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New home owner, my garage has a basic drywall finish - ie nominally sanded joints. There are also water stains all over the dry wall - I'm going to guess they washed their cars inside the garage with a house or otherwise had a hurricane with the garage door open :)

I want to improve the look and brighten up the garage. MY plan:

  • Remove loose drywall paper and crumbs
  • Use joint compound to fill holes and cover nails (nothing big)
  • Do a very basic sanding job on fills and anywhere there is a large bump (ie like the joint tape in the photo)
  • Roll on some while latex primer (garage open during painting and overnight thereafter)
  • Declare victory

Is this reasonable approach? The drywall is all totally dry and feels firm everywhere I've pressed.

typical finish

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  • I would get some cheap wall paneling and cover the wall with that. Dec 5, 2023 at 18:43
  • @SteveWellens thanks for the suggestion, expensive no? I might be looking at the wrong product..
    – Ram
    Dec 6, 2023 at 16:39

2 Answers 2

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That's a perfectly reasonable approach. What you have here is a basic firewall, with rudimentary taping to seal the joints. I had the same thing with untaped joints and simply caulked them before painting.

I would just take a little more comprehensive approach to the drywall finish in your case, though. What you describe would leave you with highly visible joints and a lot of roughness. Why not take the time to skim it properly? Get yourself a good 12-14" knife and feather those joints out with thin applications under firm pressure.

Note that sanding should be a very minor last step. You don't shape drywall mud--you just knock off very fine crumbs and edges. The real work happens with the knife. Use long, light strokes and light pressure with a sanding screen.

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Other than declaring victory too soon, sure.

Primer is not a finish coat. It's designed to do the job it's designed to do, and is not great at the job a topcoat is designed to do.

You'll get better (even for the Quick & Dirty approach) results from primer and a topcoat.

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  • What is the downside to just using the primer without a proper paint coat on top?
    – Ram
    Dec 5, 2023 at 17:32
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    Primer tends to be very thin and watery. It seals the porous paper and joint compound but doesn't leave much on the surface. Therefore it's not as durable or washable.
    – isherwood
    Dec 5, 2023 at 17:33
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    I've had to address 40-50 year old unfinished drywall like yours, and other places where a coat of primer was slapped on and they stopped. Neither aged well.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 5, 2023 at 18:38

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