How to Repair Drywall Dents, Holes and More

by on September 1st, 2010
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Drywall repair begins with having the right materials for the job. There are all kinds of professional tools out there that drywall tapers use, and although all these tools work well to help professionals get the job done, they are typically not needed for small household repairs. To get most repair jobs done you will need:A drywall knife – This wide flat ‘knife’ is used to apply and smear mud for patching walls. A six inch wide knife will work for most jobs, and they only cost a few dollars. Drywall mud A drywall hawk or tray – A drywall hawk is a platform used to hold the drywall mud. Phillips screwdriver Drill Trowel

These last three items are only needed If you are patching a larger hole or a popped nail. Many drywall professionals still use little more than these tools.

Small Scratches and Gouges

The easiest things to fix when learning how to do drywall repairs are small scratches or gouges in the drywall. Whether you are installing new drywall or doing touch-up work in a home that’s been lived in, you are practically guaranteed to run into some dents that need to be filled, especially on walls behind where furniture was located.

The most important thing you need to do when repairing these small sections of wall is to ensure that all the broken drywall is removed. For example, if you dropped a brick while doing a recent reno and it marred the wall, but didn’t break the paper of the drywall, you will need to take your 6 inch knife and use the corner of the knife to break the paper. Then brush away the busted drywall and rip off any paper that is no longer solidly attached to the wall. Once the busted drywall has been cleaned out you are ready to apply some mud.

Another good example of drywall repair is when you need to fill in a hold left behind by a nail or screw used to hang a picture. One good way to help get your security deposit back on an apartment is to fix any holes you left behind, and this can be done using the method described below.

In general, it will take three coats of mud to repair any gouge or scrape because it shrinks when it dries and also needs to be sanded down. Apply the first coat of mud, then wipe away any excess, leaving a smooth finish. It will look nice at first, but once the mud dries it will have left a slight indention. If there is an paper sticking out or bubbling, then now is the time to rip it off, then apply the second coat.

Once the second coat has dried, sand it with 110 grit sandpaper, getting out any ridges or blemishes. Now you can apply the last coat to fill in the last little gaps. Once the last coat has dried, it may be sanded again with 150 grit sandpaper and then it is ready for paint.

Drywall Nail Pop Repair

Sometimes a drywall screw or nail will pop out of the drywall, and fixing this takes a little more effort.

First, grab your drill or screwdriver and a few drywall screws. You will need to put a drywall screw in the wall approximately two inches above and below the popped screw or nail. If you miss the stud while putting in these new screws, ensure that you take out the screw that has missed. Once you have the screws in the wall above and below the popped screw, you can then remove the popped screw.

Once the screw has been removed, take the butt end of the six inch drywall knife and tap the hole the popped screw left behind. We want it to indent just a little, but don’t be too forceful because we don’t want to damage the drywall any more than is needed.

Now we can apply the first coat of mud. Once the first coat is dry, apply the second coat. Once the second coat has dried, it should be sanded with 110 grit sandpaper and then the last coat should be applied. Once the last coat has dried it should be sanded with 150 grit sandpaper and then it is ready for paint.

Whether it’s drywall nail pop repair or a regular drywall repair, by following these steps should be on your way to success, whatever the situation.


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