Stripping Paint Easily from 1960’s Paneling

A vintage 1960’s kitchen had remained in top-notch, original, condition until a few years ago when the house was sold to new owners.  Sadly, they removed period 1960’s lighting and painted over wood paneling and some cabinetry.  New nondescript lighting so typical of imported stuff purchased at Big Box retailers further undermined the kitchen’s former style.

Fortunately, the paneling was not sanded or primed prior to painting with a cheap latex paint, and all it took was about a day of elbow grease to shave it off.   Only one wall was cleaned, the others will receive wallpaper.


Close-up of corner showing the painted paneling before being relieved of the latex paint.


The slightly-sharpened edge of a small kitchen spatula was all it took to literally shave the paint off the wall.


Grooves were cleaned with a variety of pointed instruments, including a painter’s multi-tool and utility knife blades.


This is how the wall looked after cleaning began…


… and how it appeared after the paint had been removed. Some follow-up detailing will remove some lingering stubborn paint as well as the “ghosts” of former shelving.


Shriveled remnants of latex paint clutter the floor beneath the recently-cleaned sides of the wall-hung cabinets. The bulkhead above the cabinets will be papered (it is also painted paneling).



2 Responses to Stripping Paint Easily from 1960’s Paneling

  1. Sometimes we can indeed be thankful for shoddy work!

    I guess I’m in the minority these days (probably anytime, actually), but I do believe that homes look best when they are a consistent style. Slapping new fixtures or features in whatever the current “hot” trend is just creates disharmony. Too many people like change for the sake of change, and it shows that the vast majority of “updates” result in a home looking worse a decade later than if the original features were simply maintained.

    At least they didn’t paint the cabinets! Those are some nice maple veneers, and it looks like the hardware may even be original too. It’s not my first love in periods, but I do appreciate a well-executed home of any period.

    • Shoddy work can indeed be a blessing! I wish that the original light fixtures had been left in the basement or something, but no such luck. We were able to get a vintage 1960’s range. Not many people are going to put up with a vintage refrigerator, however. Its unfortunate that the integrity of this kitchen was permanently damaged for the short-term use of someone with no long-term vision. The goal now is to restore what is practical while still making it viable for the prevailing tastes of a regional market.

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