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Old 02-17-2007, 12:29 AM   #1
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Resurfacing Drywall


I'll appologize up front if this topic has been covered to death in the past. We own a 35 yo home with interior wall surfaces that range from pretty bad to down right miserable. The previous owners had installed wallpaper throughout a large part of the home and while we managed to remove all of the paper and associated glue/adhesive, the underlying drywall surfaces are in pretty bad shape. I've patched some of the areas, but things still look pretty spotty. Does anyone have any insight on applying a skim coat to old drywall or have any ideas on a good way to freshen things up? Thanks.

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Old 02-17-2007, 09:26 AM   #2
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Seal it up with Zinnser's Gardz
It'll lock in any old adhesive and turn any drywall paper/rips still showing hard so you can patch/repair with joint compound

The next step, is patch/skim with joint compound
Usually I end up with many, many, small patches
(The last one I did, there wasn't a spot of 3 sq. inches that didn't have at least a thin layer of J/C on it)

Then those repair spots must be primed
You could spot prime
If there's a lot, might as well prime the whole wall
You can use the Gardz if you still have some left over
But as you might have noticed if you used it before, it's not real "white" or good at hiding previous colors
Regular primer might be better depending on what it looks like and what's going up

At this point, it'll look pretty uniform (though primer won't look like paint-it'll be a little blotchy-but you'll get the idea), and any problem areas that you didn't really fix well will show up
Do more skim/repair if needed
Spot prime if needed

It should get you to a point where you can paint, and it'll look OK

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Old 02-17-2007, 04:28 PM   #3
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Thank's Slick, I think you've put me in the right direction. One quick question when covering larger areas with joint compound. What size knife or trowel do you recommend using?
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Old 02-17-2007, 05:03 PM   #4
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Well, that depends
I usually start with a 4", go to 6" or 8", then to ten

A real big area....well, skimming's not my forte
I can git er done, but I'm not Michelangelo out there
I'd still prolly use a 4" or 6"
Then next round, size up to smooth out

I'm pretty sure my biggest taping knife is a ten
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Old 02-17-2007, 05:21 PM   #5
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Thanks again, Slick. I'm pretty sure that I can't make things worse then they already are. I'll give it a go and see what happens.
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:26 AM   #6
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I have pretty much the same situation as mebsdad. However, I kinda' wanted a little texture on my walls, and I had been advised to use a light weight drywall mud, trowel it on and work with it 'til I was happy with how it looked, then prime and paint.

I had considered troweling it on, letting it dry, then knocking down the high spots with sand paper. I was hoping that might give it the look of plaster.

Thoughts?

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Old 02-18-2007, 05:04 PM   #7
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When laying it on, go in different directions with the knife, let dry and and push your drywall knife to knock down the high spots. Then go over it again, to achieve the look you want. You should be able to get close to a venetian plaster look in the first pass, but almost always, it takes a second pass.
When dry, knock down the high spots with the knife and then sand the whole thing. This procedure will save time and avoid sanding as much as possible.

Last edited by joewho; 02-18-2007 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 02-18-2007, 05:12 PM   #8
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That sounds like a great technique. When sanding, what grit do you recommend? Also can I use a large surface of some sort to attach the sand paper to or can I use my mouse sander?
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:30 PM   #9
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I'd recommend a (drywall) sanding screen on a pole for sanding

Medium grit for rough early sanding and knockdown of ridges and chunks etc. (or 150/180)
Fine for the finish sanding (or 180/220)

IIRC "the mouse" is too small to be effective, but may come in handy depending on what you are left with
The idea is to keep it smooth enough where you don't need a power sander

It doesn't always work out that way...lol
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:31 PM   #10
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Use 150 grit paper on a pole sander. Don't sand too hard, you just want to smooth out any rough areas and not leave scratches that will show that sanding was done. The mouse will work if you don't have a pole sander. Some pros use sanding screens, but paper is more user friendly.

It can be primed with regular drywall primer/sealer, as long as it gets sealed really well. If you want to use your zinser on it, that will be even better.
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Old 02-18-2007, 07:28 PM   #11
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I'm really going to show my "newbie-ness",,,what is a pole sander??

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Old 02-18-2007, 07:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shapeshifter View Post
I'm really going to show my "newbie-ness",,,what is a pole sander??

It's basically a broom handle with a pad threaded onto the end. You put the sandpaper on the pad and sand away
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:18 PM   #13
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Home depot, drywall department, theres and area where you get mud, tape, sandpaper and sanding poles.

It's a stick with a rectangular padded head. Sandpaper is specially cut to fit the head. Both in the same area.
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:43 PM   #14
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I carry two of the screen "backers"

One has Med, the other Fine, so I have both on hand and just switch the backers rather than the screens


I don't have one permanently attached to a pole, as I always carry poles for painting (I never roll w/o a pole)

I always bring a Wooster Sherlock adjustable positive lock 2 - 4 foot, and a 4 - 8 foot, so I'm usually covered
Makes both sanding and rolling go much quicker

The only reason I won't sand or roll with at least the 2 footer is there's simply not enough room

If I know there's high ceilings or walls I'll bring the 8-16 foot
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:37 AM   #15
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Thank you so much for the info. Looks like my job may be a bit easier.


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