How to Fix Walls Damaged by Wallpaper

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It's the process used to remove the wallpaper, and not the wallpaper itself, that damages your walls. During the application of the wallpaper, no one applied primer or sizing to the wall, so when it was time to take off the paper, it stuck tightly. Most wall damage consists of gouges in the drywall and surface scratches, caused by scraping the wallpaper off with a sharp-edge object. The good news is that you can fix the drywall, and after painting, your wall will be smooth once again.

Things You'll Need

  • Rag
  • Thinned drywall taping compound
  • Paint pan
  • Paint roller
  • Large plastic bucket
  • 14-inch drywall taping trowel
  • Pole sander
  • Wash residual bits of wallpaper glue from the walls with a warm, damp rag.

  • Pour thinned drywall taping compound into a large paint pan. You can buy the compound already thinned, or you can mix your own by adding water to dry compound in a bucket, stirring until the mixture is the consistency of a milkshake.

  • Roll a thin layer of compound on the wall with a short-nap paint roller, starting in one corner and rolling a 4-foot section, from top the top of the wall to the bottom.

  • Flatten the wet compound over the wall with a 16-inch drywall taping trowel, pulling it from the top of the wall straight down. Use enough pressure to smooth out the compound and leave a thin, even film on the wall. Trowel the entire section, and then roll on another section.

  • Continue rolling and smoothing out the compound until you've covered the entire wall. Let the compound dry completely.

  • Sand the wall lightly with a drywall pole sander to remove ridges left behind by the edge of the trowel. To fill common gouges, one coat should be sufficient, but if you want more coverage, you can apply another coat, the same way you applied the first one.

Tips & Warnings

  • Roll a coat of stain-blocking primer on the wall before painting.
  • Rolling compound on a wall is messy business. Wear old clothing, splash-proof eye protection, and cover the floor with a dropcloth.

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References

  • Photo Credit Gary Houlder/Lifesize/Getty Images
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