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Repairing Drywall After Wallpaper Removal

Category Walls
After removing wallpaper, the walls will need cleaning and perhaps some repair, prior to painting or whatever your next wall treatment will be. This is a page about repairing drywall after wallpaper removal.


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March 8, 2010

Can I use an electric sander with fine sandpaper to repair wallboard after removing 3 layers of wallpaper?

By Joyce from Chatham, MA


By (Guest Post)
August 1, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

Prime the whole think with Kilz. Then skim coat, sand and repeat until the walls are smooth. Then prime and paint. This sounds like a lot of work but it's the best way to get nice walls again.

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March 12, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Yes, you can use an electric drywall sander and drywall grade sandpaper. If you don't have a drywall sander and can't afford one you can rent them. (Or you can buy a manual drywall sander block and paper). Be sure to cover absolutely everything in the room and close off the other rooms because that dust makes a huge mess even on small jobs! Also, be sure to wear a mask because those particles are not good for your lungs!

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 8, 2010

I took down old wallpaper and exposed sheetrock down to brown paper. It was suggested to use heavy duty wall liner and paint over that. I do not want textured walls or wallpaper. If I use the wall liner only: Do I still need to repair the walls and primer them before adding paper? Also, is wall liner a good option instead of textured walls and wallpaper?


Momofboys from Chattanooga, TN


Repairing Dry Wall After Wallpaper Removal

Prime the whole thing with Kilz. Then skim coat, sand, and repeat until the walls are smooth. Then prime and paint. This sounds like a lot of work, but it's the best way to get nice walls again. (08/01/2007)

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July 31, 2007

I have removed wallpaper in my bathroom. The sheetrock walls were damaged with gouges, backing paper tears, fuzzy backing paper surfaces, etc. How can I repair this? Do I need to put a skim coat on it? Should I seal it before the skim coat with Kilz or Guardz? Any ideas or techniques are appreciated.

Derby from NC


Repairing Dry Wall After Wallpaper Removal

We had the same problem. We tried to repair with caulk of some kind but couldn't get it smooth. We couldn't afford to re-sheet rock the walls so I just sponge painted them and they look wonderful! Can't tell they are uneven. (02/06/2005)


By Sonya Yoder

Repairing Dry Wall After Wallpaper Removal

I have used textured wall techniques to cover errors like this... two that worked well were : tissue paper faux finish - use tissue paper to build texture on the wall and then paint with mildew resistant paint and rough plaster wall - which is troweling on plaster roughly to create a "bad plaster effect" then painting again with mildew resistant paint. I did this in the bathroom and the hall of my house both of which have damaged horsehair plaster walls and it worked like a dream. (02/06/2005)

By Vcor

Repairing Dry Wall After Wallpaper Removal

I had the same problem. This advice was from my Dad. Get ALL of the wallpaper off of the wall, including the backing AND any residual glue (shows up as shiny patches on the wall) or the paint will not stick, will crack, etc. Make sure what you are removing is actually wallpaper and not part of the drywall. I sprayed warm water (not a lot) on the backing that was left on the wall, let it sit there a few minutes, and then removed it by scraping lightly with a scraper or putty knife. It should come right off. A damp sponge is helpful to remove leftover glue. Then use spackling compound and smooth it in the holes/uneven patches with your scraper or putty knife. I used the kind that doesn't require sanding and dries quickly. Paint after that and you should have a relatively smooth surface. All of these items only cost me a few dollars at a local home improvement store and the staff was very helpful in guiding me to the correct products and making suggestions. I was told to use a primer coat over the patched areas, but didn't. Some areas don't look perfectly even, but it's better than before. (02/06/2005)


By guest

Repairing Dry Wall After Wallpaper Removal

Remove all the wallpaper and glue that you are able to with a sponge, warm water and a putty knife. Some jobs, no matter how hard you try, will leave some glue or paper. Let the walls dry thoroughly overnight. Open the windows and roll a coat of quick dry oil primer(i use zinsser cover stain). Allow to dry an hour or so. Then, using taping compound, you can go over the areas needing attention, several coats if necessary (the walls can be skim coated if area is small enough). It is easy to sand after drying. Then prime with a latex primer to seal the porous taping compound. Paint as desired. (02/14/2005)


Repairing Dry Wall After Wallpaper Removal

I had the same problem. I tried mixing a color stain coating (Kilz) mixed with shreetrock compound.. I had used the compound on some of the spots beforehand, but they did not cover. I have many bumps. I am going to try mixing sheetrock compound with water and put a thick coat over the areas and sand well. What do you think.



By Kathy

Repairing Dry Wall After Wallpaper Removal

We're in the process of doing this to our entire house. Have two rooms finished. You do NOT want to remove the paper down the to the "chalky surface" that is the drywall, stop one layer above that. When you have removed as much of the paper and as you can manually, I recommend sanding the rest of the glue off the wall. I used a drywall sander ($40 rental 8 inch circular sander hooked - 150 GRIT- up to a shop-vac - NO DUST). Once smooth I primed the walls with latex primer to smooth out any grain that was showing, then with oil based primer to seal it (Zinser). Then the skim coating process begins. It depends how smooth you want it to be, I working diligently doing a full skim coat and the walls are near perfect. First coat to fill large gaps, second coat to smooth walls, third coat as finish coat and final quick sand with 220-grit. But I am mildly obsessive-compulsive which helps here. GoodLuck (08/09/2005)


By Guest

Repairing Dry Wall After Wallpaper Removal

I had the same problem. My house is a little over 30 yrs old. The wall paper I had to remove was in the kitchen, foyer and bathrooms. In each room, the wallpaper was put on with a very thick glue directly to the sheetrock. I got most of the layers off with a steamer, spray mister filled with hot water & degreaser and a scraper. I ended up tearing and gouging about 50% of the wallboard paper surfaces. I used about three coats of joint compound to fill in all the tears and gouges. I sanded the entire surfaces with 180 grit paper and washed them. I am now about to apply Kilz latex primer and will see what areas I need to re-mud and sand again. Lots of tedious work, but I know I wont have to worry about these walls again for a very long time. (10/04/2005)

By CLS (guest)

Wallpaper removal

I used a combination of Fabric Softener and water, and the paper came off quickly. Made the room/house smell good. Before repairing any imperfections in the back paper of the drywall, wash down walls with a combination of Spic/Span Liquid. Towel dry. (01/06/2007)

By Lynn

Repairing Dry Wall After Wallpaper Removal

We have just removed wallpaper and will use the advise here to finish the walls. Not sure which technique we will use... but this sight is proving to be a great tool! We will let you know how it comes out. (02/11/2007)

By Lisa

Lisa: Repairing Dry Wall After Wallpaper Removal

Lisa check it out. Last year I repainted a room in my house that had a couple of walls that were a mess. I got all my info on the net on a site similar to this one, but I can't remember and didn't book mark it...however, I can tell you what I did and show you before and after pics.
I used a combination of skim coat, primer, and Gardz. Here are some links to a before and after picture of the worst wall. I never did a job like this but I think it came out OK for a first timer. I am also including a link to some info about Gardz which is a sealer.
There's before and afters of the same wall:

here's a link to some great how to info on Gardz:

Hope this helps!


By Michele

Repairing Dry Wall After Wallpaper Removal

I also had this mess to deal with. I ended up peeling the first layer of drywall off - to the brown paper, sanding off the fuzzies, sealing with primer, patching gouges/uneven spots and then hanging paintable wallpaper. The walls look great and it was very economical. The only cost was for 1 roll of wallpaper, the primer and a sanding block. (07/19/2007)

By anonymous

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