in order to access the wall cavity, i need to remove and then replace some of my luan wall panels. any tips on techniques to do this without damaging the panels?
i can remove the trim easily with a putty knife. i tried doing the panels with the putty knife as well but the angles and depths make it difficult to get leverage. i'm still experimenting but would like to hear your experiences.
Well, I'm no expert on this. But since no one else has replied yet, here is what I remember about doing it. Hopefully someone else will chime in whose a bit more experienced.
(I'm assuming you've already removed the ceiling trim and baseboards.)
1. With a razor knife, carefully score the seam on either side of the panel to break any varnish gluing the adjacent panels together.
2. Along the top and bottom of my panels, there were large flathead nails spaced about every 6 inches or so. Because they were driven in flush (some below level), I couldn't pry them out. I ended up using a flat bladeed screw driver, slightly wider than the diameter of the nail, to punch a square around the nailhead *through to the underlying framing*. Try to make a continuous cutout around the nail and make sure the cuts go completely through the panel.
3. Once I had punched around each of the nails, I then used a flatbed screwdriver to work the top right corner of the panel free. Then using gloves, I worked the panel free inch by inch down the right hand side. You then pop it free from the mid-panel staples with a couple of tugs, . Finally, folding back along the left side, then popping the left side free.
4. Finally, go back and remove the large nails that hopefully pulled through the panel with minimum damage.
When you reinstall, I'd recommend you use screws (drywall screws are fine) instead of large nails, just in case you need to remove the panel again. You might also want to keep the staples in the panel and simply renail them in. Whether you keep the staples or pull them out, you will most likely need to fill the depressions they leave with wood putty --dabbing some stain overtop if the wood putty is not color matched.
Did that all make sense. I'm typing this at the end of a very long day... Good luck.