DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Remodeling (
-   -   Lots of damaged drywall - repair or replace? (

jdelisle 10-12-2007 10:38 PM

Lots of damaged drywall - repair or replace?
I have an odd question, and the advice I'm getting from friends etc is not good..

Our 25yr old home had bead-board wainscotting glued with construction adhesive to the lower 3 feet of many walls. We've removed it, and it left a terrible mess. The outside paper of the drywall is torn up and pulled off, over 60% of the lower wall is trashed. I've spent some time cutting around the damaged areas and removing the paper where it is loose from the wall, in an effort to prep it for refinishing/repair.

I've got about 80 linear feet of this mess, and am wondering if in your opinions I should replace the lower sheets or continue my attempt to repair?

If I replace the old drywall, where should I cut it off? Should I replace the entire 4x8 sheets? This would mean I'm cutting at the old joint. I'm worried that cutting at the old recess joint will create problems getting the new sheet to be flush with the top sheets old joint, since it will be thicker there due to the old sheet having been mudded/taped etc. I hope that makes sense.. =)

Any opinions?


AtlanticWBConst. 10-13-2007 06:07 AM

1.) Replace it. The labor involved trying to scrape the mess, paper or mesh tape the bad areas, and then attempting to get everything smooth/skim coat (difficult for a DIYer) will not be even slightly worth it.
Remove the sheetrock and start fresh.

2.) Where to cut it: You can cut sheetrock at any point when you are doing a replacement. Snap a chalk line straight and cut it out. It is possible to cut at the 4'-0" mark. You can if you want, you could also cut it at the 3'-0" or the 3'-6" mark and insert your new sheetrock there. I would suggest that you go ahead and remove the lower sheets to the 4'-0" mark. The existing seam edge should clean up fine. Any irregularities at the seam should be very, very minor and may be removed with a utility knife.

Good Luck.

jdelisle 10-13-2007 01:24 PM

Perhaps some pics would help. Sorry, should have posted them sooner. I wonder if I'd be OK to repair since the areas I'd have to fill are so narrow.

Still think I should re-sheet?

First two pics are before cleaning the walls up, the last two pics are after some cleanup.

After cleanup:

MyDIYTry 10-13-2007 05:08 PM

Have you thought of skim coating the entire wall and sanding? I can't tell how deep the holes are.

DeeTee 10-13-2007 05:44 PM

Other Things To Consider
Like DIY says skim coating might work. You could then also texture to get everything more evened out. You could also do a plaster concept like a Mediterranean knock-down. In both of these cases you'd still need to do the whole wall unless you are going to put in a chair rail.

MyDIYTry 10-14-2007 07:23 AM

We skim coated our entire living room when we moved in. It's a bit of work, but the finished product is beautiful. The walls are very smooth and even. This requires sanding also, which is very messy. If you go this route, make sure you cover every surface with a non-porous sheet. It's very messy and the dust is extremely fine.

bigchaz 10-14-2007 08:01 AM

In the bottom picture where you see the line in the drywall is that the 8 foot line?

AtlanticWBConst. 10-14-2007 08:58 AM

Based on the posted pictures, it is skim-coatable. We have skimcoated over bathroom sheetrock with tile ripped off of it.
On the other hand - Is it skim coatable by a DIYer?
It's possible, give it a try.
Worse case scenario is that you hate how it comes out and have to rip it all off and start new.

FWIW: When we skim coat an areas like that we use "hot mud" or eazy sand quick dry. When it sets up, we scrape down any ridges and then re-coat.

Just about anything can be skim coated smooth, if done properly and with patience:



Before sanding:

ratherbefishin' 10-14-2007 11:32 AM

I agree that's very do-able. For a first timer, it might test your patience a little, but just take your time.
When I skimcoat I always set up a strong work light to one side, focused down the length of the wall. It makes it a lot easier to see the high and low spots. Work with your back to the light, but not blocking it, so it doesn't blind you. Good luck!

jdelisle 10-14-2007 11:43 AM


Originally Posted by bigchaz (Post 67970)
In the bottom picture where you see the line in the drywall is that the 8 foot line?

That's the 4-foot line. That's also the top of the sheets, they were layed horizontally.

jdelisle 10-14-2007 11:49 AM

Thanks for all the tips and advice guys. I'll do some googe-ing and give skim coating a try. Worst case, I've wasted my time and rip it all down. =)

bigchaz 10-14-2007 10:07 PM

Since thats the 4 foot mark, if the skim coating doesnt work out, I dont think you could ask for a better mark for replacing the sheets.

Is the area where the line is different thicknesses or is it just a a paint mark?

jdelisle 10-15-2007 01:06 AM

I drew the line at the 4-foot mark. It's a bit thicker there due to the two sheets meeting up, and having been taped etc. I'm worried that I won't be able to just replace the lower sheet without this extra thickness becoming a problem. I think I could make it work, just not sure if it's the best approach. I think I'm going to try to repair first, then if need be pull the damaged sheets and deal with having to feather out the difference in thicknesses.


Originally Posted by bigchaz (Post 68113)
Since thats the 4 foot mark, if the skim coating doesnt work out, I dont think you could ask for a better mark for replacing the sheets.

Is the area where the line is different thicknesses or is it just a a paint mark?

MyDIYTry 10-15-2007 04:37 AM

We've patched a large indent in our ceiling by skim coating. The trick is to lay down a thick layer, wait for it to dry completely, then skim-coat another layer of compound. Repeat process until the area is even. Waiting for it to dry completely before you apply another layer is important.

steve1234 10-15-2007 12:41 PM

I'd suggest the tear out and replace. I recently re-did a master suite, and the old walls were a paneling / wall paper combo. There was some new rock due to moving some walls. Luckily we used a heavy texture that covered many sins, but I did skim the old walls. It seemed like a good idea at the time to "save the wall" and skim it. Looking back at the labor as well as how much easier it was to texture the new rock, I would suggest the tear out and replace. It's doable and ours looks great, but I still think it would have been easier to start with fresh rock.

Just my $.02......

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:39 AM.

User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.