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Old 09-24-2009, 03:15 AM
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Default Fixing walls

One of my jobs this week was in an "executive conference room" - ok. A room with a big table.
I think what was involved is common, but its also a common headache for people to deal with. What do you do when you strip wallpaper only to find the wall behind it was covered for a very, very, good reason?
This room had what looked like a burlap wallpaper on it. As to bidding, thats about all you could really tell, and I know from experience, even though I vastly prefer flat rates, I never flat rate this kind of work.

First order of biz was getting things off the walls. Electrical covers, white boards, projection screens, blinds, etc.

Removing the burlap wasn't too hard. It revealed two walls of the room had paneling under the burlap. The other two and a hall had another layer of paper.
The paneling, oddly enough, is a rare bird around here. Vinyl wrapped drywall. You apparently could get this stuff years ago with an embossed paneling design already on it. Nail and glue it on, done.

The two with another layer of paper, I tested it and that layer also came off pretty easily. Under that . . .
Wallpaper. Again. Green floral.
But sometime in the past, someone had decided to do some work to that layer. So there's typical holes and damage from residents past, theres drywall patches, mud feathered over the paper, there's that clay based adhesive . . . a gawd awful mess and the green flowers are on tight. It isn't going to come off.

Rotex time. The room is about 26x17 and in a morning, I ground everything shiny off all the paneling and got the rest of the mess at least reasonably level. Lots of 80 grit Rubin. It works, its cheap, its disposable. It frankly did a great job. And now it still looks atrocious, but its level.

I went over the paneling/drywall checking for any loose areas. There were a couple of seams that moved just a hair so I squirted DSA in there and perforated the stuff with staples to hold it.

Zinsser Cover Stain. Its an oil based primer, but its effective at stain blocking. I rolled everything. This seals all the garbage in and aesthetically makes for a nice uniform white that lets you see the defects better than the varied geology of the previous layers did.

Skim coat with mud. In this case, twice. A couple of outside corners had this huge metal trim pieces they used on that stuff, which I removed and put actual corner bead on.

This afternoon I sanded everything down again, used the rotex again with 220 (yes, I sand drywall with a rotex. Love it.) and marked everything with a pencil that looked like it still had a scratch or divot in it. I tinted a mud pan with some blue and spotted all the pencil marks before leaving.

Tomorrow, all thats left will be sanding the blue spots. Then paint.

So in a nutshell, get everything off that you can. What you can't, make sure its on good and tight or it will just come loose later. Seal it all down. Oil primers are good, and if it's just drywall you're dealing with, draw-tite works great on torn paper. Skim it, sand it. Paint.

This is probably the best these walls have ever looked in their life.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:28 AM
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Default Re: Fixing walls

Man, you are like a MACHINE! You go!
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Fixing walls

Good story, good tips, great job. Thanks Randy.

What is DSA?
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: Fixing walls

Randy,

I had a nasty drywall to deal with a couple of years ago. I chose to scrape, clean, sand, seal, skim coat, etc., etc. After it was all done, started thinking... "How much effort would be it be to just replace the drywall.

When I did my master bathroom, I did just that - replaced the drywall. Maybe it's just me, but installing new drywall seemed much easier than futzing with the old stuff.

That said, those are some good tips on repairing the stuff.

Thanks,

Dan.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Fixing walls

Same questions as Michael and Dan.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Fixing walls

sorry, DSA is an adhesive. I think the label says in small print drywall to stud adhesive.
There are times where replacing is better. This isnt one of them. I think you just have to make a judgment call. What else impacts it. In this case, 5th floor, glued to another layer of drywall behind it, 5 days max timeline allowed . . . I can fix it faster than I can tear it out and rehang.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Fixing walls

Thanks for the update. A lot of experience went into that job. Five day timeline but probably 30 years of experience. I could visualize every step you took. I like the idea of using the Rotex on drywall. I have used one of those screen handles with a shop vac and I think the Rotex would be better. Was it Rubin 220? Thank you for the tips.
Matthew
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Fixing walls

You sound like a candidate for the Planex. I think its time it went to the US. It was designed for just what you've been doing - and (I think my shoulders are going to be happy) they've just brought out a harness for it. Get lobbying.
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: Fixing walls

Oh ho ho ho
You might just have to believe me when I say I've been beating that horse for some time now. I told Brian when I was out in Indy a year ago they needed to BRING IT OVER because people would buy it. I've tried, in desperation, to get someone in England to ship one to me. Almost had that done. Then he got cold feet or something.
And if you've ever used the PC, and used a rotex, and imagined the best features of the two together, you can imagine just how salacious an experience that might be, even fully clothed.
IF Festool ever brings them to the US, I am one of the dudes who will be camping out in a tent waiting for midnight to strike so I can be the first one. I give a crap about the new ipod or game thingy. A planex, that I'll get excited over.

No the paper was Bril 220, to answer the question.
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: Fixing walls

I want to add to this.
FESTOOL
I know you have your own hangout now and all, but in the event that you, any of you, ever traipse through here and read my ramblings, I'd like to interject some perspective.
You could offer me a night with Gwen Stefani, or a Planex, pick one.
I'd get the sander.
BRING IT OVER ALREADY!!!!!!!!
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