So I have recently moved into a (new to us) home built in 1948. There was a master bedroom addition that is on the backside of the living room wall which was once exterior and the kitchen wall also once exterior wall. There is paneling over both of the walls.

When we moved into the house we knew we would want to remove the paneling. This week we started to remove the paneling in the living room and were surprised to find the original wall there. Windows and all. So there are old non functioning windows in the living room interior wall.

I'm not sure what we should do. We had planned to hang drywall and have debated on just covering it all and putting the drywall over top. I'm just don't know what to do and would love some feed back.

  • 1
    Any chance you could add a picture? Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 16:58
  • Sorry, Elizabeth, but we're not a discussion forum and your question is too broad. Please take the tour to learn more.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 17:37
  • You might revise to ask specifically about dealing with the windows or applying drywall over your paneling. In either case, photos seem like a necessity.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 17:39
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    As no upvote or answers to the comments probably time to close this question. VTC
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 14:52
  • 1
    We'll try again, @EdBeal
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 15:39

2 Answers 2


Covering the old wall with paneling was a quick and easy way to hide the old wall. I would pull the old windows add some 2x4' in the space so you could attach your sheetrock. Demo of the windows is not that hard if you have a Sawsall then toe nail for the same spacing as the rest of the wall 16 or 24 inch on center.

  • Yes it is time for windows to go. Yes some frame work ,and should up grade electrical. insulation or sound proof. That is normal for old house. Be ready for more stuff It happens
    – user101687
    Commented Jun 15, 2019 at 1:24
  • On the downside...if you remove the windows, now you are doing exterior siding work. Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 14:20
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    @steve Wellens Steve reread the question this is now an interior wall, removing the windows and putting a stud or 2 depending on the window width is the proper way to go, this provides a nail surface fro the Sheetrock and doesn’t affect the structure as the original header is still in place. By code this is redecorating not remodeling in the states I have lived and doesn’t even require a permit.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 14:48

There are a number of considerations here that need to be looked at to determine the best course of action.

  1. Where the old exterior wall joins with new addition walls at right angles there may be issues with trying to remove all the old sheathing and wall materials due to how it may have been sandwiched between the old wall and new framing and wall materials. So may left OK as is.
  2. Paneling is usually thin (3/16" or 1"/4") and may have worked OK around existing electrical boxes for switches and outlets. Adding the thickness of the drywall will cause these electrical boxes to be inset too far and work will need to be done to extend the boxes or to remount them appropriate to the new wall surface.
  3. Finishing over old exterior wall features such as windows is not really uncommon on a remodel but it really is best to remove the actual old windows down to the original rough opening framing. Then it would be good to add stub studding in the rough opening and add material to bring that opening out to the same thickness as the original wall covering (especially on the old exterior side where there would be sheathing).
  4. If the old paneling was installed on to a old internal surface such a lathe and plaster then you should be able to re-install drywall over that directly but if you do make sure that the base is sturdy and not crumbling apart. Better choice would be to remove any old surface material like the lath and plaster and look at installing the drywall right on the existing studs. You do need to look closely at where those surfaces end try to join into corners and to ceiling. Sometimes taking out things leads to an endless string of things that you uncover which can make the remodel job seem like a bottomless pit.

I am sure there are more things that could be added to this list if you could add some pictures to your question.

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