How to Repair Damaged Drywall After Removing Wallpaper?

More and more people are removing the wallpaper from their homes. People aren’t a fan of the old-fashioned wallpaper that has been commonly found in homes.

These patterned and often floral wallpapers are not fitting into the aesthetics of people, so they are removing the wallpaper. 

However, what is often happening in these older homes is that the drywall gets damaged after removing wallpaper.

Damaged drywall makes paint harder to look good on it since it won’t be as even. If you are in this situation, don’t fret.

We will go over how to repair these damages so you can paint your walls the color of your dreams. 

Why Does Repairing Damaged Drywall Matter?

When you have damaged drywall, you should try to repair it to the best of your abilities.

Why Does Repairing Damaged Drywall Matter

A damaged wallpaper won’t take paint as well as there won’t be an even surface for the paint to grip to. Instead, your paint will bead with particles of the drywall getting stuck in it. It won’t look good at all. 

Repairing your drywall is also important if you rent your space and want to get your security deposit back. A damaged surface needs to be fixed. 

Finally, damaged drywall will worsen the protection of your home. Depending on how much damage your drywall sustained, the damage can turn into cracks which can prevent your home from being able to protect you from the elements as well. 

Repairing your damaged drywall is important, so let’s take some time to learn the best ways for repairing these damages. 

How to Repair Damaged Drywall After Removing Wallpaper

When wallpaper is applied to a house, there was the intention that the wallpaper would stay permanently, especially for old houses.

When you remove wallpaper, you are likely to experience damage to your drywall that will need to be fixed. 

How Big Are the Damages

After you are done removing the wallpaper from the wall, access the damages. The methods you will use to repair your drywall will depend on how much damage was sustained.

Remove any loose pieces of drywall

Are there only small tears in the drywall or has your drywall been extremely messed up?

When you determine the severity of the damages, you will know which method below will be better for your wall.

Gather Your Supplies

Before you get started with the repairs, you will need to make sure you have all the necessary materials. 

For small repairs, you will need a utility knife, cloths, medium and fine-grit sandpaper, joint compound, primer, paintbrush (or paint roller,) and safety gear.

For larger repairs, you will need the above materials plus a tarp for collected dust, a broom, and a larger taping knife (about 6” and 12”.)

Safety Practices

Since you are going to be working with dust and other small particles, you will need safety glasses and a dust mask.

This mask will filter out dust and other small particles, so they don’t end up in your respiratory system. 

Make sure that you are wearing your safety gear before starting the project and don’t remove them until you have cleaned everything up. 

Small-Scale Repairs

Let’s start with repairing those smaller damages in your drywall.

Small damages usually include a few spots where the drywall tore. It is nothing extreme and if you wanted to, you could cover up the damage with a picture frame. 

However, we aren’t going to be covering our problems today. Instead, let’s fix the drywall with the following method. 

Remove any loose pieces of drywall that are going to tear off anyways. You are already going to be making repairs, it is better to start with an even surface.

Remove these pieces using your utility knife instead of ripping them. By using your utility knife, you will be minimizing extra damage while making a clean line. 

Using your fine-grit sandpaper, sand the edges of the damage to create smooth lines. Wipe away all the dust stuck to the wall with one of your cloths. 

At this point, your wall should be smooth despite the drywall damage. If you run your hand over the damaged sections, you shouldn’t feel any pilling from the wall. If you do, sand once again. 

Open your primer and using your paintbrush or paint roller (if you have a paint roller, make sure you also have a paint pan,) cover the damaged areas with a layer of primer.

Courtesy of HouseImprovements

The primer will seal away the damage so there are no dips where the damages were and that your drywall won’t bubble. 

Give your primer a few hours to completely dry. The specific amount of time that a primer will need will depend on the brand, so always check the instructions on your primer to get the specific time. 

Use this time to clean up any dust in the area. Sweep up the dust or use the cloth to clean the floor of dust. If the room is carpeted, use a vacuum. 

Your wall might be set with just one layer of primer. If you want extra protection, add another layer and repeat the waiting process.

add a layer of joint compound

Once you are done with the primer, add a layer of joint compound and allow it to completely dry. Now your wall is completely repaired and ready for a layer of paint. 

Larger Repairs

For larger repairs, you will need the extra supplies listed above. Larger repairs will usually require a whole-wall repair and take extra time. 

Use your taping knife to remove all the extra loose drywall. The size of the taping knife you will use will depend on how large the damaged areas are.

Then, as you would for small repairs, sand the area until the wall is completely smooth. Again, make sure that there is no drywall pilling to get stuck in the primer. 

For the really large damaged areas, you may want to use a small sanding machine to make the process easier and faster. However, this is not required. Using your cloth, wipe away all of the dust stuck to the wall.

Once the wall is smooth, take your primer and cover the wall with it. Make sure that all of the damaged areas are fully covered with primer.

You will likely need a gallon of primer for your wall. Allow to dry as needed and add another coat if desired.

Apply your joint compound with your 12” taping knife. This will make covering the large areas much easier. You will probably need about 5 gallons of joint compound.

Hold your knife 45° from the wall to apply an even coat. This is called skim coating and is the easiest way to get an even coat of joint compound on your wall.

Wipe the excess compound off of the knife and allow the wall to dry completely.

With the damage involving larger areas, you will want to sand the wall again to make sure that the dry compound is even and that there are no lumps left on your wall. Use your fine-grit sandpaper for this step. 

sand the wall again
Sand the wall again

With your wall fixed, sweep away all of the dust on the ground and make sure that your space is clean. Before adding a new layer of paint to your wall, add another layer of primer first so your wall is perfectly ready. 

You might like: How to Fix Peeling Paint on the Ceiling

2 Tips and Reminders for Repairing Your Drywall

Be Patient

While these methods listed above are super easy, you need to be patient. Allow each layer of primer and joint compound to completely dry before moving to the next step.

Working on your wall before it is dry will leave you at risk of bumps and lumps in your wall which won’t look good. 

This is a long repair process, so do this project when you won’t need to use the room for a while.

Depending on the size of the damage, this project can take you a whole day or two with the drying times. 

Always Wear Safety Gear

We can’t express the importance of your safety gear enough. Whenever you are dealing with dust and small particles, make sure your eyes and lungs are protected by wearing your safety glasses and mask.

You don’t want these particles to get into the sensitive parts of your body and cause cuts and other damage. 

Also, when you are applying chemicals to the wall, make sure that your space has proper ventilation. Open all the windows in the area and keep the door open. If necessary, also run a fan. 

Final Thoughts 

Repairing your drywall after it gets damaged from removing wallpaper is nothing to stress about.

The repair process may be lengthy, but it is super easy to do. With these methods listed above, you will have your walls looking good and repainting in no time. 

If you enjoyed reading this post and feel confident to repair your drywall, let us know in the comments. Feel free to also share what color you will be painting your wall after you repair your drywall.

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