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Repainting problems after removing wallpaper

Hello, we have stripped the wallpaper manually without using any special products (now we realize it might be a mistake....) and unfortunately we didn't put the primer before repainting......the wall is now under poor condition and we don't know how to proceed. (see the pic. below - a small area washed by hot water)




Just wondering

1) Whether the wallboard is sheetrock (it seems to be) or anything else.....?

2) What's the layer in the middle just under the white paint ?

3) If the wallpaper hasn't been removed completely in some areas, how can we repair the surface. Shall we cover the entire wall with primer so that it can be smooth enough for the latex paint ? Or shall we clean the wall again thoroughly(probably even need to remove the newly painted layer)  ?


Thanks and any suggestions would be very much appreciated!




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Posted 2011-12-01T18:10:12+0000  by Sandra_Xu Sandra_Xu

   Just apply the primer over everything the way it is now.  The primer will give you a "safe" surface to start perfecting (or at least improving) the walls. After the primer dries it can be lightly sanded, then patched, etc...


Keep me posted.:smileyvery-happy:



Best Answer

Posted 2011-12-05T16:00:07+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL


Hello Sandra Xu,


Welcome to the community.Im sorry to hear that this has happened, but before I can help I need to know exactly what the brown spot is????? Also what part of the house is this?????The brown spot looks like some sort of wafer board/press board. If it is that looks like you have your work cut out for you. You might have to get rid of it and put some new sheet rock. If it was a quick patch job could be possibly liquid nails and that’s why the paint may not be adhering.

Looking forward to helping you with this issue.


Hope to hear from you soon


Posted 2011-12-01T19:42:29+0000  by Soheil_HD_BOS
Thanks for your prompt reply and sorry for the confusion.

Actually this picture shows only a small area (approx.4"x5") on the wall of the bedroom. I washed this area with hot water and scraped the layers one by one just to find out the structure of the wall.....finally I reached the wallboard and made a small hole on the's how the brown spot came out

hope this is clear and thanks again for your help!

Posted 2011-12-01T23:29:54+0000  by Sandra_Xu

Hello Sandra_Xu,


Welcome to the community.


The brown spot looks like a popped drywall nail that has rusted to me. Since it is in the bathroom this would make since.


If this is the case than you should take out the nail and put a new one in either a little higher or lower spot. Than mud over it and repair the hole from the original nail.


Once you have done that then one of our paint experts can help you out with the wallpaper issue.


I hope this has answered your brown spot mystery.


Let me know if you have any other questions that I can help out with.:smileyhappy:

Posted 2011-12-02T22:20:40+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

Hi Sandra.


I have encountered this same issue many times – so let me see if I can make a few suggestions that might help you out.


FYI – all wallpaper is applied with water soluble glue.  Anything that is water based applied over the top will “re-activate” that glue and cause a host of problems.  If the glue is not completely removed then it will act as a “slime layer” under the paint and might bubble, crack or slip.

   The best solution would be to prime the walls with oil based primer which is a stain blocker/vapor barrier and will prepare the surface for painting.  Below are a couple of my favorites:


                            Zinsser CoverStain.jpgKilz Complete.jpg


   After the primer has dried, patch any inconsistencies with drywall compound.  *use a handheld light shining at an angle against the walls to highlight problem areas. Sand smooth when dried and apply one more coat of primer.  The additional coat of primer gives the surface added protection from any moisture penetrating through.


Hope this helpes.




Posted 2011-12-04T15:49:47+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL

Hi Shecandoit22,


The  photo might be misleading.....sorry for that. The brown spot is not caused by nail and it's not in the bathroom....but your suggestion can also help since we do have this nail problem in other areas of our house. I will turn to you for help when I start working on that :)))


Thanks,anyway and have a good day!



Posted 2011-12-05T14:19:01+0000  by Sandra_Xu

Hi PaintPro,


I think you've found the key.....but do I need to clean the paint (the white layer as you can see from the photo, it was made months ago) before priming ? The surface is not that smooth after the wallpaper removal and the "direct" paint (without primer) even made it worse.



Or applying the oil-based primer can repair/cover all the damages and form the base layer for new painting ?


Many thanks!




Posted 2011-12-05T14:31:07+0000  by Sandra_Xu

Thanks very much PaintPro! We might start working on this next spring, will come back if we meet any problem!


Enjoy holidays!:)




Posted 2011-12-13T01:52:46+0000  by Sandra_Xu



Paint Pro has given you pretty good advice. At this point, you should sand down the surface the best you can with about a 100 grit paper to remove surface corruption. Seal the whole room down with the quick dry oil primer. The plain white color of the primer will make those areas which need patching more obvious. Patch the areas with drywall compound. After dry, sand with a sanding block, not just with your hand. Only a block will give you a wave free finish. It will probably take a couple coats before you get good results. Check the surface by shining a  light close to the surface. Bad areas will cause shadows. When you're satisfied with the results, re-prime the whole area. This time you can use latex/acrylic primer. Finally, top coat with  the acrylic  paint of your choice. HIgher sheen paints will take at least two coats to get a nice uniform sheen. Strong colors will also require two coats.


That brown spot in your picture is merely the underlying brown pulpy paper fiber which is under the  outer white top paper on dry wall. Whenever you gouge into the brown paper, you should seal it down with an oil based primer. This will prevent the moisture from patching products from causing the pulpy paper from crinkling up. After, sealed, you can patch as normal.


For future reference:  you must wash off ALL the old paste after removing  wallpaper. If you miss some, you risk either grayish stains from coming through the paint, or possible the new paint  peeling up. Most wallpapers these days are pre-pasted with cellulose paste. Unfortunately, this type paste is invisible. However, it can be felt as it feels very slimey. You must drag your hands over the whole surface to feel for its presence! Products such as DIF will definitely make the  task  of lossening the old paste easier. A 3M scrubby pad also helps loosen the paste. Fianlly, rinse the area down.


Whenever I removed wallpaper, I always routinely primed the newly bared surface. Try as one might, you will miss some paste and you will damage the wall somewhat. It is just prudent to prime everything before painting.


Wallpaper removing was one of my least favorite tasks. How easily it comes off is largely determine by how well it was hung. If it was hung over a well sealed wall with the use of one of the pre-papering bonding/sealing agents, it would come off reasonably well. Unfortunately, I have seen wallpaper hung over absolutely bare drywall and the results was a nightmare for the remover! There is no fool proof way to tell in advance how the day is going to go!



Posted 2012-01-11T01:24:26+0000  by ordjen

Thanks - this is just what I was looking for before starting a DIY project!

Posted 2012-11-09T08:55:00+0000  by Ncentimei
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