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James04 06-22-2008 04:42 PM

Sandable Primaer? Fuzzy drywall

I am new to the forum. I am in the process of finishing my house and have come across a problem with the drywall. After priming, the drywall paper has fuzzy hairs from the sanding. How can I overcome this. I am using Behr primer. Not the PVA but the more expensive stuff. Enamel undercoat primer sealer. I have attempted to have the taper sand after the primer but the sand paper is getting gummed up. Hand sanding works. But I cannot had sand the entire ceiling (2400 sqft).

Is this primer supposed to be sandable? Is there another primer I can try? What is the best solution to this?


slickshift 06-22-2008 07:43 PM

Hi James
Welcome to the site
I'm a little confused, should be having that problem and I don't know why you are

The joint compound should be sanded before priming, not the sheetrock w/o joint compound
If the sheetrock itself is being sanded enough to make it fuzzy, it's being over sanded
If that's the case, it needs to not be over sanded...before it becomes fuzzy
Once fuzzy, the fix is to put a coat of Zinsser's Gardz over it, then sand
Then prime again if needed...but use a good primer (Zinsser/BenMoore/SherwinWilliams/Pittsburgh...), not the Behr stuff

James04 06-22-2008 09:07 PM


Thank you for your reply. I used a powered drywall sander. Porter Cable makes it. So when you sand the compound in areas that are less than the width of the disk. It contacts the paper. No doubt a more experienced user would have not have had the same result. But according to the guy who did the taping. He sees this all the time. He blames it on the recycled paper that is used on the drywall now.

I have no help available to me. So it looks like using the sprayer is out. Is the Zinsser's Gardz the only sandable primer? Do you know were I can get it?


Nestor_Kelebay 06-22-2008 11:14 PM

OK, here's what I figure happened:

Your taping contractor put up the tape and mudded it for you.

Instead of hand sanding the joints, you used that Porter Cable electric combination drywall joint sander and vaccuum cleaner to sand down the drywall joints AND the paper on both sides of the drywall joints.

Then you applied primer to the whole ceiling, and the surface on both sides of all the drywall joints is rough now cuz of the roughened paper cuz of the sanding.

You tried to sand that rough primer down by hand, but the sandpaper is gumming up.

If that's the story, what I'd do is:

1. Try scraping that rough primer down with a Sandvik paint scraper. (the kind with the tungsten carbide blade)

Hold a bright light close to the ceiling but a foot or two away from the rough area you scraped and see if it's smooth. If that seems to work OK, then do your whole ceiling that way, and then hold a bright light up close to the ceiling and see if the areas you scraped are smooth enough to prime over again. If not, then I'd paint those areas with white wood glue diluted with enough water to make a paintable consistancy and paint those areas with the diluted glue using a roller. (watch, the stuff will spatter!) Then, after the adhesive dries, trowel a thin coat of joint compound over those areas.

(There are different kinds of joint compound, and the "topping" or "finish" compounds will be the softest and easiest to sand smooth. Alternatively, if you want a harder surface, even though it's a ceiling and don't need ta be hard, use an "all purpose" joint compound for a harder surface. Using a "Taping" or "Regular" joint compound will dry harder, and much more difficult to sand smooth.)

Also drywall joint compound shrinks as it dries, so it may need another coat (or two) just to fill in the shrinkage. Sand smooth by hand while holding a bright light close to the ceiling with your other hand so that you can tell when it's smooth, and sand only the joint compound this time.

Wear a dust mask, or have a helper hold the nozzle of a vaccuum cleaner close to where you're working so you can tap the sander against the nozzle periodically to remove the sanding dust from it.

Then, prime and paint.

And, phone around to the places listed under "machists equipment & supplies" in your yellow pages and find out who sells 3M Scotchbrite pads for polishing metal after machining. Buy an "ultrafine" pad (6 inch X 9 inch, typically) with a fairly open weave, and slip it behind the sanding SCREEN of your hand sander. The sanding dust will pass through the screen and into the pad so nothing gums up. And, you can hold the nozzle of your vaccuum cleaner against the side of your hand sander to vaccuum the sanding dust out of the Scotchbrite pad.

2. If scraping with that top quality paint scraper doesn't seem to work, then the next step I'd take would be to put a thicker coat of joint compound over those rough areas with something called a "curved trowel". This looks just like a normal plastering trowel until you sight along the edge or set it down on a flat surface, and realise that it's curved so that it arches up about 1/8 from that flat surface in the middle. That way, when you hold it at a comfortable angle to the ceiling, it will spread a perfectly uniform "mound" of joint compound over that rough area that's about 1/16 of an inch thick in the middle and tapers to zero thickness on both sides, which hopefully will be enough to bury that roughness. Allow to dry, sand smooth, prime and paint.

Nestor_Kelebay 06-23-2008 12:11 AM


How much of the surface paper of the drywall did you sand off?

Did you just roughen the surface so that the white paper is still visible amid the roughness?

Did you sand the white paper down to the brown paper beneath it?

Or, are there places where the brown paper is history and the white gypsum core is showing?

Even if you've exposed the gypsum core, you can still fix it with some work.

James04 06-23-2008 06:50 AM


It is just the surface of the paper. Not too bad at all. It looks like a peach until you spray it with primer. Then it looks like a nightmare.

You have got the story correct. Except it is not just the edges of the joints it is also in the field were all the screws were spotted. I think I will try rolling the primer in a test area that has not been sprayed yet. Hopefully that will work. As far as this one room that has already been sprayed. I will just have to hand sand it and re prime. Ill let you know if rolling prevents the issue.

In the mean time I will try to find a sandable primer. Just in case I have the same issue in other areas.


slickshift 06-23-2008 09:02 PM

Sprayed primers need to be back-rolled or back-brushed
Just stay away from those Behr primers
Get to a real paint store

James04 06-25-2008 07:03 PM

It looks like the main source of trouble was spraying without back rolling. After repriming with a roller the finish was good. However as suggested the Behr primer is not good enough. It took two coats on the unprimed areas for just barley acceptable results. I have now purchased some of Sherwin Williams Prep Right. That has made a world of difference. Just one coat applied with a roller is better than two coats with the Behr.


slickshift 06-25-2008 08:16 PM

Thanks for the update
The Prep Rite is definitely a quality primer

747 06-26-2008 01:42 AM

When ever going with primer buy zinsser bullseye 123. Its great stuff. As a matter of fact slickshift told me about it along time ago.:laughing:

chrisn 06-26-2008 04:43 AM

Just one coat applied with a roller is better than two coats with the Behr.

Probably true with ANY other primer.:laughing:

James04 06-26-2008 06:18 AM


Originally Posted by 747 (Post 133800)
When ever going with primer buy zinsser bullseye 123. Its great stuff. As a matter of fact slickshift told me about it along time ago.:laughing:

I will check to see how much the Bullseye is. The Prep Rite is not a little pricey.


turbo69bird 11-26-2008 08:18 PM

For those reading this older thread looking for answers.
I am a thrid generation painting contractor. My family started the business in 1937.
I can tell you that there are two major causes for this problem.
1. the introduction of the power sander.
2 the use of recycled paper on dry wall

There are a few ways to defeat this from the start.
One is to use 220 grit screen to sand not paper or dics that are sand paper type also the sander must not use excessive pressure or stay in one spot to long.
Technique is everything and this is where a quality taper come into play.

I have also seen some guys on the higher end homes using foam buffing pads from a car buffer and ipping them in a bucket of water. Then sanding with this system but you must really doa quiality job with the tping so not much has to be taken off to get flat.

If you already have the issue of raised paper fiber, you must then use a wall paint like Master hide from sherwin williams. It is self priming and very heavy. It has alot of clay base in it for coverage.

Spray it on heavy Very heavy and back roll using a 1/2 inch nap 18 inch roller cover. Contractor grade is the best cover for this, roll through the paint just as it is starting to tack up.

It will lay the fibers over and you will not see them and it will add a small amount of texture to the ceiling to hide imperfections in the drywall. I am sure you will have some inperfections because if you had a good taper you wouldnt have had this issue in the first place. LOL

Tracymc 11-27-2008 01:11 AM

HorseS**T :furious::censored:do not blame the taper/ finisher, it was specifically said HO sand job. As a finisher would I ever let any one sand my work , HELL NO, but who knows why, it happened. You only sand the JC not the paper sand sponge the field screws. The fix is to skim the wall tight or use a high build primer surfacer like Tuff Hide or Prep Coat. This is not a taper issue if any one says they can tape so well they dont ever sand I have a crisp 100$ bill to show me how, I have 20 very qualified Finishers that I employ combined about 300 years of experience, they still sand, this is a common apprentice mistake.

Tracymc 11-27-2008 01:15 AM

Any way the only thing taped that shpuld be less than the width of a PC7800 Disk is the screw line. Butt Joints a min of 26" and Flats ( recessed edges ) min 12" in width once triple coated. Dont start scaping it will just compound your issues, tearing face paper and so on, so on, so forth. Needs a sandable high build prime to rid your self of the fuzzies.

"I am sure you will have some inperfections because if you had a good taper you wouldnt have had this issue in the first place. LOL" Turbo
This is a typical painter answer, blame the finishers incompetance B.S. this case blame the HO they sanded it, and blew the paper. this instance is when my apprentices learn to skim coat in repair situations, but I also TEACH them right off NO SANDING ON THE FACE PAPER!!!!!!!!!

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