Tips for Patching Drywall Yourself
So you’ve got a problem with an area of drywall. Don’t rush for the professionals right away; no, you’re perfectly capable of completing this repair on your own. Patching drywall can be a quick, easy procedure; all you need to know are a few simple steps.
Removing the Problem Area
Patching drywall can fix holes or other common drywall problems if they are caught soon enough. It is important to begin by assessing the extent of the damage. First, using a level, outline the problem area in straight lines, then use a saw blade or utility knife to cut along your outline, stopping at the studs beyond the broken area. Then, remove the problem area.
In the interest of your own safety, be sure to cut away from yourself rather than towards your body. In case your blade slips, you want to avoid cutting yourself. Before beginning to cut, check the area for electrical wires.
When patching drywall by yourself, it is important that you install support for the repair. Using a piece of scrap lumber, plywood, or other type of wood that is two to four inches taller than the now-empty patch of wall, screw the piece of wood, vertically, to either side of your hole, behind the opening in the wall. This will prevent the new drywall from cracking. Secure your supports using drywall screws.
Patching the Hole
Now for patching the hole itself—start by measuring the hole and cutting your drywall patch to the correct size. Then, install the patch using more drywall screws and a drill. Place the screws an inch, at least, away from the edges of the drywall in order to avoid crumbling.
Following patch attachment, place strips of drywall tape around the patch. The tape should be centered on the edges of the drywall, half of its width on the wall and half on the patch. Then, cover the tape and screws with a joint compound, using a putty knife. After letting the compound dry—about an eight-hour step—sand your new patch and paint over it. You’ll probably want to do several coats.
It only takes a few steps, and the help of a few handy tips, in order to accomplish your own DIY drywall patching project. Remove the damaged area, install your support, and patch the hole. Once you’ve finished, you can step back and admire your handiwork. Congratulations, you’ve patched your own drywall!
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