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Paneling over furring strips

One of the classic remodeling jobs is to cover basement walls with wood paneling; this helps convert unfinished space into livable space. To do this job almost always requires installing furring strips on the foundation walls. Nailing wood strips to a concrete (or concrete block) wall is hard work but it can go surprisingly fast once you get started. Use 1x4 No. 2 pine boards for furring instead of the rough 1x2 material that’s usually called furring. These boards are almost impossible to work with. The lx4s provide plenty of nailing surface.
 

Step 1. The furring strips can be installed either vertically or horizontally. For this job we chose the horizontal approach for the main strips and filled in between these with shorter strips, spaced 16 in. apart. Use a level to align the strips, and attach them using masonry or cut nails.

 

Step 2. If a strip goes over a hollow spot on the wall, support the strip using shimming shingles inserted between the strip and the wall. Use a level to align the shimmed furring with the furring above or below.

 

SCRIBING TO AN UNEVEN SURFACE

 

 

Hold a compass in a fixed position, using one end as a guide against the wall, and draw a line to trace the irregularities of the wall on the panel.

 

 

To trace complicated cuts where panels fit around cabinets and other fixtures, use a contour gauge. Its movable pins align with the shape.

 

Step 3. Complete the furring job by installing the small strips between the main horizontal strips. Leave a little space between all the furring boards to allow for expansion caused by high temperatures and humidity.

 

Step 4. Apply construction adhesive to the furring; then press a sheet against the wall. Flatten it; then pull it away partially to help spread the adhesive. Press the sheet back into place.

 

Step 5. Nail the panels in place using colored nails that match the surface veneer. Start in a corner, and make sure the first pane! is plumb before nailing.

 

touch-ups

 

Use a color- matched repair stick (available at most paneling suppliers) to conceal minor surface scars in paneling.

 

 

On deep scars, trim away any frayed wood fibers, apply wood filler, smooth the surface, and touch up with stain to blend the repair.

 

 

 

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