Fixing a Previously Painted Bad Drywall Job

Nothing feels so bad when you notice that the newly painted wall of your house started bulging or having other drywall complexities. Why? Because you have put so much energy, effort, and of course, your hard-earned money behind building and painting the walls.

A bad drywall job is definitely a disaster for your walls that have been painted already. It is enough to make all your efforts collapse in a moment. But what is done can’t be changed, and you can definitely recover from such a situation.

In this article, I will walk you through how to fix a bad drywall job that has been painted.

Fix bad painted drywall job

You can either do it by yourself or call a professional contractor for this job. All you will need is some materials and tools if you want to fix it yourself.

Tools You Need to Fix a Bad Drywall

These tools are quite common, and you will find them easily in any shop selling wall construction elements and tools. For fixing your bad drywall job, the necessary tools are stated below.

  • Detergent based cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Wall primer
  • Wall paint (the color that matches with your walls)
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint scraper
  • Paint roller
  • Joint compound and plaster
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Drywall knives ( get three knives of 4, 6, and 8 inches )
  • Drywall tape
  • Furring stripes
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Drywall screws
  • 3.5mm Phillips’s bit


When you are done with a wall in your house, most of the time, the paint gives a smooth and glossy finish. If you want to put all the plaster and compound over the paint, it will not work. The reason is- the compound does not stick to this type of paint with a glossy finish. It will never hold; instead, it will create a mess.

So, you need to remove the paint before fixing the drywall.

But in the case of non-glossy paint, you will not have such a problem. On such a wall, you can start your work without removing the paint.

Truly speaking, it is hard to repair drywall once you have painted it perfectly. You have to do most of the things that you have previously done to build this wall. Often, you might need to replace the whole panel of drywall, which is literally like rebuilding.

Fixing Processes

In a bad drywall job, there can be many faults and problems. You need to fix them depending on their characteristics and damage. Some steps should be maintained while doing the task of repairing drywall. These will enable you to perfectly finish off without creating any mess.

Removing the Paint

As I have explained before, plasters and the joint compound do not stick on glossy paint. So the first step is to remove the paint. You can use any strong detergent or detergent-based cleaner to clear off the paint.

Mix the detergent with warm water and rub off the paint using a sponge. Using this solution, you can clear the dirt of the wall surface along with the glossy finish over the paint.

But if your walls have non-glossy regular paint, you can skip this step. That will be easier for you to put joint compound on walls.

Cut the Mud and Use Mesh Tape

In the area of faulty drywall, cut off the mud with a drywall knife. In this case, use smaller knives for perfect and easy cutting. If you have overfilled joint compound over the drywall mesh tape, just cut the part until you see the tape. You can also use the tape to fix cracked drywall check this article.

Sticking the tape perfectly can be a tough job if you are not familiar with the process. If the mesh tape is not placed perfectly, you may have an uneven wall surface or bubbles in the tape.

Replace the tape with a new one and be careful about sticking it evenly. Before putting a new one, fill the lower part with a joint compound if necessary. Let the tape stay as before if there is no issue of bubble or uneven sticking.

Priming the Surface

Apply drywall primer over the whole area with a paintbrush or roller. But make sure to clear off the unnecessary dust and dirt from the surface of the tape. Let the primer be there for some hours to be completely dry.

Applying Mud

Apply a coating of mud over it with a scraper. Make a smooth surface using the scraper over and over again.

Take Care of the Screws

Having screw problems like loose, popping up, overdriven, or lost screws might need extra care. In case of loose and popping up, drive them thoroughly using a handheld screwdriver. For overdriven screws, replacing is necessary. Pluck up that overdriven screw and drive a new one with the screwdriver. A loose screw can bulge your drywall I talked about this.

After the first coat of mud being dry, apply a second coating. This time, use a larger knife than before. Scrap the mud evenly flat for a uniform surface on the wall.

Sand the Drywall

Use 120-grit sandpaper for the repaired area. Rub nicely to smoothen the surface. After sanding, there should be a ton of excess dirt and dust. Remove them with a brush. Make sure you wear a mask to be protected from the flowing dust.

Add Some Texture

Apply texture if you want some in your drywall. Just simply mix it in a paint roller pan. Then, use a paint roller to apply on the drywall. To get more idea about drywall texture you can check out Use the texture according to your preference because everyone doesn’t want the same texture on their wall.

Paint the Wall

The final step is to paint the repaired wall. Try to get paint that matches your drywall. Then paint it using a paintbrush or roller.

Things to Consider

There are a few things to consider before and during the repairing of drywall. These can be pretty much helpful for you to make the task easier.

Letting the Layers to be Dry

Take time when you are applying primer, mud, joint compound, and paint one after another in the repaired drywall. After each coating, let the wall sit for a while, and make sure it dries completely.

If you put a layer over the previous coating without being dry, it can be a disaster. The previous coating might get mixed with the new one.

Protection for Other walls

During fixing a particular drywall, other walls attached to it can also be affected. Besides, the floor can be a mess during the process. You can use plastic sheets and wrappers to cover other walls and the floor attached to that wall. This will help you to go through the after-cleaning process.

Using Drywall Tapes

Fixing a bad drywall job needs drywall tapes for sticking over the filling. Paper drywall tapes work pretty well on drywall because they are strong and versatile.

But mesh tape is the best option, in my opinion. They have more moisture resistance and a manageable learning curve, which makes them adapt to the newly repaired wall quickly.

Final Words

Hope that the information and guide above helped you to understand how to fix a bad drywall job that has been painted. After you repaint the surface, take good care following the maintenance to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

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