Wednesday, May 2, 2012
How To Patch Drywall Holes (Part 2)
As most of you already know, we moved into our new space last week. While that is an awesome step forward, it was awful. I hate packing, moving, and everything else associated with changing residences. Eventually we will have everything sorted out and organized and this shop will be an incredible space to build, create, and tinker in! Unfortunately, all of our stuff is all over the place and there isn't a lot of room for projects just yet. (Although Kara did manage to find some space today to try something out with a chair. I am sure she will share that with y'all soon. It turned out great!)
One of the worst things about moving is that you get around to fixing all those little issues that have been on your list for a while and then you don't get to stick around and enjoy the fruits of your labor. What I am showing today may encourage you to take on some of those projects now and not wait until you move. A few weeks ago Kara showed you how to patch small nail holes in your wall, today I'm going to teach you how to tackle the large ones.
When we hung our TV in the living room, we didn't want to see any of the cords.
I wasn't worried about selling the house at the time so I drilled a few large holes and easily ran the plugs through the wall so everything was concealed. Well a day before our closing date, I still hadn't fixed my holes. Instead of squaring up the hole and using wood to back it and secure it, I elected to make a "hot patch."
First I located the hole. You can see it here.
Then I cut a square piece of drywall that was about 1/2" larger than the diameter of my hole.
Then I drew a circle slightly smaller than my hole on the back of my piece of drywall and cut through the back layer of paper and gypsum. I was extra careful not to pierce the front layer of paper.
Next I smeared a liberal amount of mud in and around my hole. You want to make sure that there are not any air bubbles under the paper of your patch, so the more mud the merrier. Now, place your patch in the hole and use a small putty knife (I used a 6" knife for this whole job) to press the patch into the mud and squeeze out any excess. It is not a bad idea to use a drop cloth of some sort. With a hole this small a towel will work fine.
Once that is dry you will want to work on smoothing out your transition. Your dry time will depend on how much mud you have behind your patch, but your should probably be able to add your next coat of mud in about 15 minutes.
Again, load up your knife with mud and begin to spread it onto the wall. Get it distributed somewhat evenly across your patch and then pull your knife down the patch to smooth out the high spot and remove the excess mud.
Quick Tip: When you are trying to add mud to the wall you want to have your knife as flat was possible against the wall with light pressure. This will allow the mud to trail off your knife and stick to the wall. When you are wanting to remove the excess mud increase the angle of your knife and add a bit of pressure.
Once you have removed any high spots from the center of your patch and created a level center surface you will want to work on creating smooth transitions from your patch to your wall. Don't waste a lot of time trying to get this first coat of mud perfect. You will still have a decent amount of mud to add and it is just too hard to get it perfect at this point.
You will want to go around all 4 sides of the patch and if you are pretty comfortable with your knife you can attack 2 or 3 sides at a time using "L" or "C" shaped strokes to smooth the mud.
Again, let this dry for 10 minutes or so and add a bit more mud. Instead of concentrating your mud in the center of the patch, apply it around the edge of your working area. You are wanting to ease the transition to the patch so you will need to position your knife closer to the edge of the patch.
With patches, texture is your best friend and worst enemy. It works against you when you are trying to drag your knife against the wall to smooth your mud, but once you apply it to your patch (to match the rest of the wall) it will cover a multitude of sins.
You can see how my patch "grew" as I feathered each additional coat a little further out.
Depending on what kind of texture you have you can buy these small aerosol cans of textures. The one I bought had a dial to create lighter or heavier texture. I set if for as heavy as possible since our texture "globs" are fairly large. (Yes, that is the technical term, I think)
When you apply the texture don't worry about trying to keep it contained on your patch. Spray the texture 6"to 18" inches on each side of the patch. Try to go lighter around the edge of the area to create a unnoticeable seam. Having the new texture on top of the old texture helps to disquise any difference in the size of your globs.
Finally, hit that patch with a couple coats paint. Again paint a larger area than what you textured.
I took these pictures before the paint had totally dried so you can see the difference in sheen on the right side of the photo. Even though my three patches were pretty small, I painted to the top and bottom of the window and within 6" of the window and shelf.
When I was done, the holes were concealed just like my wires. This process is pretty simple and you will end up spending more time waiting for stuff to dry than you do actually working. It works great for small patches, but I wouldn't recommended it for any holes larger than 6" by 6".
That is enough of this practical but boring DIY post. Hopefully the next time I stop by I will have something really cool to show y'all. See you soon!