Dry Wall Repair Tips
For the Family Handyman

Dry wall repair requires patience and an eye for detail. It is a tedious job that has to be done correctly for professional looking results.

In the right light, the smallest flaw becomes visible. A sloppy dry wall job can ruin the look of any room in a real hurry.

The tips below list the tools you need, with friendly advice to help reduce plastering required and ensure stunning results for your dry wall repair job:

  • Tools required: small and large putty knife, corner trowel, crack fill tape/mesh, mud pan (I use the cookie sheet out of an old toaster oven), tape measure, utility knife, ladder, fine-grit sandpaper and a bucket of ready mix crack filler.

    Note: They now have crack fill that produces significantly less dust, which is handy if you live in the house while the work is being done.

  • Cut away loose drywall or paper around the hole before applying crack fill.

  • If the dry wall repair job includes hanging dry wall sheets, ensure the seams of one sheet match the seam of the next sheet closely. Try to avoid large gaps between the two sheets.

  • The larger the sheet of dry wall the less crack fill you will need to do since there are fewer seams.

  • If your studs are on 16" centers try running dry wall sheets horizontal instead of vertical.

  • The seam where the wall meets the ceiling is always a challenge. One way to avoid crack filling this is to install crown molding. Crown molding can be a bit pricey but it really looks great and it does save much work.

  • Dry wall repair is enhanced by always using dry wall screws to hang dry wall. They are easier to remove later, reduce damage to the dry wall, and hold much better.

  • Nail or screw holes are easily covered with a small putty knife, which reduces crack fill use and sanding later.

  • The first coat of factory-beveled seams can be applied with a small putty knife. Subsequent applications will need to use the larger putty knife to smooth edges. 90 degree corner seams can also be started with the small putty knife and finished with the corner trowel.

  • When cutting near dry wall edges, always use a utility knife. Cut the side facing out to the room through the paper and then snap backwards along the edge. Bend the snapped piece to the back of the dry wall and drag the utility knife along the back in the valley to complete the cut.

  • When cutting electrical box holes close to the edge, cut the outer edge first, and then the top and bottom and inner edge last. This will help prevent breaking the outer piece.

    Click here to go get steps for crack filling a new wall

    Thanks for the dry wall repair tips. Take me back home.