DRYWALLING REPAIR TIPS FOR SMALL HOLES


Looking for sheetrock or drywalling repair tips for small holes.

Or do you have larger size holes that require some how to fix techniques.

If you have a hole in your drywall (or sheetrock) and the hole is larger than 12" or so across (horizontally or vertically), refer to this page to help you out with your large hole drywall repairs.

By using this website you will find an assortment of information related to home improvement including drywalling, painting and decorating.

Most drywall repairs will involve the process of filling and fixing small holes.

Advice and drywalling repair tips that follow below should help with all of your drywall projects.


SMALL HOLES IN DRYWALL



A small hole in drywall (sheetrock) can range in size from a nail puncture to the diameter of a softball (give or take an inch or two). Smaller holes like nail punctures and divots (1'' around or less in size) can of course be fixed with the use of a drywall knife (or blade) and mud.

Both the mud and knife can be purchased from your local home improvement center or hardware store. Once the divot or puncture is filled, let the mud dry, then sand the mud flush making sure the mud is smooth (feel it) and even with the wall.

If needed, refill your newly sanded mud and begin the repair process over again.

Here’s a couple good drywalling repair tips, first when using drywall mud and you’re a beginner to the drywall process, keep in mind that less is more. What I mean by less is more is, it's better to apply two or three “thin” coats of mud, along with sanding between coats, as appose to slapping on one thick application. A thick dollop of mud will require a lot more sanding and drying time than three thin mud coats


TOOLS, PRODUCTS & MATERIALS TO USE



Depending on the size of hole being repaired, there are an assortment of tools that one can use. The list and information that follows, is for fixing holes that are 1" to “12 or less in width or height.


  • Drywall Saw
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil
  • 1" wide Utility Knife
  • Drywall Knifes (spatula)
  • Foam Sanding Block (medium Grit)
  • Hole Filler (mud)
  • Piece of Drywall Board
  • Drywall Screws
  • Tray for Mud
  • Lath
  • Mesh Drywall Tape
  • Drill/Bit/Drywall Screwdriver Head
  • Screw Driver Having a Drywall Screwdriver Head
  • String (shoe lace at least 16" long )


REPAIRING DRYWALL HOLES



Drywalling repair tips for 1" to 3" wide holes
Keep the hole as small as possible but at the same time use your drywall saw (works best) or utility knife to even out the hole so that the hole is either rectangle, square or circular shaped. The surface needs to be flush, so cut away anything that will protrude through the mud (frayed drywall paper, chucks of drywall etc).

Drywall tape is about 2 1/2" wide and comes in various lengths. Holes 1" to 3" in size (around) can have a piece of drywall tape applied down the middle of the hole vertically. To insure the hole is covered, you can overlap (by 1” or so) two pieces of the drywall tape placed side by side. The tape of your taped drywall hole should be at least a couple inches longer and wider than the hole itself, otherwise the tape won’t adhere to the walls surface when your mudding over the top of it.

Once the tape is on, use the drywall knife to lightly apply a thin coat of mud (drywall filler) over the tapes surface.

You may need to hold the tape with one hand at its top edge as you draw your drywall knife and mud over the drywall tape face and drywall hole. Holding the drywall tape will keep it from slipping, (try not to mud where your fingers are holding the tape). Angling the handle of your drywall knife towards the floor as oppose to holding the drywall knife strait out should work the best. For mud application

After you have mudded the tape and hole, let the mud dry. Your first application of mud is only there to hold the drywall tape in place.

Drywalling repair tips for 2" to 12" wide holes

For some larger holes, you can ball up newspaper so that it is thick enough not to slip down inside the wall when you stuff it into the drywall hole. The paper ball has to not only fit in the hole it also needs to be below the drywall boards surface level, because of these two stipulations, newspaper can’t be used on all larger drywall holes.

After the hole is stuffed with old paper, apply a light coat of mud. Your first coat of mud is to hold the paper in place so no need to be fancy.

Other holes can be repaired with the help of a piece of drywall board, length of lath (or skinny flat chunk of wood), and drywall screws.

Cut the lath to size. The length of lath should be eight inches longer than the smallest width of the hole. What does that means? Well, if your drywall hole is rectangle shaped, measuring 6" high by 4" wide, then the smallest width is 4", so your lath should be cut to 12" in length or 8" longer than the smallest width, which in this case is 4'' (8 + 4 = 12).

Tie your string or shoe lace around the lath. With your bit in the drill and while holding the lath with the string, drill through the drywall board an inch or so away from the holes edge into the lath. Once the first hole is drilled move an inch above it and drill another. Go to the other side of the small hole in your drywall and drill into the lath in the same fashion. While still holding the string, screw drywall screws into the holes you just drilled until the screws head is below the surface of the drywall board and the lath is pulled snug against the back of the hole.

What your trying to do is secure the lath flat to the inside of the drywall hole. The lath will be used as a brace for a piece of drywall to be screwed to. Drill and screw on another piece of lath next to the first. Be sure the pieces of lath are parallel and are even in the hole in relation to where the lath are situated. Depending on the size of the hole you can use more sections of lath and extra drywall screws if needed.

With your braces secured to the drywall board, use the drywall saw and cut a piece of drywall to the same length and width of your drywall hole less a 1/8" on each side, otherwise it won't fit.

With the use of a pencil and your measuring tape, mark the front of the piece of drywall board you just cut. The pencil marks should show you where the lath will be when the newly cut drywall piece is placed in the drywall hole on top of the lath.

Lightly hold the drywall piece in the drywall hole against the lath then using your pencil marks drill holes through the drywall piece into the lath. Keep drilling holes at two or three inches apart then place drywall screws into the drill holes. Snug the screws up tight so that the screw head is below the surface of the drywall board. When drilling, applying screws or holding the drywall piece against the lath, do not push to hard or you will detach the lath from the drywall surface. Use this

mudding and taping link

to help you get the mudding taping done.


SUMMARY OF DRYWALLING REPAIR TIPS


Rolling on drywall primer to dried and sanded newly mudded sections then letting the primer dry will usually show ridges and bumps in the mud that you may have missed. If you do see imperfections in the primed mud, re-mud over the primer, let it dry, sand and re-prime before painting.

Hole fillers come in different types, drywall mud works best but takes longer to dry. Light weight spackle dries quickly but tends to show through the final painted coat. Paintable caulk is for cracks in corners and filling tiny nail holes.

Some home improvement centers will sell you a small piece of drywall board to fix drywall holes. Try to buy drywall board that is the same thickness as the board being repaired.

Repair kits can be purchased to fill drywall holes, they are convenient and will work fine if you do not have more than a couple repairs to do.

lath, is a flat skinny wooden stick usually used by road construction crews and surveyors. Lath can be purchased from your local home improvement center.

Drywall tape comes in nylon mesh and paper. Drywallers usually use paper while the home owner prefers mesh. When using mesh drywall tap, don't over sand after it has been mudded, otherwise the tape will fray and you will be able to see the mesh after applying your final coat of paint.

Drywall knifes (or blades) come in a number of widths. Smaller jobs need only one drywall knife. Larger projects can be completed with one drywall knife but the process requires some skill. It's best to start with a small drywall knife then work up to a larger one.

You will need something to hold the drywall mud as it's not a good idea to apply the mud to your wall right from the mud bucket, doing so would contaminate the mud in the bucket with dried mud and other debris.

Wider drywall knives work well as a tray for mud when doing small jobs, larger projects require mudding trays or a tool called a hawk.

Drill bits and drywall screw head size, can be selected with the help of your local hardware store or home improvement center. Drywall screw heads should fit the screw properly and the drill bit needs to be smaller than the diameter of the drywall screw yet not so small that the screw cracks the lath. Also not drilling holes in the lath prior to applying the screws may cause the lath to split or break away from the drywall board.

When drawing your mud filled drywall knife over the wall surface, test different angles of the drywall knife until you find one that works best for you. I find that the mud tends to go on thicker when the drywall knife handle is held at a lower angle and thinner when the handle is held higher in the air.

Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to get some help from a friend or family member when doing drywall projects.


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Looking for interior projects other than drywalling repair tips and techniques. Click on the home link. You should be able to find an idea by reading the text. If I have missed something or you would like to ask a question, e-mail me. Your address will be held in the strictest confidence. I‘ll also try and answer you, in as prompt a manner as possible.