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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

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enter image description here

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  • 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 at 15:28
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    What's the wall construction? (Drwyall, plaster on brick, Plaster on lath, etc)
    – jay613
    Aug 4 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 at 0:33

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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.

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    More likely joint compound, but yeah.
    – isherwood
    Aug 4 at 18:03
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    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 at 0:59

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