Does anyone know what caused this? I would like to know what to expect before I try to sand or cut it out to repair it. Thanks

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Welcome to DiY! What kind of covering material are we looking at here? Is it something elastic or something like spackle? And what's directly behind the drywall pane?
    – MiG
    Aug 4, 2022 at 15:28
  • 1
    What's the wall construction? (Drwyall, plaster on brick, Plaster on lath, etc)
    – jay613
    Aug 4, 2022 at 15:38
  • It is a standard stud wall with 16" spacing, and regular drywall as far as I can tell. The neighbors tell me the prev owners were "Do-it-your-selfer's", and I am finding many areas of cut corners. The shapes are just so odd. Aug 5, 2022 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


Somebody applied plaster to the wall (probably when fixing holes) and didn't do a good job of smoothing it. The waves were caused by the putty knife moving back and forth when it was being passed over the plaster; maybe due to a shaking hand, maybe lumps in the plaster. Getting a smooth finish on a wall is harder than it looks, and if someone's in a hurry, they might not bother.

If the wall feels solid, there's no need to cut anything out. Sand it (preferably with a sanding screen) to knock down the high spots. That will probably be enough to make it flat, but if there are any depressions, fill them with plaster and smooth with a wide putty knife. Then prime and paint.

Or just hang a picture over it.

  • 1
    More likely joint compound, but yeah.
    – isherwood
    Aug 4, 2022 at 18:03
  • 1
    I like the hang a picture option, but before prime/paint, you should hit the area with a light application of orange peel texture from a can. Go really wide. Aug 5, 2022 at 0:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

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