My garage has drywall on the ceiling and walls that has been taped but never painted or apparently even primed. The house is 10 years old, and the garage walls are slightly yellowed. Some of the tape also is a little wrinkly in a few spots. What do I need to do to be ready for primer and paint?
Tim Newcomb, Bridgewater, N.J.
Drywall Specialist Myron Ferguson replies: Cracked, loose, or wrinkled tape has to be fixed, but I recommend first sanding the entire surface with 220-grit sandpaper. This will remove dirt, dust, and cobwebs while giving you a chance to inspect every surface. Look for popped screws, ridged or recessed seams, damaged areas, and cracked and loose tape. Repair and finish tape as necessary.
Left unprimed, drywall starts to yellow within a few weeks. The yellow will bleed right through most lightweight joint compounds and typical drywall primers, which is why it’s important to prime right after drywall finishing is complete. In your case, a latex stain-blocking primer is necessary. When the primer is dry, you can paint with a regular latex paint.