Purchased a house with a partially finished garage. The ceiling and walls have drywall, but no taping. The previous owners have nailed numerous things into the wall over the years and of course since it's a garage it's quite dirty.

Can I fill in the holes and dust off the drywall and then just tape it? Or, is there some reason where due to how long the drywall is exposed and it being super dirty that would make this a bad idea?

2 Answers 2


Yes you can clean patch and clean then texture to your hearts delight. I have done this in both garages and bonus rooms that the paper was yellow with age. After wiping down I taped and muddled then sanded wiped down and shot the texture, it has turned out great and just this little bit of work has added thousands to the appraisal, so it is worthwhile and will look much better. If the surface is oily a Tri sodium phosphate (or replacement chemical) may be needed for the wipe down just don’t go two wild with the water.

  • Thanks Ed! I remember you helped me with my wood floors. You're the best. Do you have any recommendations for heating and cooling? It's a 312.5 sq ft room and I was thinking of going with a baseboard heating and swamp cooler solution OR one of those mini splits. Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 16:21

You'll want to get the drywall clean especially from oils. I would recommend using TSP to clean the walls where they are particularly dirty; do not excessively scrub or saturate as you can damage the paper that holds the drywall together.

You'll never get it looking new as some dirt would certainly have stained the drywall's paper backing, but you should be (pretty easily) able to get it clean enough for mud and tape.

  • I wouldn't attempt to clean any drywall that's not obviously oily. It's just not necessary and will likely result in degradation of the paper surface.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 16:46

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