How to Patch and Repair Drywall

Repair Drywall

Drywall, which is also known as wallboard or gypsum board, is a fairly sturdy, and very common building material. It is composed of a sheet of plaster sandwiched between two layers of heavy gray paper. Drywall is often screwed to interior walls and ceilings to finish the construction of a room. The cracks and crevices are then filled in with a special paper drywall tape and mud.

Accidents always happen, and drywall is not exempt from them. If drywall is punched hard enough with an object, it can easily get a hole in it. You can repair the hole yourself by following these steps:

The first step to repair a hole is to inspect the hole in the drywall. Feel around the edges inside the hole to find out how far out the wall is cracked, or otherwise damaged. Use a pencil to mark how far out the wall is cracked.

The second step is to use a pencil and a ruler to mark out a square on a scrap piece of drywall. Make sure the piece is large enough to cover the entire hole, as well as any cracks or weaknesses in the drywall around it. Use small drywall saw to cut the patch out. A drywall saw resembles a keyhole saw, but it has a sharp point on the end. The sharp point is used to make a starter hole in the drywall.

The third step is to place the patch over the hole temporarily. Position it so that it covers the entire damaged area. Use a pencil to make an outline of the patch onto the wall.

The fourth step is to remove the patch and then use small drywall saw to cut the marked square out of the wall. The reason you do this is so you have removed the weakened drywall; you also do this to create clean, smooth edges. If the piece that is cut out is painted with a topcoat, save it for another step in this process.

The fifth step is to fit the patch into the sawed out hole in the wall; it should fit snugly. Fill the cracks in around the patch by using drywall compound and a putty knife. (Drywall compound is commonly known as “mud” because of its similar consistency.) Press the mud into the cracks deeply. Now, apply a thin layer of mud over the entire patch, plus, extend it out an additional three to four inches. Spread the mud out as evenly as possible.

The sixth step is to place drywall tape over the entire repaired area. Do not overlap it; press it down firmly into the mud so it will adhere properly. Then, apply another layer of mud over the tape. Spread this layer of mud out as evenly as possible too.

In order to speed up the drying time of the drywall mud, you can either use a blow hair dryer or a heat gun. Apply the heat for several minutes until the mud is completely dried. Oftentimes, mud shrinks, so you may need to reapply more of it to the repaired area.

After the last layer of mud is dry, use a piece of fine sandpaper to smooth the repaired area. Then, wipe the dust off with a clean, damp cloth.

Finally, if you have leftover paint to match the color of the wall you just repaired, you can just touch up the repair. If, however, you don’t have any paint, take the piece of drywall that you cut out of the wall to your local paint store. The personnel there should be able to match the paint perfectly.

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