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Can anyone give me some reliable, good advise on fixing my bedroom walls. There were a lot of flaws when we bought house. Previously was painted over paper backing, mudding without sanding, and gouges in walls. So we washed walls down first then sanded rough areas and dusted off. Then we applied drywall mud to correct areas, getting a much smoother texture. We then damp mopped it and made sure clean and dry. We then primed it and painted 2 coats of paint. After finished we could see large areas where it looked like paint soaked in and had different look, so we mudded over it again in those areas and went through process again. While priming I had a bubble, even though we have let everything dry thoroughly. So I put slit in bubble, because it would push down. And when doing this everything was moving, so I figured I would pull out that spot and patch. When pulling the small section, the whole wall peeled off like vinyl wallpaper. Except some areas that looked as though it was glued on.

So we had to take it all off, and some went past drywall into paper. So again, we mudded walls. It seems that when we sand, we keep getting smooth shiny areas, and then rougher dull areas. So the texture is not consistent. Before I prime and paint again and go through this again, I want to make sure I'm not missing something. Can someone give me some advice on what to do? Since we have been working on these 2 walls since January, and it is now July.

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  • At this point might it be easier to pull down the drywall and start fresh?
    – Drew
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 20:20
  • What do you mean by damp mopped the walls
    – James
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 20:30
  • what exactly did you use for mud, primer and paint? how long did you let everything dry? including after mopping? where are you located and what has weather and humidity been? Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 1:43

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A picture would help but...what you are describing sounds like flashing to me. This is when the sheen of the paint is not consistent (it has nothing to do with the physical even-ness of the surface). Flashing occurs when the paint absorbs into the surface unevenly, thus it is common when dealing with patching.

Step 1: If the walls are really rough all the way around skim coat everything to get an even base to start with.

If the walls are only bad in spots simply mud/spackle and sand the spots

Step 2: Prime anything that is not paint. Use a good sealer primer, I would suggest doing all the walls judging by what you have described. Let the primer cure (this is not the same as drying). Cure time should be mentioned on the product label. I would recommend you use an oil base primer. Yes its smelly and tough to work with but it does a much better job of covering stains and drying evenly, it also penetrates better due to its longer dry time. Sand lightly with a medium grit sanding sponge once the primer is cured.

Step 3: Paint. Use two coats of paint. Cut the edges all the way around first, then come back and roll the large sections of the wall where your cut work has already dried. The better the paint the better the result. Good paint is expensive but totally worth it. It is easier to work with, splatters less, and looks better when you are done.

Personal opinions that you can choose to ignore if you wish

Avoid anything that claims to be a primer/paint in one...they are all garbage.

Good paint and good brushes/rollers are worth the cost, especially since you can clean and reuse them. (I will note that using cheap stuff with oil based primer is perfectly normal and I do it myself to avoid the hassle.)

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  • There are now low odor oil base primers available and one clear sealer that works very wel called Gardz very good sealing walls like these.
    – Kris
    Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 15:26

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