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How to repair drywall which was ripped down to the brown paper

Q: What can i use to repair my drywall which was ripped down to the brown paper during the much needed wallpaper removal process? I just want to be able to paint the walls – I am not going to be re-wallpapering. Do I just get a can of Gardz? or do I need something else in addition to the Gardz?

A:  I taught myself to repair drywall with the assistance of people on the gardenweb forums. It is a DIY project, but there are a couple tricks you need to know about, especially since you are going to be painting. First, paint the damaged drywall with oil based primer. Then skim coat with drywall mud, sand, skim again, sand again, and maybe even a third time. Once it is smooth and the way you want it, prime again with oil based primer.

But most of the on-line advice fail to tell you about the importance of using the oil based primer, and using it twice. It acts as a shield, first between the damaged drywall and the drywall mud, and then the second time as a shield between the drywall mud and your latex paint. If you don’t use it, you can end up with the repaired area having a slightly different sheen from the rest of the wall.

A: Here’s some more advice he gave me when I could not face the prospect of removing the tightly applied wallpaper (someone did a good job on that!) from a very long narrow hallway, especially after the first few strips I took down damaged the drywall as you described. He said to sand down the torn edges and seams of the wallpaper so it’s flush, then apply Gardz. He then skimcoated. Then I added another layer of Gardz and painted. After we were done, you couldn’t tell there was ever wallpaper there. After all, drywall itself is basically paper, and if you can prevent the wallpaper from buckling and coming down from the moisture, why not. Gardz supposedly makes a hard seal on the surface.



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