How to Fix Walls With Paint Over Wallpaper Glue?

Try to save the wall by sanding down the peeling section, wiping it with TSP, and then priming it before putting another layer of paint on it.

You might want to read my story of How I fixed the wall.

How to Fix Walls With Painted Wallpaper Glue

How to Fix Walls With Paint Over Wallpaper Glue

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fix walls with paint over wallpaper glue.

Total Time: 5 hours

Step 1: Prepare the Walls

Remove any loose wallpaper or wallpaper glue residue from the walls

Remove any loose wallpaper or wallpaper glue residue from the walls. Fill any holes, dents, or imperfections in the wall surface with a joint compound using a joint compound knife. Allow the joint compound to dry completely.

Step 2: Sand the Walls

Sand the Walls

Use medium grit sandpaper to smooth the patched areas and create a uniform surface. Follow up with fine-grit sandpaper to further smooth the walls. Clean the walls thoroughly to remove any dust or debris from sanding.

Step 3: Apply Zinsser Gardz

Open the can of Zinsser Gardz and stir it thoroughly. Use a paintbrush or roller to apply a coat of Gardz to the prepared walls. Allow the first coat of Gardz to dry overnight.

Step 4: Apply the Second Coat of Gardz

Apply a second coat of Gardz to the walls using a paintbrush or roller. Ensure complete coverage and smooth application. Allow the second coat of Gardz to dry completely.

Step 5: Paint the Walls

Once the second coat of Gardz has dried, you can proceed to paint the walls with your desired color. Stir the paint thoroughly before application. Use paintbrushes or rollers to apply an even coat of paint to the walls. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


  • Zinsser Gardz (primer)
  • Joint compound
  • Sandpaper (medium and fine grit)


  • Joint compound knife
  • Mild detergent
  • Warm water

Materials: Paint (desired color) Paintbrushes or rollers Drop cloths or plastic sheets

Applying Zinsser Gardz

It’s a great choice because the wall guards ensure that anything adhered to the wall will stay intact even after removing the wallpaper. This eliminates the risk of the paint peeling off. Additionally, painting the wall covers any remaining wallpaper paste and provides a smooth surface for your new paint.

However, it’s important to note that if you paint directly on the wall without removing the paste, your paint might peel or become mushy. To ensure a successful paint job, follow these steps:

  • 1) Remove all the wallpaper and lightly sand down the wall to achieve a smooth finish.
  • 2) Take care to brush around the edges, using a product like Zinda Guards, which has a runny consistency. Be cautious and cover any nearby items to prevent any accidental spills.
  • 3) Once the edges are done, you can use a roller to paint the rest of the wall.
  • 4) The paint used is water-based, so cleaning up is as simple as using warm soapy water.
ZINSSER GARDZ - Problem Surface Sealer

How I fixed the wall

My wife and I encountered a major challenge with the walls. They were covered in old wallpaper that had been painted over with glue, leaving us with a daunting task. Determined to create a fresh, smooth surface for painting, we embarked on a week-long journey of wall preparation.

We started by filling the holes and dents with joint compound, followed by multiple rounds of sanding, applying more joint compound, and sanding again. After thorough cleaning, we proceeded to prime the walls with a drywall primer, hoping to achieve a solid foundation for the paint. Exhausted but hopeful, we finally applied the top coat of paint from a reputable brand.

How to Fix Walls With Paint Over Wallpaper Glue - result

However, our excitement quickly turned into disappointment when we discovered thousands of blisters in the newly painted surface. It was a definite FML moment, and we couldn’t ignore the problem. Determined to find a solution, we conducted extensive research to understand the cause of the blistering and how to fix it without starting from scratch.

It became clear that the adhesion failure was occurring between the top coat and the drywall primer, as well as between the drywall primer and the joint compound used to patch the walls. The moisture content of the top coat was reactivating the layers beneath it, leading to the blistering issue.

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Faced with the dilemma of whether to scrape off all the paint from the remaining walls and worry about the non-painted wall with the same primer and joint compound, which had wallpaper trapping moisture against it, we decided to give Zinsser Gardz a try. This remarkable product was our glimmer of hope.

With cautious optimism, we applied the first coat of Gardz on the painted walls. While we noticed tiny blisters in the layers behind it, they were nowhere near as severe as what we experienced with the paint or water from cleaning. Encouraged by this progress, we allowed the first coat of Gardz to dry overnight, then meticulously sanded the painted walls to open the blisters. After cleaning the walls, we confidently applied a second coat of Gardz.

To our delight, this time there were zero blisters! Zinsser Gardz did exactly what it promised – it sealed everything that was causing problems behind it. Finally, we were able to proceed with a new top coat of paint, and the wallpaper mural we had carefully chosen turned out flawlessly with Gardz serving as a reliable base.

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Conclusion: How to Fix Walls With Paint Over Wallpaper Glue

From this experience, we have learned that Zinsser Gardz is our go-to primer for every paint project moving forward. Its ability to address adhesion issues caused by painted wallpaper glue was a true lifesaver. If you find yourself in a similar situation, we highly recommend giving Gardz a try. It can save you from days of arduous work and ensure a smooth, beautiful finish.