Author Topic: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?  (Read 1650 times)

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Offline John Russell

  • Posts: 154
Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« on: April 06, 2021, 08:41 AM »
We recently moved into a house in which the four walls and ceiling are covered with tongue and groove pine boards.  It is just too much wood for us, so we started removing the wood.  The first wall at one end of the room was easy.  On the side walls the boards meet the vaulted ceiling and many of the wall boards are underneath the ceiling boards and they are difficult to remove because the top of the wall boards are blocked by the ceiling board.  I chiseled out a couple of the boards and that became tiresome quickly.  There are a lot of boards to remove from the wall and I need to cut about two inches from the top of those boards that are trapped by the ceiling boards so they can be more easily removed.

I tried to get my older Fein 636 Multimaster to work, but the blades keep slipping, a problem I have had with this tool for a long time.  I gave up on it.

I don't want to use a larger circular saw because the one I have is heavy and I am doing this standing on a ladder and my first attempt doing this was not comfortable. I need a lighter tool that is easy to adjust/control blade depths so I can cut off about the first couple inches of the wall boards where they meet the ceiling.  That will make it easier to get them off the wall.

Any suggestions on a specific tool for this job?  Mini circular saw or something else?

Thanks...

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Offline CeeJay

  • Posts: 347
Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2021, 08:59 AM »
I would use a TSC55 for this. Cordless so easier to use at height. Depth stop adjustable. Can cut almost flush to the ceiling.


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Online Cheese

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Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2021, 09:28 AM »
In pre-Festool days I'd use a Sawzall with a 9" or 12" blade and make sure it's the thicker/stiffer Milwaukee demolition blade. Place the Sawzall parallel to the wall and SLOWLY angle it to the surface so that it starts cutting a narrow trench. Slowly increase the angle until it just breaks through the board...don't go any deeper to prevent electricity issues. Now slowly keep moving the blade along the trench while slicing through every board. When you hit a stud you'll immediately notice a lack of progress so just carefully trench over the stud so you can get to the next board. Once all the boards are removed from between the studs, it's easy enough to go back and finish slicing through the boards that are still attached to the studs.

OR in post-Festool days...just screw some guide rails to the wall and use a TSC like CeeJay suggested.  [smile]   And don't forget to attach the anti-kickback stop to the rail.

It may be old school, however, there are some merits to using the Sawzall. First-off is the lack of kickback and second is any hidden nails damage a $4 blade rather than a $40 blade.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 09:34 AM by Cheese »

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?Indl
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2021, 09:31 AM »
Since the ends of the ceiling boards overlap the ends of the wall boards, remove the ceiling boards first.

If you plan to keep the ceiling boards, update your multi-tool to one that uses blades that key onto the spindle instead of relying on friction.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2021, 09:58 AM »
I would use a track saw. I would also put together a mini scaffold to walk along. Or use a couple of those folding work platforms instead of a ladder. It will be worth a little set up time to make the cut go smooth and safe.

Seth

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 293
Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2021, 10:04 AM »
You might want to consider just painting the walls, or ceiling or perhaps both, it will transform the look.

I live in what is technically a log house, the exterior walls are milled 6x6's that resemble tongue and groove on the inside, with bare tongue and groove wood on the ceilings. Wife got tired of all the wood a bit ahead of me, we painted the walls and it has made a huge difference in the look of the room. So far, we've only done the living room, but will likely be doing more rooms.
The sanding required for that project is what got me started down the Festool road.

Online Bob D.

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Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2021, 10:49 AM »
I think one of the mini circular saws might be worth a go, especially if you had been considering getting one.

They are available for less than $75 from a number of manufacturers for the corded versions. They are probably not of the quality that will last forever but should get you though this one job. If the job as you are doing it now is time consuming and difficult then think of this as a disposable tool that saves you a lot of work and maybe even makes the job safer.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 412
Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2021, 11:33 AM »
I bought a 4½" circular saw to use overhead on a ladder to cut openings in the eves for attic ventilation.  I ordered it from Amazon.com and it was less than $100.00 powered by 110v.

The modern circular saws all seem to have safety interlocks.  This was no exception.  Working overhead with it the interlock was nearly impossible to operate with one hand.  So that did not work.

However, Makita makes a nice battery-powered one, and that might work.  I would caution you to handle the saw first to make sure the the ergonomics work for you.  These are lightweight and have no power cord.

$80.00 for the bare tool; $130.00 for the kit.
https://www.amazon.com/Makita-SH02Z-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-Circular/dp/B01DZJDTBY


Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5228
Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2021, 03:02 PM »
Saw this toe kick saw at Harbor Freight.



With or any of the other saws, you won't get into the corners so still suggest an up=graded multi-tool. the benefit of this over the other saws is that you can cut very close (if not flush) to the ceiling.

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1088
Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2021, 03:16 PM »
I might have missed it, but why not drywall right over the top? The wood will act as sound and temp insulation if left in place.

Offline Tinker

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Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2021, 03:28 PM »
If you are not used to working on ladders or scaffolding, I would advise a sawzall or a sawzall like tool. There is no kickback and once you make the cut off the board ends, you can reach up under the ceiling boards and cut off the nails. I agree with the poster who would rather ruin a $4.00 blade than a $40.00 blade.  You can ruin a lot of teeth on a sawzall blade before it becomes useless
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 412
Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2021, 03:37 PM »
A Sawzall is a two-handed tool.  I would not feel comfortable on a tall ladder like that. 

I took a closer look at the Makita and that would also give me fits.   It appears that the black button on the side of the handle is the safety interlock.  I was never able to operate that with my thumb and use the saw one-handed.  I suspect I would have the same issue with the Makita.

I like SRSemenza's suggestion:  Paint.  It is a great excuse to buy a nice Graco X5 or X7 airless paint sprayer.  One coat of white tinted primer and one coat of white latex paint would probably do the job.  I've painted paneling in the past.  With a roller, you need to go back over the joints with a brush.  That is an enormous amount of work.  A sprayer makes more sense.

Get a long extension wand and you won't even need a ladder.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=graco+airless+sprayers&ref=nb_sb_noss

For an 8' ceiling you need a 10" extension. 

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2021, 03:42 PM »
A Sawzall is a two-handed tool.  I would not feel comfortable on a tall ladder like that. 

I took a closer look at the Makita and that would also give me fits.   It appears that the black button on the side of the handle is the safety interlock.  I was never able to operate that with my thumb and use the saw one-handed.  I suspect I would have the same issue with the Makita.

I like SRSemenza's suggestion:  Paint.  It is a great excuse to buy a nice Graco X5 or X7 airless paint sprayer.  One coat of white tinted primer and one coat of white latex paint would probably do the job.  I've painted paneling in the past.  With a roller, you need to go back over the joints with a brush.  That is an enormous amount of work.  A sprayer makes more sense.

Get a long extension wand and you won't even need a ladder.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=graco+airless+sprayers&ref=nb_sb_noss

For an 8' ceiling you need a 10" extension.

I suggested a track saw. Paint was pixelated, which is a good way to go. I assumed that had already been considered. If you don't like the paint you can still remove the boards down the road.

Seth

Offline Packard

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Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2021, 03:53 PM »
Seth,

Sorry about misunderstanding that.  But a track saw for paneling on the ceiling?  How would that work?

Offline John Russell

  • Posts: 154
Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2021, 04:44 PM »
Considered paint but for reasons known only to my wife that option was rejected.  Removing the ceiling boards would likely damage them and mean getting matching replacements and matching the stain. We decided against that option too.

I did a dry run with a Sawzall and I was not comfortable with that approach.  I screwed a damaged 1080 rail to the wall about two inches below where the boards butt into the ceiling and did a dry run with the track saw and that seemed comfortable so I did a few boards and that worked well, just have to get the depth just right.  Thanks for that suggestion, it would never have occurred to me, but it works just fine.  There are some places around windows and masonry where it may not work but the battery powered Makita might be the solution. I will check that out.

Thanks for the suggestion about using the track saw, it was the best option for my situation. We are on the way to new walls.

Offline Alex

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Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2021, 04:50 PM »
I would feel really uncomfortable using a circular saw or a track saw standing on a ladder.

The mini circular saw sounds better though. I'd probably do this with my jigsaw, just put a spacer block under the foot to get the rigth depth for the blade. A MultiMaster will also work, at least the newer types where blades don't slip, but it would take ages for an entire wall.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 412
Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2021, 04:53 PM »
I saw ceiling paneling removed on a HGTV show.  They made the cuts in the attic and then stomped the planks out. 

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 1046
Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2021, 06:21 PM »
Saw this toe kick saw at Harbor Freight.



With or any of the other saws, you won't get into the corners so still suggest an up=graded multi-tool. the benefit of this over the other saws is that you can cut very close (if not flush) to the ceiling.

I have a toe kick saw and I'd be hesitant to use it upside down. There is just too much exposed blade and no guard should it slip + that blade would get down to business on whatever body part it hits immediately.

Tracksaw or a very small circular saw are probably your best bet. If it is 3/4" material you will need a new arm and dozens of blades to take it down with a chisel or Multimaster.

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2021, 08:56 PM »
Seth,

Sorry about misunderstanding that.  But a track saw for paneling on the ceiling?  How would that work?

Really well, works on plaster also.

I would not hesitate to use a track saw on a ceiling.

Tom

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2021, 12:22 AM »
I thought it was about cutting  across the tops of the wall boards to make it easier to pull them off the wall because the top ends are "behind"  the ceiling boards.

Screw the guide rail to the wall and make the cut while walking along on a work platform.

Seth

Online squall_line

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Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2021, 09:36 AM »
snip
while walking along on a work platform.

Seth

This was in my head last night as well.

I have a 20" work platform and my current home has 8' ceilings.  I'm around 5'10" when I need to be (I prefer to be 5'11", but I gave up on thinking I was 6').  I can comfortably stand on my 24" work platform and paint walls up to the corner and hang curtains and my shoulders don't get nearly as sore as working on a ladder, which seems to always be 5 inches too short or too tall, aside from balancing. When I use it in the basement, I have to remember to stand between joists or duck when I move.

That platform was only 25 bucks on a Black Friday sale and I use it all the time.  Ironically, I originally bought it for our nieces to be able to stand at the counter and help my wife make cookies.

Offline Josh2

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Re: Tool to Remove Wall Paneling?
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2021, 10:08 PM »
We removed rough sawn, painted pine paneling earlier this year. I used a TSC55 for some of it but most came off without it. I am super happy that we did that project. Do keep in mind that fixing things might well take more work than removing the paneling. In our case that included removing wallpaper below the paneling, fixing drywall cutouts for all the outlets, new baseboards, priming and painting the entire room.