Fix-It Wednesdays: How to Repair Drywall

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The house we live in was a complete mess when we bought it. It had not been updated since its original build date in 1954. You can imagine the avocado green appliances, linoleum flooring and mint green bathroom tile. We did a lot of cosmetic updating, all that our budget would allow, but we are still in need of some serious renovations.

 

Several months ago I had just freshly painted my living room walls in a beautiful neutral color. My very first “big girl” furniture came in and the room was coming together nicely. After giving my trim a fresh coat of white paint, I realized that my door stopper had broken. Not a big deal, right? I would just head down to my local home improvement store and grab another one ... no problem.

Hindsight is always 20/20. I should have headed out immediately to replace this but I put it aside for another day. Now, picture this with me ... My 3-year-old had just learned to open our latch front door all by her big girl self. We were coming in from an outing, laughing, having a great time and she runs ahead of me to show us how she can open the door. The fact that my door stopper was not on yet didn’t even cross my mind, until her precious little hands touched the latch.

My smile turned to mouth wide open and I was all of the sudden inserted into one of those slow motion movie scenes where the actor is running, arms open wide and diving for that precious, irreplaceable item that is about to shatter on the floor. “ OOOHHHHH NOOOOOOOO, STOOOOOOOOP, LEEEEEEEEEET MEEEEEE GEEEEEEET THEEEEEEE DOOOOOOOOOR! (okay, I don’t know if that is grammatically correct but those are supposed to be slow motion words.) Unfortunately, my superhero powers did not activate and I was unable to stretch my arms long enough to catch the door. My baby girl threw open the door with great pride, and I mean literally threw open the door ... hard. The result was a door knob right through my freshly painted walls. A deep breath was required to keep from blurting out an expletive and all was fine. After all, it’s just a wall, it can be fixed.

I have been looking at this hole for months. It became one of those things on my ever growing list of home improvement projects that kept getting pushed aside. I finally decided it was time to take care of the problem. I honestly thought it was going to be a lot harder than it was. I was used to filling small nail holes from pictures on the walls but never a hole as big as this. It measured about 2 inches across and there was no support behind the wall. While I was gathering supplies at my local home improvement store, I found a mesh wire, self adhesive patch. The size was 4 inches square and ended up being perfect for my job. This project is super easy and can be done in several hours.

To break it down in several easy steps, here is the 411.

What you will need:

  • Self-adhesive dry wall repair patch

  • Spackling tool

  • Lightweight spackling

  • Fine grit sanding block or paper ( I used 220)

  • Wet rag for wiping hands and spills ( I’m a messy DIY-ER)

  • Matching paint for your walls (hopefully you have stored your gallon leftovers from painting your walls) 

Step One - Lightly sand the area, removing all of the debris and loose paper around the hole.

Step Two - Remove the backing from the patch and apply the patch like a sticker over the hole. Make sure you cover the entire hole. 

Step Three - apply your first coat of spackling using your spackling tool. I applied a big glob and then spread it out. After I spread the spackling I moved the tool from top to bottom to remove excess spackling.

Step Four - Let the first coat dry thoroughly. Depending on the room temperature it should only take about 20 minutes to dry.

Step Five - Sand the area until smooth making sure you feather the outer edges to blend with the wall. You don’t want to see lines when you paint!

Step 6 - Apply another coat of spackling and let it dry.

Step 7 - Sand again until smooth. Use your fingers to feel around the edges making sure they are feathered enough to blend into the wall.

Step 8 - Repeat steps 6 and 7 until you can no longer see the mesh grid.

Step 9 - Paint. Some experts will tell you that you should prime the area well before painting. I did not and my paint did fine. I do however think if you are doing a larger area than just a few inches, primer would be a good idea. It will help your paint to go on more smoothly.

AHHHH ...

There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment! This project only cost me a few dollars and saved me a few hundred by not having to call a repair man.

Good Luck! If you have any questions about this, feel free to give me a shout!

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