How To Repair Drywall For Painting


Repairing and preparing drywall for painting need not be a big chore. We’ll show you the right tools and compounds to bring that wall back to good as new.

Repairing drywall in preparation for painting requires cleaning and often widening cracks, filling with spackle or joint compound, sanding back until smooth then painting. Larger holes require covering with adhesive mesh or blocked drywall patches, infilled with joint compound then painted.

What Tools Do I Need To Repair Dry Wall?

Drywall or putty knife in 4”, 6” and  / or 10” for large holes Mud pan for compound
Sanding block 80, 100 grit sandpaper Drywall or keyhole saw
spackle Paintbrush for cleaning dust out of cracks
Adhesive patch made out of aluminum screen covered with fiberglass mesh
Drywall patch Fiber reinforcing tape Damp sponge
Face mask

How To Repair Dry Wall

Step 1.

A small divot or crack: Clean with a putty knife, make a small crack larger so that spackle* can fit inside the crack and form a bridge.

*spackle: a compound used to fill cracks in plaster and produce a smooth surface before decoration.

Blade the spackle onto and into the crack spreading it and tapering it flush with the wall. Apply the spackle at least an inch from the crack in all directions to make the repair tapered and smooth. The surface can be sanded smooth once it’s dry.

Apply small amounts of spackle with your thumb onto small paint chips then smooth over with your thumb.

Step 2.

Large holes: Place a self-adhesive commercially available drywall patch; a metal screen that will accept a coat of joint compound applied much wider than the hole. Work the compound up in the mud pan until the compound is spread across the length of the blade then apply broadly tapering the compound until it’s smooth. Sand smooth once it’s dry.

Step 3.

Extra-large hole: Square off the damaged drywall with a keyhole or drywall saw. Cut a piece of drywall to fit as close as possible. Block the hole with timber and secure it to the drywall with screws. Hopefully, you will be able to access at least one stud but if not, use two blocks. Now screw the patch to the block (s) and/or the stud.

Be sure that the patch is recessed slightly into the wall so that the compound won’t protrude

Cover gaps between the patch and the rest of the wall with reinforced fiber tape to prevent cracks forming later.

Mix dry joint compound to apply two coats of “mud”. Apply a rough first coat, sand when dry then apply a smooth coat. Apply a third coat if necessary to cover additional divots. Cover a large area beyond the original hole.

Use a paintbrush to paint out a small fix and a roller with a deep nap for a large fix. Be prepared to paint the whole wall to ensure a consistent finish.

Related Questions

Should I hire a professional drywall expert for difficult jobs? Have you ever noticed how fast a pro can get in, do the job and get out, and it’s all done perfectly? Some jobs are best left to professionals while you get on doing those things you can do without getting stressed.

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