I'm painting all my walls so I started prepping the surfaces by sanding. When I got to a peaked joint I proceeded to sand it with an electric orbital sander and paint started peeling more and more until it got to this state:

Large patch with peeling paint 1 Large patch with peeling paint 2

I googled around and found this question: How to prepare wall with peeling paint for painting

From the answer posted, I tried hand sanding the peeling edges but the paint layer is removed at a slower rate than the white material underneath, resulting in the surface dipping at the edge:

enter image description here

Should I proceed to sand with my orbital sander until the paint stops peeling instead? And what would be the best way to fill in this patch?


I ran into paint that didn't adhere to the surface/mud that was used. I suspect junky mud/thinned/added or painted when wet or ...

Anyway, the only fix I had success with in multiple rooms was to take a putty knife and run it hard and flat (forward) to basically skive the surface. It took the paint and mud off. Eventually I'd reach a point where the paint would be adhered to the surface and no longer flake off easily- I left it there.

Then I went back with 30 minute joint compound, mixed to a slightly thinner consistency, and then applied over all those surfaces. Reapplied again to build up a consistent and smooth layer.

Sanded down, painted with PPG Gripper. The surface has held up very well. It was a lot of work to get just a small portion of the wall redone.

Good luck.


First, I would not sand the walls to prepare for paint unless there was a specific reason to do so, such as a problems with prior drywall work, texturing, or paint finish issues. Sanding is normally too aggressive and can result in a poor paint bond if you do not remove the dust well. Sanding is also messy. If you simply want to prepare for paint, use Trisodium Phosphate Cleaner (AKA TSP) to remove grease and dirt and also to chemically etch / degloss the old paint.

Second, to deal with the peeling paint issue: I would not continue sanding. Use a less aggressive approach with the goal of peeling back the paint until you reach a point where the paint is well adhered and then leave it alone.

Third, to fill the exposed mud, use more mud. This looks like a shallow fill so regular lightweight joint compound will do the trick.

Fourth, before painting: if you paint directly over the drywall patch, you will usually end up with a noticeably poor paint finish with a problem known as flashing. This occurs because the drywall mud absorbs the paint more than the previously painted surface. To avoid this, you will need to prime at least the drywall patch. Personally, I prime the entire wall before repainting.

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