How To Repair Drywall After Wallpaper Removal

The pleasantness of a home relies heavily upon its walls. Usually, the next step after removing the old wallpaper is fixing the drywall that has also been ripped off. All that effort stripping the wallpaper likely left wrinkles and dents on your walls because no primer or plaster was used on the initial installment of the wallpaper.

Drywall mending can be addressed with a few materials, a drywall/joint compound, and patience. Here’s a guide to instruct you how to repair drywall damage.

How To Repair Damaged Drywall

Make sure that you have the tools and materials needed for the job, such as:

  • Paint roller and brush
  • Drywall knife
  • Taping knife
  • Trowel
  • Shellac-based or oil-based primer/sealer
  • Wallpaper paste remover
  • Vinegar
  • Sponge
  • Cloth
  • Sandpaper of various grit sizes
  • Joint compound¬†

Clean the Walls and Remove Loose paper

It is vital to ensure that you deal with all the residue. Clean the wall with a wallpaper paste remover or a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water to clear all the glue lumps. Don’t saturate your walls; you will only add to the problem if you overdo it.

Then, with a drywall knife or solid utility knife, scrape off traces of some loose brown paper, or the loose edges of the wallpaper.

Sand The Ripped Drywall

Smooth the rough areas of the drywall surface or plaster with medium-grit sandpaper, then lightly sand with a fine-grit sandpaper. This will create a smoother foundation for the drywall/joint compound. Wipe the sanding dust with a clean cloth.

Apply The Drywall Compound

Cover any grooves and drywall damage with a couple of applications of joint compound, available from any hardware store. You may use a short, broad putty knife, but a drywall knife is much better to spread the joint compound a few inches past the borders of the damage so you can sand it level with the facade once you’re finished. Try to prevent leaving creases or huge lumps.

Allow the compound to fully dry for about a day before sanding it down.

Sand The Fixed Areas

Sand the walls with an electric sander (make sure to wear a dust mask). Use a fine 100-grit sandpaper and a sanding block to smooth off the surface.

If the wall is still dented or uneven, remove all the dust from the wall, then spread another coat of joint compound. Then polish it off with a fine-grit 180 sandpaper after waiting the suggested length of time again.

Apply Primer

Once the entire wall is completely dry, use oil- or shellac-based primer. This coat of primer creates a smooth surface for your paint to adhere to and ensures an even finish.

Another Method To Fix Damaged Drywall Paper

If the damage to your drywall after removing wallpaper is extensive and severe, a simple patch job might be insufficient. Another critical measure in this process that frequently gets neglected is skim coating.

What Is Skim Coating?

Skim coating is a technique that hides imperfections and eases damaged walls and ceilings by applying a thin application of joint/drywall compound (or drywall mud). The skim coating process is closer to drywall finishing than priming or painting because of the needed two-skim coats for the best results.

How To Skim Coat Drywall

  1. Scrape away the remaining wallpaper bits and torn drywall paper. Cover up areas that will not be skim-coated.
  2. Apply the first coat of joint compound with a roller. Spread the mixture thinly (at least 1/32 inch). Be consistent across the surface.
  3. Smooth the mud with a taping knife or trowel. Then allow the first skim coat to dry completely.
  4. Apply a second coat over the entire surface to blend the missing-paper area with the surrounding drywall material.
  5. After the last coat dries, sand the wall with fine-grit paper.

Hire Wallpaper Removal Professionals!

Repairing the drywall after you remove wallpaper is essential. The problem may reappear after installing the new wallpaper or painting if left unaddressed. But it’s a project that is backbreaking, and taking on such a project on your own might not be a great idea if you lack expertise. Although you enjoy working on things yourself, this big job usually becomes more complex, and even tiny missteps can slow you down immensely.

Therefore, it’s best to ask the help of an expert. Apex Wallpaper offers wallpaper removal and installation across Toronto, Ontario, CA. Our methodic wallpaper installation services prevent damage to the underlying drywall, and our preparation and installation services recover your wall with no massive clutter and complications.¬†

Call us at 416.833.1662 for more information on our services, or email

Quotes or an estimate can be provided at request.