How To Make Your Own Drywall Repairs DIY

Thinking about doing minor drywall repair yourself?

A little unsure about it?

Well, don’t be. It’s not nearly as hard or daunting a task, as it may seem. Just follow the simple step-by-step instructions, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Ready? O.K. then let’s do the necessary …

Preparation

In the following pictures and outline, I’ll show you what your
basic tools and materials are for drywall repair. You don’t
necessarily have to have exactly what I specify, but at least
something in the neighborhood operationally speaking.

tools and materials for drywall repair

picture of bucket of joint compound

Tools
and Materials (pictured)

  • 12″ Drywall Knife – to apply joint compound
  • Putty Knife – to scoop up joint compound from container
  • Container of Joint Compound, or drywall “mud” as it is
    known
  • Mesh (see-through) Type Drywall Tape – used to strengthen the
    repair piece to surrounding wall
  • Paint-Stir Stick and 1 1/4″ Long Drywall Screws – to support
    drywall repair piece
  • Measuring Tape – to measure drywall repair piece (to later cut)
  • Utility Knife – use to clean and cut bits of flaky paper off of
    edges when cleaning
  • “Medium Grade Sandpaper – to use when sanding
  • Piece of Drywall (not pictured) – normally 1/2″ is sufficient to
    use for drywall repair

    tool for cutting drywall Cut the Hole

    With your drywall saw (pictured), begin cutting hole. If not
    already done, proceed to cut, or “square-up” the hole, as it is much
    easier to cut and secure a squared drywall repair piece into place.
    Rather than trying to fit an irregular, awkward-fitting repair
    piece, this step significantly allows your drywall repair project to
    become much more efficient.

    As stated prior, if this is already basically done for you, go to
    next step.

    hole in drywall Clean Edges of Hole

    (This picture was taken at a distance to give you an idea of
    relative size of the hole. This type of hole is pretty common, and
    one that can certainly be fixed rather easily. It was already
    “squared”, and required a little more cleaning that resulted in the
    hole that you see.)

    In this step, make sure to properly clean the edges of the
    hole of bits of drywall that might be hanging on. Also, take your
    utility knife, and gently cut any loose, or flaky pieces of paper
    that might also be hanging on as a result of tearing the drywall
    away when cutting takes place.

    Lastly, take a wet rag and wipe all around the edge to wipe off
    excess dust and paper.

    Now … For
    The Drywall Repair



    install support piece for drywall repair Secure Wooden Paint Stick to Back of
    Hole

    This step adds support for your drywall repair piece to which you
    will secure with drywall screws. Use only coarse, tight-threaded 1
    1/4″ screws*. This type of threading
    will prevent the thin paint-stir stick from splitting.

    *NOTE – With a phillips-head
    screwdriver (the criss-crossed head), wallow out a slight depression
    in the drywall where you will place your screw. The reason is so
    that the screw will depress lower than the top of the surface of the
    drywall, to allow for complete coverage of joint compound. When
    sanded, the surface will be smooth and
    consistent.

    repair drywall Secure Drywall Repair Piece Into
    Place

    This is the step to actually secure your drywall repair piece to
    the wooden stir-stick that you afixed to the back of wall within the
    hole.

    Using your pre-cut (by you) repair piece, wallow out two holes
    for the screws to go into, and place the repair piece lightly over
    the hole. Affix one screw, and then the other. Do not push too hard
    as you might break the support itself. Just let the screws and
    slight pressure from you, do the work.

    apply drywall tape to repair drywall area Apply Mesh Drywall Tape

    With your scissors or utility knife, cut same-length strips of
    tape, and apply to the repair area. Make sure to cut the strips to
    overlap the edges of the hole at least two to three inches. In some
    cases, I might even double-up the number of strips I use, depending
    on the repair.

    Why I like to use mesh tape, in addition to the overall strength
    it provides, the tape will adhere to the repair area. Just stick it
    on, and go.

    (The tape in the picture is very light and may not seem to be
    there at first glance, but it’s there.)

    applying joint compound to drywall repair area Apply First Coat of Drywall “Mud”, or
    Joint Compound

    In this step, take your putty knife and scoop out some mud, put
    it on the 12″ drywall knife, and apply to repair area.

    Always check to see if the consistency of the joint compound is
    like that of cake icing, rather than that of being thick and pasty.
    Usually you need to whip the mud into shape. Just visit my page on
    how to properly prepare
    joint compound to smoothly apply the mud without any
    problems.

    Be sure to learn to gently apply joint compound and not slap it
    on haphazardly. Put it on slowly and surely. You’ll know you’ve done
    a goog job by just barely seeing the mesh tape poking through the
    mud.

    And always “feather”, or thinly fan out the edges of your
    application to provide consistency all around the perimeter of the
    repair area.

    It’s best to let the mud dry over night, so as to completely let
    it set-up and firmly dry.

     

    Sand

    Completely sand the repair area. Make sure to sand the edges well
    to remove any ridges that arise when applying mud,and subsequent
    hardening occurs. This is your first sanding
    step.

    applying drywall mud to repair area Second Coat of Joint
    Compound

    This step involves applying your second coat of drywall mud. As
    in the first application, coat the area with mud and extend the
    coverage out another 6″ – 10″ all around the edges, to add more
    strength to the repair itself. You’re trying to achieve a consistent
    application that totally covers any tape that might be showing while
    maintaining a consistently “flat” look relative to the rest of the
    wall. In other words, you don’t want have a repair job look like a
    hump in the middle of the wall.

    That’s the reason for feathering out more joint compound beyond
    your original application.

    (I took this picture at this angle to give you an idea of how
    much more mud I added in the second coat, over the first coat of
    mud. Some people may not see the need to apply as much the second
    time around as I do, but I always feel comfortable with a little
    extra effort.)

    Second Sanding

    With your “medium” grade sand paper, perform the second sanding.
    Be sure to sand in a circular motion while applyng consistent
    pressure to any one area. You don’t want to “gouge”, or sand a rut
    into your repair. Just be nice and consistent in your sanding
    motion. Don’t over-sand especially at the taped area. While
    generally not a problem, you don’t want to sand the taped areas to
    the point of taking off what mud you did apply earlier.

    The best way to know when you’ve sanded enough is to simply take
    your hand and feel the wall itself. Does it feel smooth, or rough?
    If rough, sand a little more.

    At this point, you’ll have to determine to add maybe a third coat
    (you’ll definitely do a third application for large repairs) or let
    the second coat be the final one. Your “feel” will tell the story
    for you.

    When you’re through with the actual repair, always prime the
    wall for proper sealing.

    Well, that’s about it for
    drywall repair. Remember, for a slightly bigger repairs, you’ll need
    to work with bigger paint stir-sticks – for use with 5 gallon
    buckets of paint – or even using the wall studs themselves for
    support, to hang your drywall repair piece.

    And for those people with drywall work and no time …

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