Preparing to paint after wallpaper
I have just removed three layers of wallpaper from a wall. It was impossible to remove all the glue, and the drywall is badly damaged. How can I make the walls ready to paint?
Judy Sobol, via email, None
Myron R. Ferguson, a drywall contractor and author of Drywall, replies: After you remove the loose paper and as much glue as possible, let everything dry completely. Then sand the surface smooth using a pole sander or a sanding block with 120-grit paper. Next, paint the surface with a flat oil-based primer such as KILZ (Masterchem Industries; 866-774- 6371; www.masterchem.com). The oil-based primer seals in the remains of the water-based glue that held the paper, as well as any stains. After the primer dries, there may be some loose areas that will have to be scraped and reprimed.
Now any damaged areas can be repaired with mesh tape and joint compound. You may even have to skim-coat the entire surface with joint compound to get a smooth finish. The oil-based primer holds joint compound well. When you’re satisfied with the surface, paint normally.
More information about paint prep:
Choose the Right Primer for Your Next Painting Project – Get the lowdown on the four most common formulations, and an overview of specialty primers for every possible substrate and situation, so you can find the right product for the job.
Prep Before You Paint – When the paint dries, these 10 steps will go unnoticed, but skipping one can blow a perfect finish.
10 Tips to Paint Like a Pro – Products and advice for tackling the toughest parts of the job