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I had a team of "professionals" repaint the drywalls of a newly-purchased house.

A few days after they completed the work, two kinds of defects appeared on the walls, in a large number of different spots.

The first kind (depicted below) is the paint looking either depressed or protruded over fairly large areas (15-20 cm).

Defect 1

The second kind (depicted below) is the paint protruding and looking (and feeling) smooth as silk in the affected area.

Defect 2

The people who did the work claim there is an unspecified "problem" with the dry wall itself, but cannot recommend any specific course of action to rectify it. Of course they maintain they carried out the work with great care and competence. I don't trust them more than I would a 30£ note, but I myself saw them sanding and priming the wall before applying the new paint.

How can I fix this? I have some experience painting dry walls but I am no expert. Is this a case where extra preparation is needed, possibly involving repair of the dry wall itself?

  • Where the walls previously painted or just primed? – JACK Aug 31 at 12:14
  • They were painted. – jack Aug 31 at 12:17
  • It’s a case of poor workmanship from start to finish. – Kris Aug 31 at 12:57
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    This doesn't look like a paint problem... Get a ruler / straight-edge and check flatness, look for bumps etc. This looks like a lousy jointing job between the drywall plates... the plaster that's supposed to hide the drywall screws can also make bumps if not applied properly. – peufeu Aug 31 at 13:01
  • Newly purchased; meaning it's only getting looked at closely now, because you're moving in and adding more lighting and putting your belongings close to the walls? Those defects are under the paint and unless they did some kind of patching before painting, the walls were already like that. Painters do like to use quick set, so they don't have to wait for it to dry, but it does tend to be hard to sand and can leave defects like this if not used with the proper level of care. – tahwos Sep 1 at 8:01
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Hard to tell if the defects were caused by the recent painting or were there before and now showing up because of a lighter color or different sheen. The "orange peel" effect starts out when the drywall is first sprayed with a primer and carries over each time the wall is painted. Any time you patch a hole or gouge with mud and then sand it, you smooth out the orange peel and when you paint over it you get what happened in your second picture. You can make it less obvious if you take a small brush, dip it in some mud and dap the sanded surface. Another technique is to apply the mud to the wall and lightly run a dry paint roller over it and blend it in .

In your first picture it looks like there was an excess amount of paint left after a paint job and it just ran a bit... you can sand it down and then add the orange peel like I described above.

If the defects are too numerous to fix and they will drive you nuts, one alternative is to sand the entire wall and remove all the old paint and then prime and repaint. the other alternative is to replace or add new drywall. Good luck.

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It looks to me like the first picture is a depression in the drywall possibly caused by original paint flaking or peeling off, then not filling it with drywall mud to make it flush with the rest of the wall. The second picture is simply where the drywall patch was not sanded down far enough before priming and painting. All patches need to be sanded down to where they are flush with the rest of the wall. For a resolution, I would get some drywall mud, fill in the depression on the first picture, let it dry, sand it flush, prime & paint. The second picture I would simply sand through the paint to the patch, and continue sanding until the patch is level/flush with the rest of the wall, then prime & paint.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. – Daniel Griscom Aug 31 at 17:43

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