Drywall Repair

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Compared to many other home improvement fiascoes, drywall can be repaired relatively simply. There are a few different methods depending on the damage, but the most difficult part is just waiting for the compound to dry! Keep reading for some advice on patching drywall.

Small Holes

Small holes in your drywall can be patched very simply by using some patching compound.
  • With a utility knife, shave away any excess paper around the edge of the hole. Do it on an angle, making a slight indentation around the edge.

  • Place some compound on a hawk (a square piece of metal with a handle underneath) and use a spackling knife to fill the hole.

  • Give the patch one horizontal and one vertical pass with the spackling knife against the wall, scraping the excess away.

  • Allow the compound to dry.

  • Add a second coat, extending a little beyond the perimeter of the hole.

  • After allowing this coat to dry, sand it till it is blended with the rest of the wall, prime it, and touch up the paint.

Large Holes

There are a few methods for patching up larger holes in your drywall. Simply using patching compound won't do; the patch will collapse on itself or fall through the hole in the wall. You need to give the patch some backing to support it.
  • First, with a keyhole saw, cut around the hole in the shape of a square or rectangle that you can measure; you are going to fit your patch to these dimensions.

  • Next, you need some drywall you can cut to fit the size of the hole. If you have some scraps lying around, those will do. If not, buy a drywall patch at your local home improvement warehouse.

  • Measure the dimensions of the hole you cut out and pencil them onto the patching piece. Use your utility knife to cut inside the penciled line.

TIP: Make sure the drywall you use to patch the hole is the same thickness as the wall itself.

  • Drywall needs backing to stay supported. To provide this backing, cut one or two pieces of wood to extend beyond the dimensions of the hole at its widest.

  • Place the wood piece into the hole and pull it against the back of the drywall, towards you.

  • Use drywall screws to secure it in place on the top and bottom, or left and right.

  • Set the screws 1/16th of an inch into the wall panel.

  • Place the patch inside the hole and screw it into the new backing with drywall screws. You can use mesh patching tape over the screws and seams to aid the patching process.

  • Apply a thin coat of patching compound over the screws and seams of the patch and allow it to dry. Repeat this process until no gaps can be found, and you have a layer of compound only slightly higher than the wall itself.

  • Sand the dried compound to blend it in with the surrounding wall.

  • Prime and paint the patched area.
You don't have to live with unsightly holes in your walls! It doesn't take a professional contractor to make your rooms look new again, just some compound, paint, a few tools, and a little patience. Happy patching, friends.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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