After tearing down all the panelling in the living room, we got many more fun surprises. Naturally, the adhesive they used was impossible to get off. And naturally, in addition to the glue and finishing nails, the previous owners also used what appear to be roofing nails to attach the paneling to the studs. One can only guess their logic, but it seems that in the event that a tornado destroyed the home, they wanted to be sure that paneling stayed in place.
After days of trying to scrape the adhesive off with a putty knife, I had a small nervous breakdown and insisted we try something else. Alex dutifully drove me to the home depot. Again. And we purchased a heat gun for 29.99$ Melting the adhesive off worked quite well. Still not fast, and probably pretty toxic, but the alternative was committing me to the nuthouse or putting the paneling back up.
They also did some cool things like rip enormous holes in the walls and then patch them with drywall. Drywall, I might add, that they decided to install with same weird nails instead of drywall screws. And just to make things spicy, they installed it backwards, so the finished side was laying against the wall. They also chose drywall that was too thin, so it didn't meet up with the existent plaster at the seams. I suppose this didn't matter at the time, since they were planning on paneling over it, but it matters now.
I think the best part of removing the paneling has been the discovery of some ancient cave art, recreated by the previous owners on the plaster walls. They are certainly hard to decipher. I've consulted a local anthropologist and this petroglyph appears to symbolize DIY prowess.
After all my complaining, though, just look at how gorgeous this wall is! Hole-free and ready for a final run with the sander and on to paint! The adhesive leaves little trails where it once was, like a slug.