LANSING, Mich. — While your walls can suffer from everyday living, repairing drywall can be an easy fix if you have a little patience and the proper tools.
Nicks, dings and dents – Cut off any raised debris with a razor blade so it’s completely smooth. Using a drywall knife, smooth a pre-mixed spackling compound over the dent or hole and let it dry for about 15 minutes. Lightly sand the area, apply another thin coat and sand again until the spot is totally smooth. Then, apply paint for a completed look.
Cracks – Long, skinny cracks aren’t as scary as they look, usually the result of the house flexing or settling and forming around windows and doors that were installed too tightly. To fix, get all of the loose debris out of the crack with a utility knife or flathead screwdriver. Next, apply a drywall compound into the crack to hold it together and prevent it from cracking again. Let it dry and apply a second coat. After the area is dry, it’s ready to be sanded and painted.
Small to medium holes – If the hole is more than a few inches wide, you’ll need a drywall patch. Cut a square of repair drywall two inches larger than the hole. With a utility knife, score the front of the drywall, then snap it back and cut the back for a perfectly smooth-edged piece. Next, outline the piece over the hole in the wall with a pencil and then cut the existing drywall along the lines with a drywall saw. Screw two pieces of thin wood inside the hole at the top and bottom. Place the patch over the hole and screw it in, making sure the heads of each screw are below the surface for an even finish. Apply a square of drywall mesh, which is sticky on one side, over the patch. This will help bond the patch to the wall. You’re now ready to spackle, using a pre-mixed wet drywall applied in three thin coats. Let it dry, sand it down and apply another two coats to make it nice and smooth.
Large holes – Repairing large patches due to water damage or another issue is just a bigger, longer process of fixing a smaller hole. Instead of using nailer boards, cut out a square or rectangle from one stud to the next stud, and then screw the large patch into the studs. Use joint tape instead of drywall mesh, then just apply two to three coats of compound and lightly sand in between each one.