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Old 07-04-2014, 08:42 AM  
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Default How to finish plywood walls

I started removing fake painted paneling in my new home and have discovered that behind it is thick plywood. It looks pretty sturdy, so I don't think I want to remove it, but I'm wondering how to finish it off when all of the paneling is off. Can it be caulked and painted? Plastered? Wallpapered? I'm trying to go the least expensive route without having ugly walls again. Note: this is not OSB plywood. It looks like wood with a grain. It's kind of rough to the touch though.

Last edited by Pauley; 07-04-2014 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:13 AM  
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If you wanted to go on a budget and like wall paper they sell a tough paper that goes up first called bridging paper. That will hide the voids and let the paper lay smooth.

If you want painted walls it would be best to add a layer of drywall. It might then require moving out the switches and outlets. They sell things to do that. Follow normal drywall instillation.

You could do a different type paneling also.

Trying to smooth and finish the plywood might be more work and not that good of an outcome.

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Old 07-04-2014, 09:53 AM  
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Is plywood a good material to have on walls, in general? I thought I'd have to remove it to put up drywall.
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:25 PM  
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You may find that the wall was once an exterior wall that had siding over it. Someone remodel? That being said, I think the best and easiest would just cover it with 3/8 sheetrock and be done with it. I can't see any reason to take it off the plywood unless you want to see what's under it. The sheetrock will give you a nice smooth wall. Mount the rock vertically if it's less than an 8 foot wall so you don't have any butt joints to tape and mud, just the tapered edges which are easier to finish smoothly for a DIYer. You may need extension rings for any outlet boxes, but maybe not if you had the paneling.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:29 PM  
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Extra plywood only makes a stronger house. We are in an earthquake zone and are now placing what they call stress walls inside houses, it gets covered with drywall.
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:33 PM  
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Thanks. The room is definitely original to the house, but I agree that the plywood makes it stronger. I haven't decided which route I'll take, but I plan to keep the plywood up regardless. Thank you all for responding.
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Old 07-05-2014, 05:11 PM  
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Yes you can finish plywood. It would be lots of sanding, you can put trim on the edges or some kind of waiscot, as you like.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:53 PM  
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I would attach drywall and finish. Since you have no idea what wiring is behind and where, use drywall screws of length to not pass through the other side of the plywood. Or fasten drywall to areas where you know there is a stud underneath.

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