In our bathroom, we have 'thick' peeling paint on a section of a wall. I started to peel off big pieces...and have stopped where it doesn't come off easily. Now I'm left with a wall that is partially covered in a layers of paint and partially bare...just showing plaster.

So, the two surfaces are not level. What can I use to level the bare parts of the wall upto the thickness of the painted areas?

2 Answers 2


A skim coat of drywall mud ("joint compound" when you are shopping - "mud" to anyone that uses it, normally.) Fill with a small (not wide) knife first, let it dry, scrape or sand any high spots (leveling), fill again with a wider knife, dry, scrape or sand any high spots, fill again with a yet wider knife (4, 8, 12" is my usual progression of knife sizes.)

Don't overwork trying to get it perfect when wet. If it's imperfect in the low direction when dry and leveled, do another coat (and let it dry, and level it) until it's as perfect as you need it to be. Strong, glaring light from the side will help to spot imperfections.

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    Yup, +Ecnerwal knows what's up. Added tip: wait a half hour for the compound to dry, wipe it with a damp cloth. You'll smooth off most of the high spots, and need way less sanding. Jul 8, 2016 at 13:43
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    I agree as well and will add this tip only because I am actually waiting for a coat to dry as we speak. When you get to your widest knife size and just about got it perfect, it helps me to lightly spritz the knife with a spray bottle and give one pass lightly with the knife almost flat. Most of the time afterwards I don't even need to sand. Jul 8, 2016 at 14:03

A skim coat of topping mud would be my suggestion. I would rough up the paint and feather it across the entire area to give a professional look then seal and repaint.

  • Can you explain roughing up the paint and feathering please.
    – milesmeow
    Jul 11, 2016 at 23:29
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    Roughing up the paint is using corse sand paper to make groves that a Topping mud will stick to then using a very wide knife 12" + to taper or feather the areas in so there are no high/low spots within the with of the putty blade / knife, when feathering I use a very flexible blade and work the mud until there are no holes ridges, just getting is smothe and clean looking. I hope this helps takes time to be a pro but you can always sand add add more until you have what you want.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 12, 2016 at 0:54

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