Drywall is some pretty tough stuff, but like anything, it isn’t damage-proof. Fortunately, these marks, holes, and cracks that might have developed are easy enough to repair yourself with a little bit of know how. The rest of this article will discuss the things you need to do (and what you really shouldn’t do) when repairing damages on your home’s drywall.
DO Use The Right Materials
When you have holes or dents that are no larger than ½ an inch across, you can get away with just using joint compound (drywall mud) to repair it. Make sure you are using a 3-4” putty knife that is designed for this kind of work and not some small knife designed for another tradecraft. Use this putty knife to smooth the compound down until it is flush with the existing wall around it. For larger holes and cracks, you have to put reinforcement (mesh) in the hole before you begin to add any compound. Failure to do this will result in a noticeable patch area, as this compound will begin to deteriorate.
You should familiarize yourself with the pre-made products out there for small repair jobs. Patch kits are among the easiest to use, offering reinforcement for added durability. Combos of primer and drywall compound leave a smooth finish that’s ready to be painted.
DO Make It Neat
Using a box cutter, cut up some strands of mesh tape or use frayed ends of wallboard around the cracks and holes you are trying to repair. This will ensure that the joint compound stays where it needs to for the finishing process, and can prevent bumps and blemishes from appearing on the finished work.
DON’T Cut Cords
It can be tempting to assume where you water and electric lines run through the house and assume that you are safe to cut out portions of drywall as you please. Make certain that these are not running behind where the patch is meant to be placed. While typically hot electrical wires are running near the outlets, you were likely not present when this conduit and cords were put in place and cannot say that the wiring isn’t different than it should be. Don’t risk your life (or all of your hard-earned savings) on a guessing game. If you can’t see in the area with a flashlight, cut out the area horizontally (being careful not to exceed an inch in depth).
Click here for part two of this article on drywall repair