Wording With Purpose

Drywall Repair

Let’s discuss the basics of drywall repair for the DIY guy. Don’t skip a project because you’re afraid to knock a hole in the wall. Holes can be repaired and some jobs cannot be completed without opening the wall. Lowes and Home Depot sell 2’x2’ sections of drywall eliminating the need to transport and work with a 4’x8’ sheet for smaller jobs.

I am not a professional home builder. The web offers a plethora of videos and DIY articles on drywall repair, and you would do well to digest a few. Some of those guys skim one coat and move on. No sanding necessary, just prime and paint. Amazing work and amazing talent in action.

I keep premixed spackle in the shop and before any painting job I make a quick pass to fill nail and screw holes. For years that was the extent of my drywall skills. Then we tore a bathroom wall down to the studs. Nothing beats on the job training. My finished work required three coats of spackle coupled with liberal sanding between coats and ended up at least as good as the original work.

And I discovered a new resource. Shawn has iced a cake or two in her life, and her icing skills apply directly to the spread of spackle. She gets a smoother coat on the wall than I do and that reduces the work. I’ll do the messy sanding and let her spread the icing, but I refuse to lick the bowl. With some music from our youth blasting in the background DIY can be a lot of fun.

My tool collection for drywall repair consists of a utility knife (not shown), a couple of putty knives, a box of drywall screws, and some fiber style joint tape.

Wall of Shelves (25)

We installed a new outlet for our Wall of Shelves project and I needed access to the old box as well as the new. With careful planning I reduced the drywall damage to one opening. Note I cut out a rectangular panel and saved it for the repair.

Wall of Shelves (21)

Two pieces of furring strip must be installed at the ends of the cutout using drywall screws.

Wall of Shelves Crop 4

In this case the stud will support the center of the patch while the two sections of furring strip will catch the ends.

Wall of Shelves (27)

Carefully push the section of drywall into the opening against the wood supports. Don’t be afraid to remove some of the rough edges with a utility knife if the fit is too tight. Secure the drywall with screws.

Wall of Shelves (28)

Next I applied lengths of the tape to cover the cut line.

Wall of Shelves (29)

Apply spackle to cover the tape and work the compound into the cracks with a little pressure on the putty knife. I will leave it to the experts to explain the difference between spackle and joint compound.

Wall of Shelves (1)

Once this initial coat dried I sanded lightly and applied two additional coats with additional sanding as needed. In a few hours we had the wall fixed and repainted. Even with a bright light and close inspection the repair is hard to pick out.

Wall of Shelves Crop 8

You can do this, too. But if I was hanging drywall in a large area or on a ceiling I would probably hire professionals.