Drywall Patch and Repair Tips
Whenever you buy drywall, you need to accept that repairs or patching may need to be done at some point. Even if it’s installed perfectly, you never know what might happen years down the road. If you do have existing drywall that needs patched up or repaired, you must decide if you want to tackle the problem yourself or hire a professional to handle it for you.
Here are a few tips to help you with drywall patching and repair:
Use With Caution
Always use caution before you start any drywall repair job. Wear protective gear, such as goggles, a dust mask, and work gloves. Familiarize yourself with the layout of your walls and ceilings. Know where all of the wall studs are located before you begin working with drywall, as there may be electric wires.
Patching up tiny nail holes is simple. You can simply cover up any repairs you make by dabbing on a bit of touch-up paint with a soft, clean cloth.
Exposed Drywall Paper
Before you even begin any patching, deal with exposed drywall paper. If the top layer of the drywall has ever been torn, you’ll need to seal the exposed paper with a shellac or oil based sealer, which is usually available in spray or liquid form. If you don’t deal with this problem, the paper will bubble when you put the patch on. This could lead to even bigger complications.
When you are dealing with a patch made with traditional materials, it will need to be primed. You would have to use a sealing-type primer before you start the painting process. Otherwise, the areas with the patching could appear as “foggy” spots through the finished paint. Luckily, the extra step can be avoided if you use a self-priming patch.
When dealing with big holes, use setting compound. For dime-size and larger holes, it’s always a good idea to use a joint compound in powder form that sets up a chemical reaction. The setting times range anywhere from five to ninety minutes. The reaction begins when the water is mixed in with the powder, and the compound hardens within the specified time frame. The five-minute setting is ideal, because it allows the compound to harden quickly, and you won’t have to wait to apply another coat.
You can fill a row of holes with a single, long swipe rather than fill in each and every hole individually. Not only is this method quicker, it also disguises the screw holes more effectively and makes the patch sanding process easier. You will be able to sand the stripe you made with the filler instead of sanding around every single hole.
For midsize holes, stick-on patches are usually sufficient. These mesh patches are available in various sizes at hardware stores and paint stores. Make sure the wall surface is clean and sanded, and then stick the patch over the hole. It needs to be covered with a few thin layers of joint compound. For the first coat, use the aforementioned setting-type compound.
As long as you order from a quality drywall supplier and take good care of the drywall, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about repairs.