The following describes our process for making drywall repairs. Every project is different but we’ve outlined below a general guideline to ensure your project will go smoothly.
We’ve created a material list, a step by step guide and a quiz to test your knowledge.
Please refer to service standards post for instructions on how to communicate with a client and organize for a job.
2. Room Preparation
Please refer to room preparation post for instructions on how to get ready for drywall repairs and/or interior painting.
3. Drywall Repairs
Before painting you want to fill holes larger in diameter or deeper than 1/4 inch. Holes smaller than 1/4 inch can get filled after the first coat of paint. We fill or repair drywall any larger than that size so it has ample time to dry before applying the first coat. After repairs you still have to mask the room with tape, cut in ceiling and woodwork which gives the repair you’ve made time to dry before your first coat of paint. If you wait to make repairs until after your first coat the project will get delayed while you’re waiting for mud to dry.
More extensive drywall repairs:
- Dings – A simple ding or dent in drywall larger than 1/4 inch can be filled with 20-45 minute hot mud (durabond). Durabond is nice because it dries chemically vs being dependent on air like plus 3 or all purpose joint compound. Holes deeper than 1/4 inch will need the ability of a chemical dry so the repair is not delayed. If you were to use joint compound (dependent on air), the repair could take several hours to completely dry. To fill, take a 2 inch knife and knock off any raised debris. If needed, you can slightly indent with a hammer but only to press down any raised edges. Place durabond on 2 inch knife and smooth over hole. You do not want to float mud over the surface. Durabond is extremely difficult to sand so make sure to scrape the surface clean leaving mud only inside the hole being filled.
- Popped nails – Pound nail into drywall using hammer. You want to make sure the nail head is recessed beneath the drywall about 1/8 inch. Fill the recessed hole with 20 minute mud as described above. Sand smooth and prime.
- Door knob holes – Cut a square piece of replacement drywall slightly larger than the hole being repaired. Place the square drywall piece over the hole and trace around the hole. Using a drywall saw, cut out the drywall along your traced line. Place a paint stick inside your hole and secure with drywall screw. Place the repair piece into the hole cutout. If the piece is too snug, shave the edge of the repair piece with a pocket plane. Mud over the hole with 20 minute mud and finish with joint compound. Sand smooth and prime.
- Holes larger than 6 inches – Install a California patch. Its similar to the above method but we utilize the drywall paper backing to create additional support to the repair. To install a California patch you cut out a piece two inches larger than the hole needing to be replaced. Score back of drywall an inch all the way around. Snap of loose gypsum leaving paper front. Hold drywall piece over hole and trace. Cut out your hole to match. Spread 20 minute mud over paper backing and place new drywall piece into hole. Spread thin layer of 20 minute mud over repair spreading 4 inches outside edge of new repair. Wait for this to dry and knock off any raised edges with a 6 inch knife. Spread a thin layer of joint compound or plus three as your final coat. Sand repair and prime. Its important to use plus three as a final coat because it is easier to sand.
- Holes larger than 10 inches – Install new drywall with wood backing. Start by placing square drywall piece over hole and tracing. Cut out damaged section. Install furring strips behind damaged drywall with 1 1/2 inch drywall screws. This will provide a sturdy backing for new drywall to be installed. Place new drywall piece over hole. Pre fill cracks with 20 minute mud and set drywall tape over cracks. Apply a second coat of durabond over entire patch extending 4 inches from edges. Knock of raised mud with knife after drywall has dried and smooth over joint compound as a final coat extending the patch several more inches. Sand patch and prime.
- Corners – Cut out damaged corner with a hacksaw. Remove damaged piece. Cut new corner bead to fit. Secure piece with drywall nails. Apply 20 minute mud as first coat, knock of raised mud and apply final coat of joint compound. Sand smooth and prime.
Less extensive drywall repairs:
For repairs smaller than 1/4 inch in depth or diameter its fairly simple but you’ll do these after your first coat of paint. Sometimes its difficult to see these tiny drywall imperfections on worn dirty walls so we apply our first coat of paint before repairing. These tiny drywall nicks needing to be filled will be more prevalent after our first coat and we want to make sure all these repairs are made.
How to repair: Fill these small holes with light weight spackle. Apply two coats of spackle with roughly 15 minutes of drying after first coat. After two coats have been applied sand smooth with a fine sanding sponge. After sanding, its important you prime the small repair so it doesn’t flash through your final coat of paint. To prime, you want to use a brush and not a roller. A roller could pull out the lightweight spackle ruining your small repair. Use your topcoat as your primer and lightly apply with a brush. Make sure the paint is laid on and then laid off, removing excess and any brush marks. The repair will look smooth but when you roll your walls the roller stipple will match the rest of the wall texture.