Fixing Drywall Around Shower
March 6, 2005 6:54 PM   Subscribe

In trying to fix the joint where my wall meets up with my shower, I wrecked my wall. What do I need to do to fix it?

OK, so I noticed that the caulking where the top of my shower/tub joins up with the wall was disintegrating, and the wall was starting to curl up away from the tub. I went to get some caulk, but found this tub sealer tape instead. Basically it was rubber trim on one side and glue on the back side. I applied it, and realized that the trim was much too wide for the top edge of the tub where it was supposed to attach, so it was jutting out into space.

Here's where the genius part comes in. I said to myself that looks like crap. I can't leave it like that. I could maybe get a knife to trim it away, but that would probably end up looking bad as well. It's only been in contact with the wall for a few minutes. Maybe if I'm careful I can peel it off without much bother.

There was much bother. I pulled away the paint, and I think the paper surface of the drywall in a big strip. See a high-res image of the damage here (scroll down - it's a big photo).

Now that it's done, how do I fix it?
posted by willnot to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
From the looks of things... I'd say you have to re-spackle the wall a bit and then paint again. Providing that the wall isn't soft/rotted...

You're going to need spackling compound, a 6" joint knife, some drywall sandpaper and paint to match (semi gloss or high gloss white?) I can't tell if there's a texture on your wall, but that may also be a consideration for you.

You may want to consider actually sanding what's already there, just to smooth out some of those rough torn edges. May make it a bit easier for you as you go along. Clean the area with a dry brush or cloth. You want to remove the dust, etc, you may have there.

You want to apply the compound to the area with the knife in a nice smooth layer. Apply just one even layer to start, and let that dry. If you get any compound on the tub, wipe it off with a damp cloth. If when the compound layer is dry (more times than not, compound shrinks as it dries), it doesn't match up with the existing wall, you'll need to add another layer. If you try to do it all at once, and put a giant goopy amount of compound, it will take forever to dry.

Check the back of the compound container for amount of time it takes to dry. When you're done applying the compound and it's dry, you're ready to sand. After sanding, you're going to need to dry-dust the wall again to remove dust.

Painting can happen at this point.

This will probably limit your use of the tub (or shower) for at least a day or so. The humidity will hinder your progress.

Good luck. It's not as daunting as it seems!
posted by jerseygirl at 7:16 PM on March 6, 2005

That stick on stuff does not maintain a very good seal. When you're done fixing the paint, go with regular squeeze-on caulk. Preferably silicon-based.

The damage actually doesn't look too bad, actually. I was expecting something running several inches up the wall. The main thing is to make sure the everything is as dry as possible before you begin work. If any water is left trapped in the crevice, or has been absorbed up into the drywall, the whole will just turn to rot and mildew. Which in turn compromises the caulk's seal, which lets in more water... You'll end up re-doing the work all over again in a year, only it'll be messier the second time around
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 10:19 PM on March 6, 2005

Not drywall exactly, but backer board. A cementious substance. You just peeled away the layer of paper. Jerseygirl has it right, several thin layers of joint compound should do it.
posted by fixedgear at 1:43 AM on March 7, 2005

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