The purpose of the following guide would be to help the beginner do-it-yourselfer accomplish his/her first drywall repair, with minimal steps, tools and materials. Since a lot of the homes I repair are in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, I am going to focus this discussion toward conventional drywall, finished with a smooth texture. If your home’s walls are made of plaster, I wouldn’t recommend attempting a repair yourself. With plaster, it is advisable to leave it to a professional professional.
Drywall repair is a straightforward process that virtually any homeowner can learn to do. Considering that homes today are designed with lumber inferior to that of generations past, movement of drywall from warping and shrinking in the home’s framing causes a number of drywall-related problems. Therefore, many homeowners will have to repair corners, cracks, screw pops, tape seams, and other drywall imperfections that accrue as time passes. In addition, damage from water intrusion, household accidents and normal deterioration necessitate a periodic drywall repair to help keep the walls looking good, especially before they’re painted.
Drywall Repair Tools and Materials
Go to your local do-it-yourself store and buy:
(1) 4″ Drywall Knife
(1) 12″ Stainless Steel Mud Pan
(1-qt) All-Purpose Joint Compound
(1) Drywall Sanding Sponge
(1-qt) Latex-Based Drywall Primer
(1) 2″ Angle-Tipped Paint Brush
1. Depending on the amount of drywall repairs required, remove an appropriate quantity of joint compound (or “mud,” since it is commonly described) from the plastic tub using your 4″ drywall knife and scrape it off into your 12″ mud pan. The theory here is to keep the joint compound fresh in order that is doesn’t dry out-so only take as much mud out as you can use within 10 minutes. Residential drywall contractor in san diego Otherwise, “chunks” of drywall mud develop, making your drywall repair much more difficult.
2. Briefly work the drywall mud back and forth in your pan a few times-like you would knead bread dough. This removes air from the mud in reducing bubbles when you place it on the wall.
3. Apply a thin coat of drywall mud to the crack or dent. Utilize the knife to scrape the mud flush with the encompassing surface of the drywall. It is better to apply two or three 3 thin coats of mud (allowing each coat to dry among applications) versus one thick coat. One of the more common mistakes I see with drywall repair is mud that is applied too thick. This rarely results in an excellent surface and makes for more time and mess through the sanding phase.
4. Allow the mud to dry. Dry time is highly influenced by type and brand of compound, thickness and level of mud application, along with ambient temperature and humidity of the room. If you need to accelerate dry time, grab a hair dryer to dry the area (as seen in this picture of my craftsman Drew).
5. Once the drywall mud is completely dry, place a drop cloth below the region of drywall repair, as you’re going to make a mess next! Use your sanding sponge to sand the region flush with the rest of the wall. Use lighter pressure as you finish in order to avoid gouging or scratching up your work. Some people prefer to have a buddy hold a shop vacuum around the area to suck up all the drywall dust while they work. If you decide to do this be sure you have a drywall dust or HEPA filter installed-otherwise you’ll just end up blowing the dust through the entire room.
6. Take a damp paper towel or cloth to wipe down the drywall repair to eliminate any remaining dust. You can even use a wet cloth or sponge to “wet sand” the region to get an extra smooth effect, if desired.
7. Making use of your small paintbrush, apply a light coat of primer to the drywall repair. This will seal the joint compound, hide the repaired area, and prepare it to accept paint.
8. When painting the drywall repair, I would recommend painting an entire portion of the wall, if possible. Although you may have gone over paint from when the wall was originally painted, or purchased new paint with same formula as the original, it is unlikely to complement. Walls age and collect dirt after a while, altering the look of them and color. Hence, if you can paint a whole section of the wall, up to a corner or seam, the difference of “new” versus “old” paint is less visible.