Drywall Taping and Finishing

Repairing a Wall After Removing Wallpaper Borders & Wallpaper

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QUESTION: I just moved in my house and the woman before us put contact paper on the walls. After using Diff and other things, I found that the hairdryer worked the best and it came off without taking the paint on about 75% of the wall. However 25% of the wall has some of the drywall exposed one area about 1 layer and one area about two layers. It is actually ripped and hanging in one area. Do you have any idea what I can do to repair the areas where the drywall has come off. I was at Home Depot today and they sold me gripper primer, but I think I have to repair this wall before I can primer and paint it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: Yes, you definitely want to repair this area first or the final paint job will look terrible. I don't know exactly what you have but I think I would put very thin coats of joint taping compound (mud) over the smaller areas in the following way:

1. Use a 10" taping knife (for drywall) and place some slightly thinned mud on the area in a very light coat.

2. After this dry, scrape off any bumps or ridges with the 10" taping knife. Hold the knife with 2 hands perpendiculart to the surface so you can apply good pressure.

3. Place another very thin coat that slightly overlaps the previous coat and repeat step 2 using the 10" knife.

4. Place another very very thin coat as you did in step 3. Repeat step 2.

5. Sand very lightly with 220 grit paper on a 3.5"x8" sanding block (a piece of 2x4).

For the sheets with very large areas of exposed paper, you may need to replace the drywall and retape. It might be too difficult not end up with waves and ridges if you patch up very large areas. If you are only removing a single sheet, locate the studs and remove the drywall up to the halfway point of the stud. The stud is 1 1/2 inches wide and you want 3/4 inch exposed to attach the replacement sheet. You will probably want to remove the tape on the existing drywall sheet that butts up to the new sheet so there is a "valley" for the new tape. Otherwise, the new sheet will have a valley and the old sheet will have a higher profile. To remove the tape, make a 1/16 deep cut about 1 1/2" in from the edge running the length of the (old) sheet and then use a taping knife or putty knife to lift off the old tape and compound - if you can, try to remove only the tape and old mud leaving the original paper surface intact.

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