How to Fix Holes in Walls By Yourself
Holes – an unsightly blemish on our material belongings and property in most cases, unless we’re talking about Swiss cheese. When it comes to households, especially those that incorporate drywall, holes are an inevitability and a reminder of the fleeting structural constitution of the material world and, by extension, life… What? Too existential?
Digressions aside, holes can be the result of many things – a door that swung too harshly, some popped nails, a pair of rambunctious kids who happened to find dad’s toolbox. You get the point. But how do you go about fixing said hole(s)?
Depending on the severity and size of the hole in question, the range of DIY repairs can vary from lightweight spackling to cutting new pieces of drywall entirely. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of these resourceful DIY fixes!
Basic Dents and Dings
Starting off the article with the simplest and easiest tasks, common drywall dings and dents won’t require more than wall spackling, sandpaper, and the good ol’ putty knife. A classic of the genre, wouldn’t you say?
There’s not much to it, really. Your first step is to tackle those rough spots for smoother application. Simply sand the dents to remove the rough areas, but ensure you do it gently, then wipe the spots clean with a damp cloth.
Apply a bit of spackle with the putty knife and let the area dry for eight hours or more. After it’s dried, sand the drywall until it’s smooth to the touch.
Small Holes – Small Issue
We’re talking about holes made by the odd screw or nail, or at least ones that are of similar size (up to an inch and a half). Our previous advice works here as well. Besides wall spackling, joint compound will also do the trick for you.
The putty knife (preferably a 2-inch one) and the sandpaper are once again needed. Sand and smooth out the rough edges of the hole and follow it up with a gentle wipe. Regardless of your compound of choice, use the putty knife and let the area dry overnight. Much like before, you just have to sand the patch for a smoother result.
Medium-Sized Holes – Moderate Problem
The problem that arises from holes larger than one and a half inches is that simple patches won’t settle for them. Instead, you’ll need to reinforce such medium-sized holes with fiberglass mesh tape. It doesn’t matter if the tape is from a roll or a self-adhesive patch kit, although the latter is preferable with regard to convenience.
If the hole in question was caused by a severe impact (like that from a doorknob), galvanized-metal patches will reinforce it better. You’ll need a shop vac to clean out the loose debris before the initial sanding and wiping process. Self-stick patches will need to be cut to the size of the hole, while mesh tape will require a thin layer of compound around the hole for sticking the strips of mesh.
After this process, you’ll have to spread more compound as a thin layer across the entire patch. Again, this bears repeating – be gentle. After letting it dry, smooth it out with sandpaper, but make sure that there aren’t any visible edges or gaps.
Huge Holes – Huge Undertaking
For this variety of cavities (heh), you’ll need to cut a new piece of drywall. And if you don’t secure it to the wall studs, expect the weight of the patch to cause cracks or just cause the thing to fall off entirely.
As for tools, you’ll need a utility knife or a drywall saw, a tape measure, a shop vac, spare drywall, drywall screws, a joint compound, a drywall knife, sandpaper, and an electric drill.
Regardless of whether you choose a knife or saw, you’ll have to square up the hole. Remove the debris and loose material with a shop vac, and wipe with a damp cloth as usual. Measure and cut the piece of drywall while making sure that there’s a small (barely visible) gap and attach the new piece to whatever wall studs you have exposed.
Using the drywall knife, apply a coating near the edges in a way that hides the seams, and allow the drywall mud to, well, dry! The sanding and coat appliance is done until the whole thing is satisfactory. Remember, you want a smooth, seamless area.
We hope you found this little article helpful for your DIY endeavor. If you’re worried about trying to fix holes in your household, be sure to consult experts like YourHomeFix, whose services cover a wide range of remodeling and renovation tasks.