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Old 05-18-2009, 03:19 PM   #1
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Best way to repair poor drywall installation?

So our basement has this ugly ass wallpaper up from the 70's and I want to remove it and just pain the walls. I scored the paper, pull some wallpaper remover up and peeled away the first layer. First thing is it didn't come off that well probably because it's old but most importantly I found out why it was up. Apparently when they did the drywall they didn't really mud, they tapped but that's about it and the seams are horrible. It appears they then(or maybe it was planned) put up the wallpaper because it hides that better.

So, would I be better off ripping down the drywall and starting over? Should I put up new thinner drywall over the existing stuff? Or should I just try to repair the walls as they are by putting a thin layer of mud over them? Other options?


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Old 05-18-2009, 04:09 PM   #2
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You should probably tear it all down. Since its old and everything. Get 5/8 gypsum board after you rip it all down. You could apply a thin layer of mud but if you just rip it down and replace it you could get it almost perfect by yourself instead of dealing with last persons mistake.


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Old 05-18-2009, 04:15 PM   #3
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Ryan - I had the exact same issue as you in my kitchen... horrible... I was going back and forth between starting from studs or just a thin 1/4" layer on top. I ended up ripping down to studs and putting up fresh drywall.

Here's why, IMHO: I figured it would be more annoying than anything to try to get ALL the glue off the wall and get it smooth enough, in addition to mudding and taping. So, eliminating that option, since in either remaining scenario you'll be hanging drywall and mudding/taping, the only additional work would be to remove existing old drywall... in my opinion, if you can handle the trash/debris, well worth it to start from a clean slate.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:09 PM   #4
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This is something that could easily been seen from two opposite perspectives. I'm fairly comfortable with drywall finishing... shoot, I actually love doing it. So I would probably think nothing of giving that wall a skim coat.

However, if finishing is not your bag, it can quickly become a nightmare to you. From what you've asked, although you may one day come to love finishing as much as I do, right now I would also propose that your best course of action might be to just rip it out and start with a cleen slate.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:43 PM   #5
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Taking this drywall down will give you the chance to see what's behind the walls. It will give you the opportunity to see if there are any issues you want to address, such as wiring, insulation, vapor barriers,termites, etc...
Basements are usually done poorly, by homeowners who know very little.
The older the basement, the less thermally efficient it will be.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:13 AM   #6
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I'll throw in a couple of thoughts.

I completely agree with Ron about seeing what's "back there", especially in a basement. Just be prepared for some added expense with things that will need to be fixed or some "might as well's". As a guy who knows his limitations when it comes to drywall finishing (I usually hire it out - except for patches) don't forget, even the new drywall needs finishing, it will just be a bit easier.


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