Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

While doing some work in my bathroom, one thing led to another and paint started peeling. I found that under many layers of paint was some wallpaper so it seemed natural to pull...

I started peeling it off like crazy, in huge pieces before I realized that what was left behind was not so nice:

dry wall oh noooes

It looks like part of the drywall's paper has come off, leaving a rough, fuzzy, roughish surface as seen in the picture (that's about 1ft2)

Question: how do I fix this? I might be able to scrap/sand it down smooth enough to paint...maybe.

Another option is to hang some wallpaper.

I do not want to go down to the studs and hang new drywall.

share|improve this question
The image you uploaded for this question appears to have disappeared. Do you still have the original to reupload? –  ChrisF Dec 7 '11 at 16:08
@ChrisF sorry, I don't think so –  Michael Haren Dec 7 '11 at 17:21
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I don't think sanding the surface will produce a surface good enough to paint. It's certainly a lot of effort for uncertain results.

If the underlying surface is very rough it might still show through the wall paper, unless it's very thick (1000 gsm lining paper for example) or you do some sanding.

The best answer might be to continue to peel off the paper and then skim the wall with plaster. Depending on your plastering skills you might want to get a professional in.

The result should be good enough to paint.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Primer/paint will not work. It will be lower than the surrounding surface. It will not "fill in" (I've tried).

Try a skim coat of joint compound over the affected area to get it level. If it doesn't work, you'll have to replace the drywall.

Good luck!

share|improve this answer
add comment

Short of replacing the drywall, you can do a skim coat as others have suggested. However, be careful - if you do too thick of a coat, the paper will absorb too much moisture and will bubble underneath the mud/plaster. You'll then have to sand it down, cut out the bubbled section, and skim again. Trust me, I've done this and dealt with that exact problem. Just use a thin coat, sand it smooth, and if necessary add another coat. You can then texture, prime, and paint.

share|improve this answer
add comment

If you don't want to go the plaster route (per ChrisF), you could try painting a thick coat or two of primer (which should, in theory, absorb a bit into and stabilize the surface), then sand that a bit before another coat of primer and then paint over it.

If you just try to sand what you've got, you'll never see the end - that's just not going to go smooth no matter how much you sand. You've got to effectively 'glue down' the surface bit. Plaster would definitely work, but I think primer might do OK too.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.