How To Repair, Texture, And Paint A Wall After Wallpaper Removal


After wallpaper removal, your walls may have damage due to the stripping process. This can be especially bad if the walls were not properly prepared prior to installing the paper.

This process is easy to follow; but does require a certain amount of skill with tools and painting. See my Article: Five simple tools to help you paint like a Professional for information on specific painting tools. These will be used through-out the following steps.

Much of the following information can be used for general repair and texturing.

Tools you will need: Painter’s tarps, painting tools, throw away brushes, 120 grit sandpaper, fast drying oil primer, pva primer, painter’s masking tape, putty knife, plastic, aerosal texture, texture gun, joint compound, mixing attachement for a drill, caulking, razor knife, screwdriver.

Step 1: Clean up walls.

With a razor knife, trim back any loose wallboard paper to a tight edge. Working behind toilets is tough and there may be wallpaper left back there. If there is, trim it back as best as possible.

Step 2: Remask.

Texturing is messy. Use painter’s tarps on the floor. Mask counters, toilets, windows, and doorjambs with paper and plastic. Cover everything. Paper around the edges of windows and plastic in the middle works well to allow for some daylight.

Step 3: Oil Prime.

I like to use a fast drying oil primer. Oil primers tend to seal out any wallpaper paste left on the walls along with other foreign matter there may be. It also dries faster and sands better.

Make sure you have plenty of ventilation. Fast dry primer is smelly and will give you a headache for sure. Use a short napped roller pad, and throw away brushes. Or at least junky brushes if you intend to clean them. I wouldn’t bother with cleaning the roller pad.

Allow the primer to dry for at least and hour. Two to three hours is best. The longer it dries, the better it will sand.

Step 4: Sand rough areas.

Using 120 grit sand paper, sand back any fuzzy areas in the wallboard. Check for areas where the wallboard paper is lifted. Cut them back if necessary. Sandpaper wrapped around a putty knife helps to get behind a toilet, sanding any remaining wallpaper flush to the wall. Remember, missed fuzzy areas may show through your texture.

Step 5: Skim coat.

Using joint compound, fill holes and flush out the damaged areas. Joint compound is less expensive and sands better than lightweight spackle. Use a bit more compound than necessary to fill the holes. Creating a slight hump. Don’t glob your filler on, that only makes for a-lot of work in sanding later.

The idea is to create as smooth a wall as possible prior to texturing. Your texture will hide small imperfections. Larger ones you need to fix now. It is really difficult to repair your walls after you have textured. The texture often doesn’t match, and your paint may “flash” in these areas.

When your first skim coat is dry, go back and apply a second coat to any large holes that didn’t fill the first time around. You may want to lightly sand these areas prior to the second fill. This makes for a smoother second coat.

Finally, generaly smooth out your walls with sandpaper or a wet sponge. I like using a sponge and a bucket of water. Sponging doesn’t create any nasty sanding dust that needs to be cleaned up later. Wet your sponge, wring it out a bit, and wipe any areas that need smoothing. Continue, wetting your sponge and wiping. The joint compound will soften and wipe away. This is easy to get the hang of.

Step 6. Texture.

Texturing walls can take a bit of practice. As a professional, I know that it takes the right combination of knowledge, material, and equipment. Please see my article on How to texture walls before painting.

After texturing, continue on to the next step.

Step 7: PVA Primer.

PVA primer is an important step to ensuring a even finish. PVA primer is generally inexpensive primer that is designed to soak into new texture and seal the surface.

You may want to have the paint store tint your primer towards the finish color if it is a darker one. PVA usually comes from the factory as a light gray color.

If you have access to an airless, spray one heavy, even coat of your your PVA. Let dry.

If you do not have access to an airless sprayer, brush and roll one heavy, even coat. This should go pretty quickly with the masking still in place. Let your PVA dry for 2-3 hours.

Step 8: First coat of paint.

Again, spray your first coat of finish if you have acess to an airless. Make sure you apply it evenly and heavy enough to limit “flashing”.

If you do not have access to an airless sprayer, brush and roll one heavy, even coat. Let your finish dry. This may take overnight at this point.

Step 9: Unmask.

Gently peel back all of your used masking paper. It may help to score the edge of your masking with a razor knife before pulling it back. Generally clean up the area, vaccumming and dusting all the surfaces.

Step 10: Clean Edges.

The many coats of primer, texture and paint will have left a heavy, uneven edge around your previously masked surfaces. Gently scrape or cut this edge back to where it is smooth. In some areas you may want to apply a thin bead of caulking. Wipe away any excess with a damp cloth and let dry.

Step 11: Second coat and touch-up.

Protect areas that you may get paint on. Go back and “cut-in” crooked masking lines and where you applied caulking. Roll out sections of wall that need a second coat and generally touch-up around the molding and fixtures. A “weenie” type roller helps to paint behind toilets.

Step 12: Replace fixtures and wall plates.

After your touch-up is dry, reinstall your fixtures, switch plates, and furniture.

Congradulations! You’re Done!

Be gentle on your fresh paint. It generally takes up to two weeks to cure and become durable.

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Source by Ben Siebel