How to Repair Drywall
Drywall and wallboard are pretty much the same thing. Drywall is not as likely as plaster walls to develop cracks. However, accidents do happen. So it is handy to know how to repair your wall, just in case a workman delivering furniture or equipment backs into your wall and makes a hole.
A small gouge is easily repaired with patching compound and a putty knife. You just swipe over the crack with compound, and voila! The crack is gone.
However, if you have a larger hole in your wall, (of course, depending on the size of the hole), there are a couple ways you can fix it.
You can fix a small hole with a scrap of cardboard. Here’s how: Cut a piece of cardboard slightly larger than the hole in your wallboard. Get a long piece of string, and tie a knot at one end. Put a tiny hole in the center of the cardboard, large enough to thread the string through it, but small enough so that the knot prevents the string from pulling through. Make sure the string is long enough so that you can have a good firm grip. Clear away any loose material around the hole in the wallboard, then, spray the area surrounding the hole with fast drying primer. Take the cardboard with the string through it, and insert the cardboard into the hole, string on your side of the wall, and using the string, pull it toward you, flush up against the inside wall of the hole. Now, apply fast drying patching compound into the hole and against the cardboard patch, binding it into place. The patch should be about ¼ inch below the surface. Hold the string firmly until the compound is set. This should take only a few minutes. Let go of the string and score the surface of the patch. Cut the string close to the wall. Now, top the patch with a smooth coat of compound. Using a large 6” putty knife, make the patch level with the surrounding surface. Let it dry for 24 hours before lightly sanding. Prime and Paint.
What if you have a large hole in your wall to repair? Use your utility knife or a keyhole saw to cut a beveled edge square or rectangle in your wall, where the hole is. You might find a keyhole saw easier to use. The cut should be at an angle slanting inward so that the widest edge is the outer edge. Now cut a matching square or rectangle from a scrap piece of wallboard, making it slightly smaller than the hole in the wall, so that it’ll fit. There is paper coating on both sides of the wallboard or drywall. When you cut the piece from your scrap, don’t cut completely through the paper that is on the opposite side of the board. Leave enough paper around the edges so that you can use it to secure the patch. Use that paper to hold the patch in place. Prime the whole surface, including the paper on the outside of the patch. Almost done. Then, apply a skim coat of patching compound over the entire area. A skim coat is a smooth coat of patching compound, that has been thinned with water to the consistency of cake batter.
Let the wall dry about 24 hours. Lightly sand. Then, prime and paint.
Materials you will need: 6” putty knife, utility knife, compound pan, keyhole saw, cardboard, scrap drywall or wallboard, fast drying primer, fine sandpaper.
~ Joan Saloomey
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