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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Think Outside the Crowbar

Has anyone out there in Blogville ever removed drywall that's been hung over beadboard? I hope so because I seriously need advice.

The trouble with drywall over beadboard is that you can't just bang on the drywall with a sledgehammer. It does no good and might damage your beadboard. I've also tried cutting the drywall with a box cutter, but that pesky bottom layer of paper on the drywall is hard to cut without also slicing into the beadboard.

Using a hammer (alternating the claw end and the um ... other end), then a crowbar, this is how far I got on our bathroom drywall-over-beadboard:

I expected the crowbar to be the magic solution. Ah-ha! I'm using the proper tools for once! It HAS to work!

Alas, that was not the case. The crowbar actually worked less efficiently than the already-inefficient hammer method. *SIGH*

I hope somebody out there has an idea. Somebody? Anybody? If I have to remove an entire bathroom full of this stuff this way (that patch above is maybe 1 foot by 2 feet), including ceilings, it will take me approximately 275.867 years.

Please help, O Creative Ones!


Jordana said...

What size crowbar are you using? I would think a little Wonderbar prybar would work well for this, but then again, maybe that's what you already have. In which case, as usual, I don't know what I'm talking about.

10:20 AM  
John said...

Jordana asked exactly what I was thinking. We have two of these babies:


They work great. If you can work the flat "foot" under the edges of the sheet rock, you can pop it off the nails. We've pulled entire sheets off intact with this method. There is no banging, cutting or hamering required.

Good luck.

11:05 AM  
Tony Maro said...

A nail prybar as suggested by John worked for me, but not over beadboard but plaster slats. I can't imagine trying to do that carefully enough to not scratch or gouge the beadboard.

They also make quick work of roof tiles.


12:45 PM  
Kristin said...

I don't know what kind of crowbar I'm using. We borrowed it from a neighbor. It's not too tough to get the crowbar under the edge of the sheetrock, but it doesn't do that much good in places that have no nails (I haven't found any so far ... maybe they're only at the top and bottom?).

1:07 PM  
blackbird said...

I just pulled in and know nothing about this stuff so my solution could be crap, but...
could you not put new drywall or beadboard over the disgusting drywall instead of tearing it out?

it's my first visit and I like it here....

4:11 PM  
blackbird said...

plus I've had some wine.

4:12 PM  
Kristin said...

Blackbird, I'm glad you like it here. :) We are taking down the drywall to reveal the original beadboard. Thanks for your suggestion, though.

4:25 PM  
halloweenlover said...

Hmmmm, how about running the shower for a while, full blast to get it really steamy and wet and make the drywall softer and easier to tear apart?

I actually have no idea, except to start at the edges of each wall and see if you find some nails to tear off whole pieces at a time, as John suggested. Difficult, I see what you mean about it taking forever. I wish I lived nearby, I'd help!

4:28 PM  
Greg said...

I removed drywall over the bead board in the scullery. The funny thing was, it was fake wood grained drywall from the 50s (Fake wood over real wood). Anyway, 2 pry bars is the key. Get one under it and lift it enough to work the other pry bar down along the edges to pop a nail. The use the first pry bar and move it along past the second. Then the second past the first, and so on. Sometimes you get lucky and it comes off in large chunks, and other times it is a tablespoon at a time. When you pry the nails out put a thin piece of wood under the pry bar so you don’t dent the wood. No matter what method you use, it’s no fun.

11:54 PM  
mindy said...

I second Greg's double prybar method. I just took out some drywall in the upstairs hallway using a hammer and a prybar. Same basic concept. I got a few big chunks, and lots of littler ones. I think it's one of those jobs that is a pain no matter what.... but it'll be worth it. That beadboard is going to look very nice.


7:59 AM  
Anonymous said...

What works best is something that is commonly called a Potato Fork. They use them a lot in roof construction. It is essentially a large fork used to dig potatos. You might scratch the bead board a little but it will sand out. The tines of the fork allow the nails to go in between them and let you get deeper into the sheet rock. The nails should pull right through the sheetrock and all you will have to do is go by when you are finished and pull out the nails or screws. Here is some information on finding it at Home Depot.

Good Luck

Forged 4 Tine Spading Fork

Model 1803500
Price: $28.96/ea

Store SKU # 295936
Internet # 162736
Catalog # 100091850

11:47 AM  
Anonymous said...

It also might help if the tines are curved too much to beat them completely flat to give you a flatter profile. You can do it with a sledge hammer or take it to a metal shop and have them heat it up and bend it flat. Try it out first before you do that though.


11:55 AM  
Marty52 said...

You might also try the tool that is used to take vinyl flooring off. Sorry, I don't know the name of it but it looks like a flattened out hoe. It's got a nice wide, strong blade.

12:28 PM  
derek said...

I removed 1/4" plywood over bevel board. I used a wonderbar and another prybar, probably a little easier than the drywall though. Just think of how nice it'll look when it's done.

12:59 PM  
Diane said...

Maybe a garden hoe, using a thin flat piece of wood under the rocking area to prevent damage to the beadboard.

1:47 AM  
Jocelyn said...

Looks like you've gotten some good advice here. One thing I know for certain is you've got quite an upper body workout ahead of you. This is why I quit the gym people!

3:31 PM  
Amy J. Fanter said...

Here, here! Removing that stuff can be a very serious workout! I dont envy you one bit.

10:25 PM  
Amy J. Fanter said...

I dont know if this will help, but I've had some good success with getting tips at Home Improvement Ideas Blog. The moderator there is pretty knowledgeable.

11:22 PM  

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