The walls of your home are created by a material that goes by a number of descriptions, including drywall, plasterboard, wallboard, sheet rock or gypsum board. You almost certainly have more drywall than any other material in your home. When it is prepped, textured, and painted, no one particularly notices it. But when it is worn, broken or damaged, it’s hard to see anything else. In fact, drywall repair is the number one category on our neighbors’ to-do lists. After you read this, you’ll know why.
What’s in the core of drywall?
It is made of a simple material – a powdery white or gray sulfate material – odorless and non-toxic, that has many uses ranging from soil conditioner to cement. When this fragile material is compressed between two sheets of a paper substance, that gives it its strength to be transported, applied and finished.
We all have walls that need some love.
Now that summer is here, most activities have moved outside, which makes this the perfect time to address the damage your drywall may have sustained during wintertime indoor activities. Ace Handyman Services is happy to help in getting your walls looking their best once more. Give us a call or book online now to schedule one of our Multi-Skilled Craftsmen to repair your drywall.
With drywall sheets and a few simple tools, walls can easily be repaired. The hitch, though, is that building with it and patching it takes great skills that borders on artistry. That’s why most of us seek help in its final finish to make beautiful spaces in our homes.
The Choice—DIY or a Multi-Skilled Craftsman?
There are two avenues in working with drywall – DIY or hiring professionals. Let’s cover the basics for doing it yourself. If, after understanding the “how,” you think “uh, not for me,” know that we’ve got you covered.
The “How To” for you to do it yourself.
If you are that DIY enthusiast, these Ace Handyman Services Multi-Skilled Craftsman- Approved Steps below will help you through your drywall repair.
First, identify what type of hole you are patching. If it’s a hole the size of a nail or even the size of a dime, you can use a product called spackle. If you are connecting two pieces of drywall together or patching a larger hole—say little Timmy’s soccer ball was kicked through your wall—you’ll need more materials such as drywall tape, joint compound and probably even a new piece of drywall to fill most of the hole.
Repairing Smaller Holes:
With your spackle and a putty knife:
• Scrape a dime-sized amount of spackle onto the knife and apply a thin coat of spackle into the holes. Make sure the holes are filled, and then even out the surface.
• Once it is dry, look for shrinkage. Larger holes may require a second or even light third application.
• Lightly wet-sand the areas where you used the spackle, so you have an even surface to the wall.
• If you have texture and the hole is larger – you may want to add some texture to help hide the repair.
• Then you are ready to touch up the wall with the existing paint color.
Tip: Head to your local Ace Hardware and select a new paint color to create that accent wall you’ve always wanted.
Repairing Larger Holes:
If the hole you are patching is bigger than 2 inches (about the size of a doorknob), you will need to follow the large-hole process. This is true for holes from 2 inches to a full wall.
The first thing you’ll want to do is prepare the opening.
• Trim the edges of the hole to create straight sides and a square or rectangular shape. Use a square and a level to draw a box around the entire hole – use a drywall knife to cut along those lines.
• Once you have a square or rectangle cut out, take your tape measure and measure the size of the hole.
• Cut a new piece of drywall that will fit into the opening.
Tip: Make sure there is no wiring or plumbing behind the drywall before you start cutting.
The next step is to install Drywall Repair Clips—you can find these at your local Ace Hardware (https://www.acehardware.com/departments/paint-and-supplies/patch-and-repair/drywall-tape/1223494)
• Take 4 clips (one clip per side) and slide them into the existing opening. These will support the new piece of drywall you are going to install.
• Use a screwdriver to install drywall screws about an inch and a half below the opening, in line with the drywall repair clip. The screw will drive into the clip and secure it in the hole.
Now it’s time to place the new drywall that you measured into the hole. Keep in mind, because of the clips, you may have to fine-tune the drywall cut-out. You can do this with some sandpaper or a file so that the new piece fits snugly into the hole.
• Now install the screws into the clip to hold the new piece of drywall in place.
• Next, use a pair of plyers to break off the pieces of the clip that you see above the surface.
Tip: Use the edge of a putty knife to scrape along the entire patch to make sure everything lies flat, and you have an even surface before continuing to the next step.
Speed Tip: If you are creative, a speed pro tip is to use a backer board instead of repair clips. This will make the finishing time faster. Cut a small piece of lumber (such as a 1×2) about 4-6 inches longer than the widest measurement of your hole. Fish that board in behind the wall and pull it tight against the back of the existing drywall. Tap in a screw from the existing drywall into the end of the board to hold it in place. Then you can screw your new piece of drywall directly to that board that is now spanning across the center of your opening.
Next, pick up some fiber mesh tape (https://www.acehardware.com/departments/paint-and-supplies/patch-and-repair/drywall-tape/13510). This tape is the best for drywall repair because it is self-adhesive and simple to use. Tape along each crack so all four sides are covered.
Now it’s time to apply the joint compound. There are quite a few options when picking out the right type and amount. Head to your local Ace Hardware or give your Ace Handyman Services a call, and our Craftsmen can assist you in making that decision.
• Take your putty knife and scoop some joint compound onto the surface.
• Spread the compound over the drywall area until thoroughly covered.
• Smooth it out as best you can without over-working the compound.
• Let dry completely.
• When dry, sand down any ridges or high spots.
• Repeat these steps three times so you have three thin layers of joint compound.
Each layer will spread out away from the previous areas by a few inches to help ‘float’ out the patch and will help blend the repair into the existing wall.
Tip: The key is to apply thin, even coats. Avoid building up the compound so heavily that it creates “humps” along the wall.
• Use a fine grit sanding sponge or paper to sand all the ridges of what you patched and create a smooth surface that is even with the existing wall.
• Then paint!
Again, as we mentioned at the top of this page, drywall repair can be tricky. So, if after reading these Craftsman-Approved, step-by-step processes you decide you need some additional help, do not hesitate to call your local Ace Handyman Services. Our Craftsmen repair drywall all the time and will make sure that your wall is repaired how you want it, in a timely fashion, with their work guaranteed.