How to Repair Torn Drywall Paper

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Torn drywall paper is a headache that DIYers will eventually have to deal with at one time or another. It is usually caused by tearing wallpaper off a wall that wasn't properly sealed. However, with a little bit of drywall joint compound (known in the industry as "mud") and a few spare hours, you can handle these problems yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Joint compound (mud)
  • Drywall knife
  • Primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Rags
  • Gently peel back the drywall paper, and hold it in place with a piece of tape or your hand. Don't tear it off the rest of the drywall. If the paper is missing entirely go to Step 7.

  • Take a small amount of mud, and apply it to where the drywall paper has become loose from the rest of the drywall.

  • Gently press the drywall paper back in place. Some of the mud will most likely ooze out of the sides. Wipe this away with a drywall knife.

  • Allow the mud to dry.

  • Sand the paper down if needed along the edges so that your wall is level and smooth again.

  • Apply another thin layer of mud around the torn edges, and then repeat this process if needed.

  • If you're missing the drywall paper entirely, simply apply a thin layer of mud to where the paper is missing. Let this dry, and then apply more mud if needed.

  • Once the wall is smooth and level again, seal the drywall and mud with a good primer. This will prevent the drywall paper from tearing in the future.

Tips & Warnings

  • When painting with primer, work in a well-ventilated area.

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