Drywall is easily damaged, especially if you have kids or pets — sometimes even doorknobs can cause unsightly holes in your drywall. The good news is that it is not difficult to fix damaged drywall — as long as you do it right. First, you need to determine the size of the hole you intend to patch.
Small-Sized Drywall Damage
Small holes, unsurprisingly, are the easiest to fix. Examples are nail holes left in the wall, small scratches or other imperfections. Select a quality spackle and apply a thin coat over the problem area with a drywall knife.
For slightly larger holes, you may find that joint compound is the better choice for fixing a problem area. The difference between spackle and joint compound is pretty simple: joint compound is thicker, making it a better choice for bigger jobs.
Once you’ve spread your spackle or drywall compound, let it dry for 24 hours. You want it thoroughly set before you sand, prime, and paint. The best tool for sanding is a sanding sponge, not sandpaper. If you went your sanding sponge, you’ll kick up less dust as you work, making for a cleaner sanding experience. If you only have sand paper, tape a bag to the wall beneath your work area to catch the falling dust.
Medium-Sized Drywall Damage
For bigger drywall damage, you’ll want to use a wall patch and joint compound pan for your repair job, in addition to the tools described for small holes. Cleaning the area around the damage prior to beginning will help the wall patch adhere more securely to the space. Once clean, apply the wall patch to the damage, and apply the compound over the area. After the compound dries, sand the surface down with a sanding sponge and apply a second coat of compound. Remember to let the compound set for a full 24 hours before proceeding to priming and painting the repaired areas.
Large-Sized Drywall Damage
To repair large holes, such as a doorknob hole, things get a little more complicated. Begin by checking behind the damage to be sure there isn’t any electrical or plumbing that might be damaged while you work. If all is clear, proceed with repairs.
Measure the damaged area, and cut a drywall patch about 3cm wider than the hole. Use a utility knife to cut the patch out, and then trace around the patch while holding it over the damage. Cut the drywall along your marks using a drywall saw and remove the piece.
Without a stud behind it, you’ll need to create a backer, using a 1×2 and drywall screws. Attach using drywall screws above and below the cut-out area, and be sure it is secure before attaching the patch to the studs. Using mesh drywall tape, outline the patch, and then start applying your joint compound over the area, proceeding with the finishing process outlined above.
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