How to Fix a Bad Drywall Job That Has Been Painted? – [7 Steps]

I’ve seen people being sad because of their bad drywall job on already painted walls. But it’s pretty simple to fix the bad paint job. So, I thought why not share the easy methods to fix it with you people!

How to Fix a Bad Drywall Job That Has Been Painted

In this article, you’ll get to know:

  • The reasons why you end up having a bad drywall job
  • 7 simple steps on how to fix a bad drywall job that has been painted
  • Some useful tips
  • Answers to some frequently asked questions.

Sounds promising? Let’s just dive right in!

Why Do You End Up With A Bad Drywall Job?

Unfortunately, recognizing a bad drywall job isn’t hard. You only glance at the walls and the unsmooth surfaces, crooked panels, uneven corners, sagging ceilings, screw holes, and the visible joints will scream loudly to grab your attention.

But why does this happen? Why can you see bad drywall imperfections through paint?

The most common reason for this is, taping the walls in the wrong way while painting. Most people make a significant mistake here- leaving the tapes loosely and apply the paint over them.

What will it look like? There will be even some inches of space between the surface and the tape.

Another reason is to use an unprimed joint compound. Because it absorbs the paint quite differently than the other areas of your wall. Ultimately, it leads to making the drywall patches visible.

Whatever the mistake you made while painting, it’s still fixable. Let’s explore how you can fix it.

7 Simple Steps to Fix a Bad Drywall Job That’s Already Painted

So, here we’ve compiled the things you’ll need and 7 easy-to-follow steps to fix that irritating drywall job.

7 Simple Steps to Fix a Bad Drywall

Things You’ll Need

  • Warm water and detergent
  • A sponge
  • A paint scraper
  • A utility knife
  • A dry Paintbrush
  • Quality primer
  • Joint compound
  • 1.5” drywall screws
  • Drill
  • 80-150 grit sandpaper
  • The same color you used before (to repaint the wall)

Step 1: Sponge The Wall

This is the preparatory step to fix the whole bad drywall job. Firstly, add a strong detergent and warm water and mix them well. Then, take a damp sponge and use the mixture to dampen the already painted wall.

To fix any loose drywall, a paint scraper will work great. In case you find any bubbles, use the scraper’s corner to puncture them. And, brush the mud off if you notice any.

The next thing you’re going to do is to remove the part you want to repair using a utility knife. You may find dust or loose mud as well, use a dry paintbrush to get rid of them.

Step 2: Use A Primer for The Damaged Surfaces

Find the parts of your wall that need urgent repair and prime the areas. Wait for some time and make sure the areas dry utterly before you head to the next step.

Step 3: Apply Drywall Joint Compound to The Damaged Areas

Now, it’s time to coat the seams. To do so, you can use mud or the drywall joint compound.

So, if you were unclear about the question- ‘can you apply drywall mud over painted drywall?’, you already know that the answer is yes. The drywall mud is a gypsum-based mixture that allows your wall to get a seamless look.

When the coating is damp, carefully put paper drywall tape on the joint compound. It’s supposed to be scrapped flat.

Speaking of using joint compounds, you have to choose one compound from the major different two types on the market. Don’t fret, we’re going to explain.

The two types of joint compounds are- Premixed and Setting-type. Which one you need to pick is up to the size of your drywall repair. Here’s the detailed information about the types.

Setting-Type: This type of joint compound is packed in a plastic-lined paper bag that allows the mud to stay fresh. If you’re dealing with the walls having small holes or that need repair work, feel free to go for a setting-type joint compound. It takes a little time to dry.

Warning: When you mix the powder with water, it can’t be used again. So, make sure you keep the powder dry as long as you’re not using it.

Premixed: Are you thinking that the one-time-used joint compound isn’t for you? If you have to use the mud again later, this joint compound should be your pick since it can be saved for future use.

This type of joint compound comes with water already mixed in. Moreover, it comes in a large amount like 1 or 5-gallon.

Step 4: Coat the Seams Using Mud

Does this question ‘how to fix drywall seams after painting?’ bug you?

If it does, this step is the answer you need to know. We will coat the seams on your painted wall with mud. But before doing this, eliminate the seams and replace them with 1.5-inch drywall screws. How can you do it? Use a drill and Phillips bit (No 2) for the job.

Then, grab a drywall knife. Use either mud or a drywall joint compound for coating all the uneven seams. Leave this overnight as it needs time to dry. After that, get a 6-inch knife and recoat the areas.

Next, look at the seams that feather out into your wall. Use an 8-inch knife to widen the seams. Now, wait to dry this coat.

Step 5: Sand The Areas and Apply The Texture

It’s important to sand the uneven areas with 80-150 grit sandpaper. While doing this, you can use a work light as it’ll allow you to make all the areas even and smooth.

Do not forget to wear a mask while handling this otherwise, you may inhale a lot of airborne particles. So, cover your nose and mouth properly.

Now, there’s nothing much left to do. All you have to do is to apply a texture that matches the current texture on your wall. You can apply the texture by using a sponge, a texture, or a joint compound.

A joint compound is a must-pick for beginners because there are a few to zero chances to mess things up with it. Texture sprayers work when you need even applications across large surfaces.

And, the most affordable and easily accessible option is a sponge. It also doesn’t require any previous painting experience to do the task.

Once you’re done adding the texture, let them dry for a few hours.

Step 6: Use Drywall Primer

We’re about to end. Now, use a drywall primer and prime all the repairs. Patiently wait for the primer to dry completely and then move on to repaint your walls.

Be careful when you choose a roller for painting drywall. Go for a 9” roller having a 1.5” nap. Also, the roller is supposed to be lint-free. Also, be very careful while using the roller. You must avoid rolling from anywhere else. Make sure you roll only from upwards to downwards.

Once you’re done using the primer, move on to the last step.

Step 7: Repaint Your Wall

start to repaint your wall using the same color you used before. Do it only after making sure that the primer is utterly dry. Take some preparatory steps before starting painting. For example, remove light switches as well as outlet covers, use a tarp for covering the areas you’re not going to paint, and remove light switches.

These extra steps will save you from any future hassle.

Additional Tips

  • Keep a damp rag near your workstation. It will allow you to quickly clean any spilled paint.
  • If you hate thick edge lines, press the paint with your roller every now and then.
  • Is there any unwanted roller mark on the walls? Sand down the uneven areas, patch if it’s needed, prime the surface, and apply a coat of paint to fix the mark.
  • If you don’t want to fix bad drywall by following all the steps, you can consider creative cover-ups. For example, hang a large wallpaper on the problematic wall you don’t want to fix.

People Also Ask

Will only paint hide drywall tape?

Most of the time only several paint coatings can’t hide drywall tape. So, you should use an all-purpose joint compound over the tape.

Is it okay if drywall tape shows through the mud?

No. It indicates that the coating you applied is too thin. Always try to use three layers. Firstly, apply a tape coat, secondly filler coat, and then the final coat. It’s totally okay if the tape shows through the filler coat but it shouldn’t shoe through the final coat.

Can you paint directly on drywall tape?

No. Make sure you use an outer layer (mud) over the tape before starting painting.

Do I have to sand between coats of drywall mud?

Yes. You must sand between coats, it’s highly recommended.

Final Words

Now, you know how to fix a bad drywall job that has been painted. As you see, it’s not necessarily hard to make this happen. Be careful while following the steps and you should be all good.

Happy fixing!

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