Drywall Solutions Made Easy

It is good to know how to be able to fix your own home since damage will inevitably accumulate over time in any house.  Most homes are full of cracks and cracked walls due to stress fractures; doorknobs punch holes in walls, towel rods get pulled loose, and general wear and tear abounds from bumping into the walls.  Fortunately, you can fix all of these problems yourself with a little bit of drywall expertise.  In case you are not already familiar with it, drywall (also known as plasterboard or gypsum board) is a panel made out of gypsum plaster that is pressed between two thick sheets of paper.  Drywall is used primarily to make walls and ceilings. While it can only take a limited amount of abuse, drywall is actually relatively easy to repair.  With a drywall repair kit and a few other tools, you can easily patch up any small damages in your house.  Drywall is a simple process once you get the hang of it, so with the help of the following guide you will hopefully never have to call a handyman for minor drywall repairs again.

PART ONE

  • If the damage is a crack, then take a pointed tool and scratch the crack open, removing on both sides all debris that might be sticking out.  Scrape the surface until it is completely flat.
  • Next you will need a paper tape and pre-mixed drywall joint compound (available at most hardware stores and home outlets).
  • First, put a thin layer of compound on the wall (like the thickness and substance of peanut butter on a sandwich) and place the paper tape over the seam of the crack.  Now take two fingers and hold them over the tape and press down.
  • Then, as the tape is pressed down, take out a four to six inch drywall tool called a drywall knife.  Grasp the knife so you can apply pressure to pull over the top of the tape where your fingers are stationary.  In a smoothing sequence, remove all excess material from underneath the paper tape so that you flatten it out and make it look like it is sticking to the crack.
  • Let it dry out until it is dry enough to touch (if residue sticks to your fingers, then it is not ready yet).  It must dry until it is hard.
  • Now apply a generous load of drywall compound over the dried crack or hole.  Wipe off enough material until it looks smooth and is covering the tape below.  Let the drywall compound dry for at least eight hours.
  • If the crack looks like it is sealed and you can take a sheet of 100 grit sandpaper and sand it down to the surface of the existing wall, then you can prime it and paint over it, using drywall primer.  Let the drywall primer sit for two hours and then apply the finish color.
  • If you have sanded down the crack or damaged area and it still appears unsatisfactory, then apply another layer of compound, which should be a pre-mixed drywall joint compound.  Repeat the above instructions of using 100-grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage.

PART TWO

That takes care of the basic instructions; however, there are a few other points you should keep in mind when performing any sort of drywall repair work:

  • If the area of damage is in plaster or drywall and it is greater than a regular crack in the surface of the wall, then remove all decayed and flaky material from this damaged area.  Once you have removed the decayed and flaky material, install some material that will fill the void, such as cloth, Styrofoam, newspaper, etc.  If you do this, you will have a backer for the above steps of applying materials like drywall compound.  With a backer, it will be thinner and not take so long to dry.
  • You will want to make the damaged spot as cosmetically perfect as possible before adding the finishing touches, which are the final coats of drywall compound and paint. If there’s ever a time to be a perfectionist, this is the time. Even a bump that appears minimal in the early stages can stick out like a sore thumb once you apply the final paint coat.

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