Bubbles = Bad News

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Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

I had stripped off the old paper in this powder room, and the handyman came and did a few repairs. Later, I came back and primed the walls with Gardz, a water-based product that soaks into the wall and dries hard, sealing everything. A half hour later, I looked and noticed that bubbles had formed (Photo 1). Not good, as these will show under the wallpaper, not to mention they indicate an unstable sub-surface.

The bubbles are a result of the sub-surface absorbing moisture from the primer, and expanding, causing the bubbles. The homeowner said that the handyman had had the same problem in the adjoining room. Since she says there are no more layers of wallpaper in the wall, I suspect this is a result of years of painting, priming, floating, etc., and some of those layers not being compatible with one another. In other words, if someone put latex paint over old oil-based paint, without properly prepping the surface, you might have two materials that don’t stick well to each other. Likewise, there are many other materials can be incompatible.

So, what I did was, with my razor knife, I cut out the area that was bubbled (Photos 2 & 3). Then I floated over the area with joint compound (Photo 4). Interestingly, a couple of these patches had additional, very small bubbles appear (Photo 6).

These were rather deep patches, and I wanted to be sure they were good and dry, all the way down to the bottom, so I hit them with the heat gun to encourage drying, then let them dry overnight, in the air-conditioned room (A/C pulls humidity out of the air).

The next day, I sanded everything smooth, and primed again with Gardz. Sorry, no photos – I forgot to bring my camera. 😦 There is always that nagging worry that the wet paste on the back of the wallpaper will cause an unstable surface to bubble, but the wall was sealed well, and the paper went up beautifully with no problems. See tomorrow’s post.

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