Step 1: Start by prepping the walls
Photo 1: Prime the walls
Roll a fast-drying, stain-sealing drywall primer on the walls. The primer seals loose paper and promotes better adhesion of the joint compound.
With this method, you don’t just spot-prime; you roll the entire wall with a stain-blocking sealer (Photo 1). If you’ve always used solvent-based sealers like traditional BIN and KILZ, it’s time to try one of the water-based stain killers. Zinsser’s Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer works well, and you won’t have any whining from your customers about the smell. But don’t rush on to the next step; let the sealer dry thoroughly before applying any joint compound.
These are thin layers that won’t fix holes or torn-away paper, or make uneven sections level. Patch these problems with setting-type joint compound. Let the compound harden (it doesn’t have to be dry) before you start skimcoating.