Putting up wall panels on tongue and groove walls

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Forum topic by WoodenGhost posted 04-27-2015 06:16 PM 1133 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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31 posts in 1306 days

04-27-2015 06:16 PM

Hey guys,

I just bought an old house. Not sure how old but it appears under all these panels walls, there is actually tongue and grooved planks.

The thing is, most of these panel walls are waving, I’m guessing from capturing moister between it and the wooden walls.

In another room they seem to have added rigid insulation but it still does the same thing just not so bad and I could live with it.

Now I would like to renovate some of these walls and redo some of the mistake the previous owner. Some of the wooden windows are glued shut using some kind of caulking (it’s tan) which I would like to make them functional and remove some rot that I have found as well.

So my main question is, how could I add some paneling without causing havoc over the years. Is there like some kind of breathing membrane I can use between the walls and the panels? And if so, what do you guys recommend? Some of the walls we will leave bare and recondition but wife doesn’t want a house with every wall out of wood.

Thanks in advance


5 replies so far

View splatman's profile


586 posts in 1392 days

#1 posted 04-27-2015 10:27 PM

Sounds like the wood walls are uneven. Or the planks are not all the same thickness. Like you can see in the last pic. I really doubt the problem is caused by moisture. Maybe in the outer walls. Or where humidity is often high, like in a bathroom. Drywall fastened only to the high spots (foam or no foam) would leave smooth walls.

About the windows: Is the caulking actually between the sash and the frame? Not sure how that could be undone, w/o something drastic, like removing the windows and having them dip-stripped (might or might not work), or replace with new ones. If only topically applied, maybe use one of those triangle-bladed scrapers? Don’t know what it is called.

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31 posts in 1306 days

#2 posted 04-30-2015 05:08 PM

Hey splatman,

Thanks for helping.

Its not drywall. Its this painted white

Here is another shot from another wall in the restroom.

And these two are from the living room

Its hard to tell, especially because the wall is white but the gaps in the trim show where the waves are at. And its not just by the trim but it was the easiest to take pictures of.

Im guessing the best solution is to do what they did in the other rooms and put hard insulation to make sure it stays straight? I was reading an article a few days back as to why its not a good idea to cover up the wooden walls because they tend to hold moisture and begin to rot from the inside out. Maybe a nice thick cloth or something between the walls and hard insulation? I dunno, but Ill keep searching.

As for the windows…

Caulking everywhere lol

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9441 posts in 1479 days

#3 posted 04-30-2015 05:14 PM

I’ve worked in older houses with ship lap like yours (that’s what I’ve seen it called), that had drywall put on top of it. I’ve never seen any moisture probs on interior walls.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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586 posts in 1392 days

#4 posted 05-01-2015 04:30 AM

I’ve wonder, if wood behind other wall material will gather moisture and rot, would not the studs do the same? The only places I’ve seen rotted studs (or other rotted wood inside walls), is where water has leaked in, via leaky roofs, leaky pipes, poorly-sealed showers, below condensation-magnet windows, etc.

Give gel-type paint stripper a go on those caulky windows.

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31 posts in 1306 days

#5 posted 05-04-2015 03:22 PM

Hm… You might be right. I’ll finish school in two weeks, and Ill get it started then. I will report back. Just needed an idea on where to start.

Thanks for your help you guys!


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