the painted surface
How To Do Drywall Repair Like the Pros - page 1
Drywall Repair for Dummies
We would like to thank Richard Nation for this article. Richard does business in St. Louis, MO as Nations Drywall. You can see his website at Nations Drywall. A hole in drywall is a common problem and we hope our readers will find the tips and techniques of how to patch drywall found in Richard's article helpful.
Here you are, your kids were playing football in the house and one of them got tackled into the wall. Fortunately they hit the wall in-between the studs and there are no physical injuries. You look at the wall and realize that the hole doesn't match with the rest of your house decorations. So you can decide to call a company like us that does drywall repair or you can attempt to fix it for yourself. Here is the Drywall Repair for Dummies guide.
I will not lie, everything is fairly easy about the repair except for a couple of things such as the taping/finishing part and making the repair last 100,000 miles. Although the taping portion is extremely difficult to explain, I can explain the rest and will do so... but first let me make a material and tools list.
Tools and Materials
- Plastic or drop cloth to keep the mess off of the floor.
- Tape measure, screw gun, keyhole saw, chalk box, razor knife.
- Screws (most of the time 1 1/4? wood screws will work).
- Wood furring (something like a 2x4 or 2x2), saw.
- Drywall (measure the thickness of existing drywall and match that size, such as 1/2? and 5/8? for example).
- Tape (either fiber mesh tape or regular paper tape).
- Mud (I use quick-set mud for all of my patches, beginners may want to use regular mud. If you go with regular mud make sure you use All-Purpose for the tape coat and Light-Weight for the bed and finish coats).
- Sanding sponge.
- Editor's Note - Also needed will be knives to spread the mud. At least a 4 or 5 inch wide one and 8 to 11 inch wide one should be on hand.
I will go into more detail about the best combination of tape and mud shortly.
Before I begin with the drywall repair process I would like to talk about the tape/mud combination. Tapers may or may not agree, this is solely my opinion that is backed by 15 years of doing nothing but drywall repairs.
For repairs, you are better off using the fiber mesh tape along with quick-set mud if longevity is the goal. It may be a bit tougher for beginners but if you can figure it out it will be well worth it. Fiber mesh tape and quick-set mud are made for each other with small repairs in mind. If using fiber mesh tape, you do not want to use pre-mixed mud as your first coat. Quick-set mud sets and dries very hard which is better for the fiber mesh tape, pre-mixed mud dries too soft for it. You will have to make up your own mind and decide which combination you think would be better for you.
Pros for quick-set mud
- Sets fast to allow for multiple coats in a short time period (you can use a fan to further shorten the set time).
- Dries very hard compared to pre-mixed mud which adds to strength of repair.
- If used in conjunction with fiber mesh tape a repair can last a very long time.
- Comes in different "set" times to accommodate different size patches (5 minute, 20 minute, 45 minute and 90 minute are the most common).
Cons for using quick-set mud
- It comes in powder form so you have to add water and mix to correct consistency as needed.
- For some beginners it can take 10 minutes to mix up a pan correctly, bad news if your using a 20 minute setting time compound.
- If not mixed up thoroughly enough you will have lumps in your mud, thus making your taping job tougher.
- It can be harder to work with compared to pre-mixed mud for beginners.
Start by prepping your hole
Now that you have all of your tools and material you are ready to get started. First take your tape measure and measure however is most convenient for you to make a nice square around the patch. Next take your chalk box and snap lines in-between your marks, you should end up with a well defined square.
With your keyhole saw in hand cut out your chalk lines so that when your done you have as close to a perfect square as you can. Make sure that you actually cut or score the drywall around the entire perimeter prior to removing the drywall. The reason behind this is to make sure that the outer layer of drywall paper does not tear into the rest of the wall.
At this point you are ready to add some wood furring to be used as backing for the new drywall. Rule of thumb is that you should have a solid wood surface to screw your drywall to every 6 inches. Cut your wood furring accordingly to accommodate this. Your patch does not have to be cut on the wooden or metal studs, if it is not just add plenty of wood backing. Now your hole is prepped and ready for the next step.
A quick rundown on what we just did. By cutting the hole out square we have now made it easier to get a piece of drywall to fit. The tighter the drywall fits in the hole the better. We added wood backing for support of the new piece of drywall. When it comes to our seams lasting a long time we need to reduce movement, more backing does just that.
We will continue this article on page 2 of Drywall Repair for Dummies.
More helpful painting tips, techniques and how-to articles can be found by following these links:
Pantone 2016 Color of the Year ◊ Sherwin-Williams 2016 Color of the Year ◊ How To Paint a Room ◊ How To Paint a Stairway ◊ How To Paint a Two-Story Room ◊ How To Choose Colors ◊ Six Step Color Choice ◊ Popular Color Ideas ◊ How To Choose Paint ◊ Tools ◊ How To Caulk ◊ How To Patch a Hole ◊ How To Patch a Crack ◊ How To Cut In a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Roll a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Paint Woodwork ◊ How To Paint a Window ◊ How To Paint Baseboard ◊ How To Paint a Door ◊ How To Paint Crown Moulding ◊ How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets ◊ How To Choose a Premium Paintbrush ◊ How To Paint a MDF Bookcase ◊ How To Paint Aluminum or Vinyl Siding ◊ How To Paint Over Faux Finishes ◊ How To Use Magnetic Paint ◊ How To Use FrogTape ◊ How To Paint Repair Water Damaged Drywall ◊ Hiring a Contractor ◊ Paint Stripper Safety ◊ Painting Louvered Shutters ◊ 2013 Color Trends ◊ Choosing Front Door Colors
More details about specific painting subjects are covered in the additional articles. In those will be found details, painting tips and techniques gathered from over 20 years of painting experience. Here is a list of links to the articles: