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MyHouseIsADump 06-26-2013 11:26 AM

Sanity Check - Prepping Walls for Painting/Tiling
I am preparing the lower bath and basement stairs walls for painting. The previous owner used wallpaper and (cough) contact paper. Taking it off, I've left noticeable divots in the walls, and the contact paper on the basement stairs tore down to the brown paper.

I've mostly removed the wall covering and it now looks like this:

From various reading, my plan of attack is:

1) Remove remaining hints of paper. Sand with 220 to smooth out (especially on brown paper and near any damage.

2) Paint a single layer of Zinsser Peel Stop on all walls. Allow to dry 24-48 hours.

3) Apply a layer of Sheetrock Light Weight All-Purpose Joint Compound across the entire walls. Probably a little overkill for the areas that weren't damaged but to be honest it wouldn't take too much additional time.

4) Allow this layer to dry 24-48 hours, and apply second coat? Repeat for third coat? (I seem to have conflicting information on this.

5) Paint with primer or primer-included paint.

My questions are:

1) In the bathroom, there is a mirror on the wall. Could I get away with leaving it there? Is there a recommendation that I remove it (I'd rather not).

2) Should I spackle in the holes prior to using peel stop layer? Particularly if the ones that are more than a 1 MM deep.

3) Should I apply multiple layers of joint compound and/or is this step going overkill? I think a single layer is necessary at this point to smooth out the walls and cover over where I stripped to brown paper at least.

4) In the bathroom, I am strongly considering using tile on the lower half, because I think it would be easier to clean and I it looks a lot nicer (love seeing this in hotels I visit). I'd also like to do this upstairs, so starting on the smaller lower bath would be a good practice. Are there other special considerations I need to be aware of on this area of the wall? (i.e. if the underlying drywall can handle the weight of the tiles, or special prepping).

Thanks in advance for any advice!

nealtw 06-26-2013 01:16 PM

mirrors are often glued in place and best just left there.
The drywall in the bath room isn't like green board so iI would give it a coat of Red Gard sealer, Home Depot, then you don't worry about water.
I have fixed walls like yours, I never sanded them but if you do, not much.
I just made sure there was nothing loose and dented in any high spots and went over it with compound, like you suggested, several thin coats with a wide spatula, I never primed first.

Drywallinfo 06-27-2013 07:11 AM

You definitely should use more than one coat of joint compound. I like the All Purpose regular type, but this shrinks a little more, but is also more forgiving (heaps up less). Apply to gouged out areas, skim off with a wide enough blade taping knife (4", 6" , or 12"), let dry, scrape off any ridges sticking up, and repeat with another coat. The mud will shrink in after each coat. I find that with regular all purpose, 3 coats are needed when filling holes. It does not take long to fill this way, just some patience to wait for the coats to dry.

You can leave the mirror up if you can finish up to the edge of it - it makes it a little more difficult to finish, but it can be done. If the mirror extends over the surface and does not allow you to finish properly to the edge, you should remove it.

With respect to tile, assuming the area is not going to be getting a lot of water, simply finishing and priming should be sufficient. In water areas, like a shower, durock cement board is needed under the tile. In your bathroom, a mold resistant drywall should be used and also use mold-resistant primer and paint - Zinser makes some I have had good luck with. In our bathroom I actually used Durock in place of my drywall right next to our tub where kids splash water - I seamlessly taped and finished this to merge it with the regular drywall and it turned out great, and holds up great to water - you might consider doing this as well right next to your tub if water is often splashed.

For some tips on finishing drywall, if you need them, see

MyHouseIsADump 08-05-2013 05:30 PM

Great, thank you both. I haven't had a chance to get back to my project yet but going to be picking it back up this week.

Again, thank you both for responding!!

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