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DIY Tips For Drywall Patching & Hole Repair


Drywall (gypsum board or wallboard) is the most popular wall material used in homes and business. For as tough as it seems, it can easily be dented, scratched or get a hole punched in it. The good news, an most likely why its still used, is that its easily repaired and can be installed fast. Larger holes will require you to put a backer in the wall, but even then, its a simple process.

To fill in dents in drywall make sure to sand or cut off loose edges. Use some heavier grit sand paper to make the surface rough in and slightly around the dent. Use a joint knife with “mud” compound and put about a cup or a cup and a half on the center of the blade. Gently roll the knife over the dent and allow the mud to fill the dent. Once you have the mud in the dent without air pockets, use the knife at a 90-degree angle and slide it over the dent again to remove excess compound. The compound will shrink when it dries, so you will need to apply a thin second coat. To make sure you can not see the patch, blend the compound in a very thin layer around the dent and after its dry, sand lightly – or smooth it out by wiping with a dampened sponge.

Small holes in drywall

Years ago drywall was put up with nails. Many times in older homes you will get a nail pop or an area where the head starts to come out of the drywall. I like to remove the nails and replace them with a screw or two. Sometimes screws can pop also and I treat it the same, I remove the screw and replace it. Sometimes you need to slightly dent the drywall with a hammer to be able to fill it. Once you have the nail or screw replaced and a small dent in the drywall, treat it like a dent.

Small holes in drywall can be repaired with screen. This screen is cut to a shape about 1″ larger than the hole. Hold the screen in place and use the mud to cover the screen and fill the hole behind the screen. This is a multiple step process as you need the layers to dry before applying more mud. Each day apply another thin layer and feather out farther and farther so the patch will not be seen. Once you are happy with the patch, lightly sand.

Larger holes will need backers

Larger holes will need backers or wood to screw a new piece of drywall to. Sometimes you can slip a longer piece of plywood into the hole and screw it to the wall for a backer. Larger holes may require you to cut a piece of drywall out and replace it. When doing this its easier to cut to the studs so you have something to screw to. When jointing drywall, use paper in your joints. I found it best to put a thin layer of mud over the joint and slightly wet my paper. Apply the paper in a smooth manner and then put a layer of mud over the paper. Let it dry and come back the next day to feather it out.

No matter the problem with your drywall, with a little patience and a few cheap tools, you can fix it yourself! Take your time and do it right the first time.

About the Author Joyce

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