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How to repair drywall damaged from wallpaper removal

Updated on October 6, 2010

Fuzzy brown damaged

fuzzy brown paper from drywall damage
fuzzy brown paper from drywall damage

You've removed your wallpaper and damaged your walls

Sometimes walls are not properly sized before wallpaper is installed. This makes wallpaper removal difficult. Often times you will find several layers of wallpaper installed on drywall.

Wallpaper or wallpaper border removal is tedious and will damage underlying drywall if the wallpaper was not installed properly in the beginning. There are several techniques for removing wallpaper, none of which are fun. Begin by pulling a corner of the wallpaper to see if it pulls off easily. Sometimes the top layer of the wallpaper will pull off leaving a paper backing behind. If this is the case, spray the paper left behind with a spritzer. I have found that adding ammonia or a Windex type solution helps to dissolve the glue on the wallpaper. Let the paper sit damp for a minute or two, then take a putty knife and scrape the wallpaper off.

If the wallpaper will not pull off easily, use a scorer tool. It has small wheels that poke tiny holes in the wallpaper as you run the wheel across the wallpaper in a circular fashion. These small holes will allow water or steam to penetrate the wallpaper and loosen the glue backing. After scoring the wallpaper spray with water or use a steamer to loosen the glue. Pull off any loosened pieces of wallpaper and keep applying moisture until you are able to remove all traces of wallpaper.

Inevitably you are bound to gouge the drywall or pull the white paper from the drywall itself, as shown in the picture above. Don't fret, the drywall can be repaired very simply. When the paper covering of the drywall has been damage, the underlying result will be brown fuzzy fibers. These fibers need to be sealed. Without sealing the fibers, the drywall will bubble up when drywall compound is applied. Simply paint a clear varnish on any brown fuzzy parts or use a product like Gardz by Zinsser. Once the varnish has dried use a sanding block, to lightly sand the area to remove loose bits. A sanding block can be found in the paint or in the drywall department of your local hardware store.

Once the brown fuzzy parts have been sealed, you are ready to apply drywall compound. Smooth drywall compound into any damaged areas using a putty knife. Allow the areas to dry, and sand with your sanding block. Run your hand over the area, if the area is not smooth enough apply more compound, allow to dry and sand again.

It is a good idea at this time to wash the glue from the wall, and prime, or paint the wall with Gardz before applying your new finish.


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    • AllSuretyBonds profile image

      AllSuretyBonds 7 years ago

      Great Hub. Great idea. I have used a scorer tool once and it works great!

    • Ellen_C profile image

      Ellen_C 7 years ago

      Good idea I might consider giving this a try!!!