How to Fix Drywall

how to fix drywall - maxis services

Before you start your drywall repair, it’s important to know where your utility fixtures are. Electrical wires are usually ran along wall studs, so you should track down the wall studs so that you don’t run into any problems. You’ll need to wear protective clothing, as well, along with a dust mask or respirator, work gloves and goggles to protect your lungs, eyes, hands and skin.

Know Which Joint Compound Products to Use

When you’re learning how to fix drywall, it’s important to know which joint compound products to use.

You’re likely to find three different types of joint compound to fix drywall with: lightweight, all-purpose and dry-mix. People most commonly use lightweight or all-purpose compounds, but there are benefits to the dry-mix variety as well, so it’s best to know a bit about all three so you can make an informed decision about the type of product that will work best for you and your repair project.

Lightweight compounds weigh significantly less than all-purpose compounds (as much as 1/3 less), and you can expect it to dry faster which can be convenient in some situations, and because of it’s softer nature takes less effort to sand. All-purpose is typically more cost-efficient than it’s lightweight competitor, and the finished product is harder when it dries. Dry-mix compound is exactly what it sounds like: compound that comes in powder form and is mixed with water until the compound is the right consistency. Dry-mix is the most cost-efficient of the three compound options, but the other two are arguably easier to use.

Joint compound usually comes in either a 5-gallon bucket or a 1-gallon tub. How do you know which size to get? If you need to repair drywall in multiple places or in multiple rooms, go ahead and spring for the large bucket. If you’re only patching one hole or section, you can get away with buying the 1- gallon tub. If you have leftovers or don’t immediately use the compound, it’s worth knowing that it will last for around 9 months if you store it at room temperature.

How to Fix Drywall Nail or Screw Damage

Nail and screw damage are quite common, and they can cause lumber to shrink.

1. Prepare the screw or nail

Using a utility knife to carve away some of the joint compound away from the nail or screw head.

2. Drive the nail or screw in

If it’s a screw, use a screwdriver to screw it in below the surface. If it’s a nail, hammer it in further below the surface. If the nail doesn’t hit wood, use pliers to pull it out of the hole and then screw in a drywall screw until you hit a wall stud.

3. Cover with joint compound

Apply three thin layers of joint compound over the hole. Sand the area in between coats of joint compound.

4. Sand and clean the repair area

Sand it down once again and make sure that the repair area is even with the rest of the wall before you prime and paint it.

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How to Fix Drywall Holes Up to 2’’ in Diameter

One of the most common types of drywall damage is round-shaped holes created by doorknobs and other things (like fists). Fixing these holes isn’t very complicated. Here are the steps to how to fix drywall holes as large as 2’’ in diameter:

1. Check the hole

You’ll need to make sure that there aren’t more cracks or damage around the outside of the hole that require more work. If there are, you’ll need to use a different repair type.

2. Sand the edges

The first actionable step in how to fix drywall holes is to sand the edges of the hole lightly. This will help the joint compound stick to the area better.

3. Clean the hole

Use a damp cloth to clean the area, remove debris and dust from sanding.

4. Fill the hole

Use the joint compound to fill the hole entirely. Allow the product to overfill the hole and cover the edges. Spread the compound over the entirety of the area and allow it to create a slight bulge, then let it dry.

5. Finish it off

Sand the area down so that the compound is flush with the rest of the wall. Then if the hole isn’t filled, repeat step 4.

How to Fix Drywall Holes with Cracked Edges

For this sort of repair where the drywall is broken and cracked, you’ll need to use mesh drywall repair tape. But don’t worry, learning how to fix drywall holes with cracked edges isn’t too difficult.

1. Sand the work area

Lightly sand not just around the hole, but in a 1’’- 2’’ circle around the damaged area.

2. Wipe it down

Use a damp cloth to clean the area, removing any debris and dust caused by sanding.

3. Cut and apply the tape

Cut a piece of tape big enough to fit the hole. Place the tape over the hole and then press it to the drywall to apply it. (It’s important that you don’t press too had so that you don’t compromise the structural integrity of the surrounding drywall. We want to fix this hole, not make it worse!)

4. Use the compound

Spread the joint compound over not just the hole, but the taped off section around it. You should spread it so that it’s thinner the further you move away from the hole. Once it’s covered, let the compound dry.

5. Sand it down and clean it

Sand the work area, then use a damp cloth to wipe away debris and dust.

6. Repeat as necessary

Repeat steps 4 and 5 as many times as you need to before the repaired section is flush with the rest of the wall.

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How to Fix Drywall Holes 2’’-5’’ with a Self-Adhesive Repair Patch

Some bigger patches require a bit more than just some mesh tape and joint compound. But the good news is that you can purchase repair patches that are self-adhesive to make the process easier. Here’s how to fix drywall with holes that are 2’’-5’’:

1. Prepare your work area

Clean the area with a damp cloth.

2. Add patch

Remove the backing from the patch and apply it to the hole.

3. Add joint compound

Spread joint compound over the area, let it dry and then apply a second layer. On the second coat, you’ll want to make sure to add the compound more thinly towards the edges. Then, let the second coat dry as well.

4. Sand it and clean

Sand down the entire area, then wipe it clean with a cloth to remove dust that can be kicked up when you sand.

5. Repeat as needed

Repeatedly add joint compound, let it dry and then sand and clean the area until the repaired area is blended in with the rest of the wall.

How to Fix Drywall- Large Holes

It’s a bit more work to learn how to fix drywall with larger holes, and it’s quite a home-improvement adventure.

1. Prep the work area

Use a pencil to draw/trace an outline of the work area in the shape of a square or rectangle. Then, check for and mark on the outside of the wall to indicate the location of any utilities in this section of the wall.

2. Cut the drywall

Carefully cut and remove the damaged section of drywall and then clean up the edges of the hole.

3. Cut and place lathes

Measure the hole and then cut 2 wood lathes that are 3’’ longer than the hole.  Mark both ends of each of the lathes at 1 1/2 inches. Then place one of the lathes behind the hole, making matching marks on the outside of the wall at 1 1/2 inches from the hole. Hold the board securely and use a 1 1/4 drywall screw to screw it in place. Repeat for the second lathe.

4. Measure and cut the new drywall

Measure the hole and trace the dimensions onto the new piece of drywall. Cut the drywall according to the measurements you traced out.

5. Insert new drywall

Place the new piece of drywall into the hole, then screw it to the lathes.

6. Sand and clean the area

Lightly sand the area around the hole, then wipe it down with a damp cloth.

7. Apply tape and compound

Use adhesive-backed fibreglass wallboard tape to cover the joints. Cover the area with joint compound, spreading it thinner the further you move away from the hole. Allow the compound to dry.

8. Sand, clean and repeat

Sand the area down, then clean it with a damp cloth. Then add more joint compound and repeat the process until the area you repaired until it’s level with the rest of the wall.

Know When to Call in a Professional

One of the most important parts of learning how to fix drywall is knowing when to call in the pros. If a repair is beyond your comfort zone, you know you’re likely to start the project but never finish it, or you simply don’t want to go through the hassle of learning how to fix drywall, it’s a good idea to call a professional.

Luckily, the professionals at Maxis Services, Inc. are well-equipped to handle all of your home improvement needs. They know how to fix drywall, cracks in concrete, water damage and more. Even better, they lead the industry in home automated services, so if you’ve been considering converting to a smart home set up, Maxis Services, Inc. has you covered.

Rather than Googling “how to fix drywall”, why not let a professional handle your repairs? Click here to contact Maxis Services, Inc. today and rest assured that your home repair needs will be met.

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