Repairing Walls

If you come across a hole in the wall that’s too big to spackle then you need to put some backing behind it before you patch it. If the hole is very big you’ll have to cut out a section of drywall right up to the middle of the stud on each side, put in a new section of drywall and then go through the mudding and taping process all over again. Anyway, for backing we’re going to be using short pieces of wood and we’re going to start by putting a bit of adhesive on each end. Now you stick it in so the adhesive is going to hold it to the good drywall around the hole.

The adhesive will hold eventually but if you’re impatient you can secure it with a couple of drywall screws right away. Just drill some screws directly into the wall through to the backing pieces of wood. If you get to a backing piece that you cannot hold through the hole by end then drill a screw into the middle so you have something to hold onto while you wait for the adhesive to set. Pull it out once it’s set to the drywall.

There are quite a few products on the market for repairing drywall and you’re going to look for a few qualities: something that dries quick, something that sands easily and something that’s not gonna crack. Once you have some spackling compound that works, force it into the hole against the backing pieces of wood and fill everything up. Try to get it smooth on the surface and put on a little more than you need so you can sand it down flat. You may want multiple layers if the hole is deep and you may want to let certain layers dry before applying another coat. After all of the coats have dried for an hour or two you can sand and paint it.

Another method is the “half patch method” which uses a piece of drywall the size of the hole and some paper backing on it to serve as the joint tape. The first step is to clean the rough edges of the existing hole. Then you cut out the patch using a sharp utility knife. On the back side, you can come in an inch, scored the circumference and scraped off the gypsum being careful not to tear off the facing paper. Next you want to apply some spackle around and to the edges of the hole and then press the patch onto the wall. Apply more spackle over the entire patch and follow the normal process for patching.

To repair a ceramic tile wall you’re going to run into the same color matching problems you had with the floor. Besides that the first thing you want to do is scrape out the grout around the edges. You can do this step using a utility knife or a grout saw. To get the old tile out, you can use a center punch and a hammer to start hitting away it. Once you’ve hit away a good starting spot you can start prying out the pieces. You always want to pry against the old tile and not against the new ones that you want to stay there. Scrape off the excess pieces that may stick to the wall and be careful not to scrap away at the drywall if there is no plaster or mortar backing. Next, apply a silicon caulk to the back of the new tile and take care to apply the right amount so the tile will set at the right height. After you press the tile into place, you’ll have to wait about 30 minutes for it to fully set up. The last thing you want to do is apply grout. You can pick up premixed white grout at the home center if the rest of your grout is white. Applying it is just a matter of getting some on your finger and then pressing it down into the cracks. Finally, use a damp sponge to wipe off all the excess.

When repairing wallpaper, there are a few tricks depending on what issue you have. One common problem is when the seams work loose. This is easy to fix with glue that comes in a tube with a tapered end. Just lift up the edge of the wall covering and squirt some glue under it. Wipe away the excess with a damp sponge per usual. You can also use a seam roller to smooth it down further.

You can also patch wall coverings if you’ve saved some old wallpaper. Take the scrap and line it up over the damaged area so it lines up precisely at the edges. Tape this in place. Cut through both layers of covering at the same time with a utility knife. You can even cut along a line in the pattern to hide the seam even better. After peeling off the new material, wet the area and start peeling off the old damaged piece, which can come off in pieces. Apply some adhesive on the back of the new patch and place it into position so the pattern matches again. Smooth this down with a clean wet sponge.