be a problem. After making sure that the doors have no problems, this last step in how to drywall over paneling should leave the new drywall in an excellent position for spackling and painting, making for a nice, updated look for the room.