Paneling over Gypsum Wallboard

Gypsum wallboard is traditionally used in homes as the backboard for paneling, fabrics, wallpaper and even tiling. Some homeowners feel a little intimidated when paneling over gypsum wallboard but the process does not have to be complicated or complex. Following some simple guidelines will create huge success for paneling over gypsum wallboard.

Installing Wallboard

Your first step for paneling over gypsum wallboard is to actually put up the wallboard. Traditionally, paneling over gypsum wallboard is sold in four feet by eight feet sheets and is approximately one-half inch in thickness.

The majority of gypsum wallboards are fire retardant and waterproof gypsum wallboards are available for wet areas such as bathrooms. The gypsum wallboards are placed to the wall studs and then the seams are taped together. You can attach to the studs with nails, glue or staples.

The seams are then taped together and covered with several thin layers of wall compound. You might be fortunate that the gypsum wallboard is already mounted to the walls before you begin the paneling project.

Check for Damage

It is important to not do any paneling over gypsum wallboard that is damaged. Check the gypsum wallboard for dents, cracks and other small areas of damage. You need to repair these areas before you apply the paneling.

The reason behind this is that if the gypsum wallboard is damaged it is going to continue to have problems when the paneling is placed. Simply covering up the bad area is not that great for the area and you are not fixing any future problems.

Measure and Cut

Cut the paneling to fit into the desired area prior to paneling over gypsum wallboard. Start from the base of the floor and work your way upwards. You can use paneling wood nails to secure the paneling to the gypsum wallboard.

If possible, have the seams of the panel match the seam lines of the gypsum wallboard. Working with third or fourth sections of the wall area is usually the easiest way to make sure everything is aligned properly when paneling over gypsum wallboard.


Once the entire wall is covered in the paneling, it is time to place the border pieces. The top border should be placed first. If the border pieces are not long enough to go from one end of the wall to the other, it is important to leave the gaps at the seams in the paneling. Do not leave a gap in the border pieces in the middle of a panel section.

Next, you will apply the seam trim panel pieces to the wall. These narrow pieces cover the seams or gaps of the panels and of the border. The final step for paneling over gypsum wallboard is to secure the baseboards at the bottom of the paneling area.

Your project is then complete with a nice appearance. It is not difficult to do paneling over gypsum wallboard and is a home project that virtually any home owner can do to create a new and refreshing look to rooms.