Drywall Repair Basics
Drywall is pretty tough stuff, but it’s not indestructible. And when it gets damaged, fixing it can be time-consuming and messy. Small dents and nail holes are easily fixed with spackle, joint compound (aka mud), a putty knife, and sandpaper. For larger holes, furring strips may be needed to support the patch.
Drywall Repair Las Vegas costs vary widely depending on the type of damage, the size of the job, and the method of fixing it. Generally, contractors charge by the hour or square foot and may include labor setup and mobilization charges and other upfront expenses in their initial quotes. The cost of materials will also impact the overall project price. Some types of drywall repair are more complex than others and require expert knowledge and special tools or equipment to be completed properly.
Some repairs are very minor and can be done by the average do-it-yourselfer, including repairing small holes, dings, and nail or screw holes with spackle. A drywall patch kit can be purchased for around $30 for a single 4-by-8-foot sheet of drywall.
Other holes and dings in the drywall can be fixed with a drywall patch that is cut to match the size of the hole and attached using drywall tape and joint compound or mud. The mud is then sanded down to smooth the surface. This type of repair can be completed for an average cost of $50 to $75 per hour, but it can take much longer if the damage is extensive.
Cracks in the drywall are more serious and should only be repaired by an experienced professional. These cracks can indicate a structural issue that should be addressed right away or may eventually lead to other issues in the home, such as sagging ceilings. Cracks that are discolored or soft and feel damp to the touch may indicate the presence of mold, which should be addressed immediately.
A more serious crack or break may need to be cut out and replaced with a new piece of drywall, which can be very costly. A contractor will typically charge to remove the old sheet, then measure and cut a replacement drywall panel to fit the opening. The contractor will then install the new drywall using proper installation techniques, which can be a lengthy process. Any other work that is required, such as repairing insulation, re-routing wiring or pipes, and applying a finishing coat of paint to the drywall, can increase the total project cost.
Drywall repair materials
Whether you’re looking to repair a hole from a doorknob or something more substantial, there are various drywall repair materials that can help. Most come in a convenient kit that includes all the tools and supplies you’ll need for a quick fix. Choosing the right one will depend on several factors, including the size and scope of the damage and your skill level.
For small holes, a spackling compound will typically work. It’s easy to sand and works well with both smooth and textured walls. Look for a variety that doesn’t contain any formaldehyde or other harmful chemicals and is safe to use indoors and outdoors.
When repairing larger holes, use a joint compound to ensure the patch blends with the rest of the wall. It’s important to clean the damaged area and sand down any loose edges before applying a new coat of compound. Look for a variety that’s easy to sand and won’t shrink or crack as it dries.
You can also use drywall repair paste to fill holes and imperfections. This type of product is available in a range of sizes, and many are designed to be used on both smooth and textured surfaces. It’s typically made of wall glue, carbonate cover, and resin and is easy to sand when dry.
Another option is to use a self-adhesive mesh patch. This type of drywall patch is particularly effective in high-traffic areas and can withstand a lot of pressure. It comes in a variety of colors and textures to match your existing wall, and it can be painted quickly after application.
If you’re a beginner and want to avoid any expensive mistakes, it’s recommended that you find a drywall repair kit with full, simple instructions. Most kits are geared towards beginners, so they’re easy to follow even without much prior experience. In addition to written directions, most drywall repair kits include access to online video tutorials that are extremely helpful.
The Eclipse drywall patch is a simple solution that’s ideal for small holes. It’s ready to apply in minutes, and the patented technology prevents it from drying out or cracking over time. It’s available in multiple sizes to fit most common holes, and it’s easy to sand and paint. It’s a great choice for DIY homeowners and professionals alike.
Drywall repair techniques
Drywall is made from a paper-like, durable material pressed onto a pressure-formed layer of compressed rock dust (known as gypsum). The gypsum gives the wall strength, while the paper protects the gypsum from moisture. Small holes in drywall, such as those left from nails, screws, picture hangers, or wall anchors, can usually be easily patched with a drywall patch and a putty knife. Before starting a repair, it is important to assess the extent of the damage. Small holes that have not significantly weakened the surrounding drywall can often be repaired with minimal fuss using simple paper joint tape and a little bit of drywall compound—known in the building trades as mud. Before applying a patch, use a utility knife to remove any protruding pieces of surface paper or gypsum. Such snags cannot be forced flat with the joint compound and will only cause problems later. It is also a good idea to use a dust mask when spreading mud, as inhaling too much of this fine powder can potentially irritate your lungs.
For larger holes, you may need to install a drywall patch kit. These kits typically come with a self-adhering mesh patch that sticks to the existing drywall and covers the hole. Alternatively, you can cut a piece of drywall that is the size of the damaged hole and nail or screw it into place, providing a more permanent solution.
Once the patch is in place, you can begin to sand it smooth, if necessary. It is a good idea to apply several skim coats of drywall compound over the patch, letting each one dry before applying the next. When sanding, be sure to use a light touch—overworking the patch could lead to it becoming visible once the final coat of paint is applied.
If the patch is going to be visible, it is a good idea to prime it as well. This will help the new surface blend in with the rest of the wall and prevent it from showing through the paint when the final coat is applied.
Drywall repair options
Drywall is a convenient material for many construction projects, as it’s inexpensive, easy to hang, drill into, finish, and paint. However, drywall can get damaged fairly easily. Cracks, dents, and holes can occur from the slightest impact. A doorknob ding can cause a hole in the wall, as can an accidental swing of a chair or the smack of a fist.
Small blemishes, such as nail holes and scratches, can often be repaired by spackle. This simple drywall repair does not require cutting replacement pieces of drywall and can typically be completed in a few minutes. Once the spackle has dried, touch-up painting can be done to hide the patch and blend it with the rest of the wall.
Larger holes may be repaired with a drywall patch kit or a self-adhering fiberglass mesh patch. The patch is applied to the wall with a putty knife, and then the surrounding area is covered with joint compound. Apply the compound with a drywall putty knife and use a tool called a feather edge to smooth the edges so they blend in with the rest of the wall surface.
Nail pops and screw holes are usually caused by lumber shrinkage and can be fixed using a utility knife to carve out the old screw or nail head, then a hammer and nail set to tap the nail or screw back into place. If the hole is near the edge of a stud or joist, then a drywall screw can be used to anchor the patch to the wood.
If a section of a corner drywall bead is damaged, remove the old corner bead with a utility knife or a pair of tin snips, then cut a new piece of bead from a sheet of drywall. Apply the new bead to the wall with a trowel, then mud the sides and sand until smooth before painting.
If the drywall has significant damage or needs to be replaced, it’s time to call in the professionals. This type of drywall repair is more involved and requires more materials and a larger investment in tools and labor.