How to Drywall Over Drywall
LESLIE: Now we’re going to take a call from Georgia where Lee wants to remove some drywall.
Lee, what happened that you want to take it down?
LEE: I’ve got little ridges. It looks like …
TOM: Well, it’s textured.
LEE: … a bunch of potato chips. Yes.
TOM: It’s textured.
LEE: And we’d like to get it off but I don’t know if I – you know, aside from sanding it or replacing the drywall, what I need to do to get the room with some flat walls rather than textured walls.
LESLIE: Well, if it’s textured stucco, there’s really nothing you can do. But what if it’s textured mud? Can you sand it down? Does that make sense?
TOM: I mean you (clears throat) – you probably could sand it down if it was textured spackle but …
LESLIE: But that seems like a big, messy work.
TOM: Oh, yeah. It’s a big, stinking, messy job.
LESLIE: Is it all over the house or is it just one room?
LEE: It’s just one room. They do have some other textured walls that look more like stucco and we decided to keep those walls as is.
TOM: So how many walls do you have that are a problem, Lee?
LEE: Well, it’d be the four walls of this room.
TOM: OK. Well …
LESLIE: You know, I tend to think whenever people put a textured finish on something, it means they’re trying to hide something.
TOM: Yeah, like bad drywall work to begin with?
LESLIE: Yeah, maybe. So I think rather than trying to tackle the removal of the texture, maybe you just want to start fresh.
TOM: Yeah, and the way to do that, Lee, would be to put new drywall on top of the old drywall. Don’t remove it, because that’s a lot of work, but just go ahead and use 3/8-inch thick drywall – a little thinner than the standard 1/2-inch – and put it right on top of that. I would put the sheets vertically, probably, because it’s just a little bit easier for you to handle. I would cut them to fit from the baseboard all the way up to the ceiling, four feet wide, and then stack them side by side like that. This way you’ll have just a vertical seam to work on.
LESLIE: What do you do, Tom, though, where you have junction boxes? Can you pull them out further?
TOM: No. What you’d do is you use an extension to the junction box.
TOM: You cut around it so that it matches perfectly and then there is a way – there’s an electrical product that is an extension to any kind of a standard junction box; either the small ones that are like 2×4 or the big ones that are like 4×4. And that brings them out with slightly longer screws and it’s fine. It’s not hard to do.
You know, in my house we had old, plaster walls and I didn’t want to take them down. Actually, in some rooms I did but it was just such a big, stinking mess I started doing it the other way. So I just sandwiched a lot of walls with new drywall and it looks fabulous.
LEE: Now what do you do with like the door jambs and the footboards?
TOM: Excellent question. What you do is this. With a door jamb, you pull off the molding and you add an additional extension to the door jamb. So you know, you’re basically looking at a piece of pine that’s about 1/2 by 3/4 tacked onto the outside of the existing door and then you trim on top of that. And if you offset that extra trim piece, it looks like it was always supposed to be that way. It’ll look like it’s part of the design.
TOM: Yeah, don’t make it flush. Just step it back about 1/8 of an inch.
LEE: Well, that sounds wonderful.
TOM: Alright, thanks so much for calling, Lee, 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.