Patching Drywall: Step-by-Step Guide
When drywall sheets succumb to wear and tear, there’s no need to panic because repairs can be incredibly simple (as long as you follow a great guide!). In just six steps, you’ll have your drywall looking as good as new!
Step 1: Highlight the Damaged Area
To start, you’ll need to draw a box around the damage (leave a one-inch gap from the damage itself); this is easier with carpenter squares. Also, use a stud finder to mark the stud either side of the damage.
Step 2: Cut Along the Lines
With the lines drawn, you can grab a utility knife or saw blade to cut along them until you reach a stud; around ¾ of an inch from the start of the stud should take you to the middle. When cutting, take your time and start with shallow cuts before gradually going deeper. Always remember to cut away from your body too. As long as the patch is directly over the stud, adequate support should be provided. From here, you can remove the damaged drywall.
Step 3: Cut Support and Install
To create a support, use a piece of 1" x 2" wood and cut it to your desired size. Alternatively, you can use a piece of cill track as well. Make sure the piece is at least two inches longer than the size you need before screwing the support vertically; with this behind the hole, the patch shouldn’t crack. When using drywall screws, don’t drive through the drywall but make sure it’s securely in place.
Step 4: Cut a New Drywall Patch to Match
You can now measure the repair area using 2 x 2 inches drywall. Make use of the carpenter squares and utility knife as you carefully cut the drywall to size. Once again, take your time because a mistake here could lead to frustration.
Step 5: Attach the Patch with Drywall Screws
Now, you’re ready to affix the patch to the rest of the wall and to do this you’ll need to place the screws at least one inch from the edge as this will prevent splitting and crumbling. Carefully drill until the patch is held into place.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
Once the patch is affixed, you can attach self-adhesive fibreglass drywall tape around the edges. If you have a drywall taping knife, run this along the seam and ensure the tape is as smooth as can be. After this, all you can do is wait overnight before sanding to make it even smoother; this may require a second or even third coat. We recommend a six-inch drywall taping knife for the first coat and then a twelve-inch drywall taping knife for any thereafter.
Once completed, sand the area, wipe with a cloth, and then you’re ready to paint. Of course, the fresh layer of paint will be slightly different to the existing colour when first painted so just use one coat to start. Over time, the patch will continue to change colour until it matches the existing wall. Don’t feel as though you need to choose an altered colour or use several coats because it will blend in eventually.
As long as you follow these steps, you shouldn’t have a problem replacing damaged drywall. As we’ve pointed out throughout the guide, the best advice we can provide is to take your time. If you choose a time where you don’t need to rush at all, you’ll be more likely to get it right the first time!