Drywall repair is intimidating to many. What if you screw up? Then you’ll have to have the whole wall redone! Better to just hang a picture over that ugly, unsightly crack. But what if you could do it yourself? What if it were easier than you thought? Well, it is. Just follow the simple steps below.
How to cut drywall:
1. Measure and mark your drywall where you plan to cut it.
2. Using a straightedge and a utility knife, cut through the paper on one side of the drywall. Don’t put too much pressure on the utility knife. Make several passes until you are through.
3. Bend the drywall back on itself to break through the gypsum interior.
4. Turn the drywall over and cut through the paper on the opposite side.
How to patch a small crack in drywall:
Step 1: Prepare the surface by cleaning out the crack – remove all dirt and debris from the area and make sure it’s completely dry before you get started. Now sand the surface around the damaged area using medium grit sandpaper (100–150 grit). This sanding provides a good base for the joint compound and smoothes out any texture you may have on the wall.
Step 2: Apply the patch. Method 1: Apply the joint compound with a flexible putty knife or spreader by working across the crack with strokes in both directions, working it into the crack. Method 2: Apply mesh drywall tape with adhesive backing over the crack. Apply a thin layer of joint compound over the tape. Feather the edges of the compound using your joint knife or spreader.
Step 3: Finish. Use the putty knife as a scraper to remove any surplus material. Move it along the cracked area gently to scrape away any extra material. When the material is completely dry, sand the area and prime it for a coat of paint or other finish.
How to patch small holes (less than 6 inches)
Step 1: Prepare the hole and surface. Use a keyhole saw to cut out the damaged portion and clean out broken pieces around the edges of the hole. Cut either a square or rectangular hole slightly larger than the damaged portion of the drywall. This gives you a hole with a shape that is easier to patch. Carefully clean the edges with a utility knife, removing any loose bits of paper. Be sure you have made a hole large enough to remove any loose or broken pieces from in between the paper layers of the drywall. Sand the surface around the hole thoroughly. This sanding roughens the surface and provides a good base for the joint compound you will use. It will also remove any texturing on the walls that would prevent the tape from lying flat. Use medium sandpaper (100-150 grit) or a good sandpaper block.
Step 2: Create the patch. Cut a piece of drywall from scrap. Measure and mark a patch that is 2” longer and 2” wider than the hole you cut in the wall. Next, lay your patch on a flat surface, shiny or white side down. Measure 1“ from all four edges and draw a line. This should form a shape the size of the hole.
To finish the patch follow these steps:
1. Using a straight edge and a utility knife, cut through the paper on the "back" side.
2. Fold the drywall back on itself at the line you just cut. DO NOT CUT THROUGH THE SECOND LAYER OF PAPER.
3. Gently peel away the gypsum, leaving the second layer of paper. Your patch should look like this.
Step 3: Apply the patch. The cut part of the patch should fit into the hole. The paper edge should cover about 1" around the hole. Apply a thin layer of patching compound around the hole. Place the patch into the hole. Using a putty knife, work the paper edge down into the compound. Feather the edges of the compound. Apply a thin layer of joint compound over the edges of the patch. Feather the edges of the compound using your joint knife or spreader. Allow it to dry.
Step 4: Finish
1. You may need to sand lightly and apply a second layer of compound to finish the repair.
2. After the patched area has dried completely, sand and prime it to prepare for the finish you desire.