It's that dreadful eyesore that you've been trying to ignore for ages and just can't bring yourself to check off the growing to-do list: that unsightly hole in your drywall. If the flaw is less than one inch square, you'll likely be able to make a great looking and inconspicuous fix the easy way.
With these simple steps, you can get your wall (or ceiling) repaired and looking like that damage never even happened.
- First, use a sharp utility knife to gently score and cut off the damaged areas at a 45-degree angle, with the beveled angle going inwards towards the hole. The angle is important as it will give the flexible joint compound something to grab into as you're building up layers. Smooth the beveled edges down with some medium grit sandpaper. Be certain there's no peeling paper or excessive dust on the drywall.
- If you don’t have the leftover can of paint you originally used for that wall space, gently take that same utility knife and cut a little sample out of the wall; score the swatch size you need, close to the repair site, and use the corner of the blade to peel off the paper facing of the drywall. You'll be able to easily repair the spot where you removed a swatch with some light sanding and a quick application of compound. For safe keeping, mount your swatch on a piece of paper using double-sided tape or a dab of school glue. Do not use tape across the top of the color swatch to laminate it in place. The sheen of the tape's coating could read as an entirely different gloss finish or color by the optical machine compared to the actual sample.
- Now that the site is ready, use a small putty knife to build up a few skim coats of flexible joint compound. Be sure to let it dry thoroughly between these initial layers. The more layers you add, the more the hole should start filling in, with the compound gradually closing the hole in the middle. When you've built up enough layers to almost meet the same depth as the undamaged portions of the wall, apply a piece of self-adhesive drywall tape following the manufacturer's instructions.
- Using a wide putty knife or trowel apply another skim coat over the tape. You may need to build up one more layer if you still see some of the drywall tape through the compound. Remember, it's crucial to let the compound dry completely. A great way to double-check your work on a smooth surface is to hold a flashlight flush to the wall and look for shadows in your patched area.
- If your walls are heavily textured, make yourself a sample board. Work with the flexible joint compound on a piece of sturdy cardboard with brushes, trowels, sponges, putty knives and lint-free rags to approximate the texture as best you can. When you have developed a technique that is satisfactory, recreate it on the wall. Let a heavily textured patch set for several days to cure, or build up the layers over the course of a few days. Sand the patch on the edges to help it blend visually into the surrounding wall texture.
- With the new or leftover paint, or at least the original paint can with the digital tint coding printed on the lid, to apply where the repair is now textured to match the existing area. If not, you've already made yourself a color swatch before you re-textured the spot. Don't forget to prime the patch before painting with the existing room color. If it's an especially dark room color, go with a gray tinted primer. Remember to feather the edges from the patch towards the wall color. Try to use the same paint tools if you know the previous application method. When in doubt use a small paint roller with medium-length nap. If you're not satisfied with the duplicated patch color after it's been on the wall for a few days, but it's almost close enough, try cleaning just the one wall with a mild cleaning solution.
- Sometimes, new batch (or re-applied old batch paint) doesn't visually match the surrounding wall because the original paint is simply dirty. If washing doesn't do the trick, repainting just the one wall that has the patch will often be enough to fool the eye. You might decide to paint the repaired wall with a new accent color, or repaint the room entirely to commemorate your excellent repair work.
If you have any questions, or would like a helping hand around the house with projects big and small please contact us at All Chores No More. We'd love to help you check off that to-do list.