Friday, February 6, 2015

HOW 2! How To Patch A Hole In Drywall

Drywall Repair
Sooner or later, it's gonna happen.  The door knob put a hole in the wall, or you ran into the wall while moving furniture, or maybe someone had a bit of a rage and even punched the wall.  Either way, there's now a hole and it needs to be fixed.  Don't let a project like this scare you.  With a little help, some attention to detail, and PATIENCE, you can take care of this yourself and save the money of calling a drywall repairman to fix it.  Before I get started, let me just say that I've spent several years working as a drywall finisher and made very good money when I was called to do small repair projects like this.  It may seem crazy to share this information on how to do it yourself (and not pay someone like me to do it for you), but it only makes sense for me to help others out.  After all, over the years I've had folks I know share their secrets with me to help save money, so why not do it for others as well!

Drywall Tools

What You'll Need:

  • Drywall Coumpound
  • Drywall Tape (either Paper or Mesh type)
  • 6", 8", and 10" Taping Knives
  • Mudpan
  • Drywall
  • Screws
  • Cordless Drill
  • Drywall Sanding Screens

  Our project is to repair a hole in the drywall.  Whether it's in the wall or ceiling, our repair process will be the same.  The first step we need to do is square up the existing hole.  By using a drywall saw or "rat-tail saw", open up the damaged drywall to make a square hole.  This will make it easier to fit a new piece.  When doing this, if the hole is close to a stud or ceiling joist, cut the drywall to where one side of the hole will now be halfway over it, and can then be used to secure one side of the replacement piece.  If a framing member is not close, then just cut the hole open to the smallest square possible.  You can now use some small wood pieces, like 1" x 2"s or even scrap plywood to put behind the hole.  By placing the wood pieces behind the hole and anchoring with screws through the drywall, you now have a way to anchor the new drywall piece.  Just cut out a new piece of drywall to fit the new hole and anchor with screws to our new wood pieces.

Drywall Repair

  Now that we've closed the hole up, we will start the finishing process.  At this point you can use either paper tape or mesh tape.  The paper tape is a little more difficult because you have to apply it with drywall compound, or "mud",  and experience helps with this.  The mesh tape is easier for DIYers because it is self-adhesive and all you need to do is cut it to length and stick it on.  I prefer the paper tape, but either will work.

Drywall RepairDrywall Repair

  Once the tape is on (and if you used the paper tape, the mud is dry), then you are ready to start bedding the tape.  You will need to use a mud pan and a broad knife (either 8 " or 10").  Using the broad knife, spread the mud over the tape.  In this part, you are trying to float the mud from the center of the tape away.  Once the mud is dry (typically 24 hours are needed), it will be time to skim coat the patch.  During this step, you are doing the same as the float except you will need to use a wider knife.  Instead of an 8", try using a 10" or 12".  This time you will be floating the mud out even further away from the tape.  If you need to sand between coats of mud, make sure it is dry first or else the you'll have more work to do.

Drywall RepairDrywall Repair

Typically, after 3 coats of mud, you should be able to do a final sanding and then you are ready for paint.  One key thing to understand is that the wall where you are patching will never be completely flat.  The better you float the mud, and the further out you float it, the more it will appear flat. Ultimately, that is the job of a drywall finisher- to make the walls and/ or ceiling appear as smooth and flat as possible!  I hope this has been of some help to you.  As always, please feel free to leave me a comment or add your suggestions!