Don’t live with dings, dents and holes, with these tools you’re just a few minutes away from picture perfect walls.
Small drywall damage happens to the best of us. Despite our efforts, pictures need to be moved, doors get slammed open, little nicks and holes seem to magically appear in our perfectly painted walls. If you suddenly spot a nasty scratch, dent or hole, don’t stress. Most small damage can be repaired faster than you can say, “Who did this!?”
Tools of the Trade
The proper tools can make all the difference when repairing drywall. You don’t want to apply spackle with an old kitchen spatula or try cutting drywall with scissors. Arm yourself accordingly:
Spackle -- Fast drying spackle is great for small dings, dents and those little holes left when you decide that picture needs to go just a little to the right. Read and follow the instructions, as each spackle product has its own distinctions.
Putty Knife - A putty knife or taping knife is designed to make things nice and smooth. If you’ve ever tried smoothing spackle with your finger, you know the importance of a good putty knife. Clean, even lines are crucial when repairing a wall and a putty knife, even an inexpensive one, will make sure things are smooth.
Adhesive Mesh Screen or Patch Kit – If you’re repairing a small dent or nick all you’ll need is a putty knife and some spackle, but larger holes, anything bigger than a nail head, will need something to hold the spackle together. These mesh screens are designed for just that. They are easy to trim to size and stick right to the wall. You can also buy a patch kit, that will come with screens and everything needed to make repairs on small holes.
Drywall Patch/Spare Drywall -- Holes larger than six-inches will need to be covered with new drywall. You can buy drywall and cut it to size. It’s also a good idea to hold onto some spare pieces after a drywall project. If you didn’t do-it-yourself, ask your contractor if you can hold onto any excess material. While you don’t want a basement full of extra drywall, it does come in handy to have a few small pieces lying around.
Drywall Saw/Jab Saw - It’s easier to plug a square hole than a jagged, oddly shaped one. Cutting away some of the drywall will make repairs more uniform and harder to detect. Drywall saws are small enough to fit in tight areas and can poke through the material easily. Work carefully and wear eye protection before making any cuts.
Joint Compound -- Joint compound is the material that holds and hides the seams of your drywall. Joint compound comes either as a powder to be mixed with water, or pre-mixed. Use this for larger areas of damage or to join two pieces of drywall.
Sandpaper - Once the hole is patched with spackle or joint compound, you’ll need to sand it smooth. Use 150-grit sandpaper and a gentle touch to take off any rough areas of spackle. There are also specially designed sandpaper sponges made just for making spot repairs on drywall
Paint -- Because the spackle or joint compound won’t match the walls, you’ll need some touch-up paint. Also, if you’re tired of the wall’s current color, now is the perfect opportunity (or the excuse) to paint the room a new color.
A small blemish on your wall might seem permanent, but those tiny dings and battle scars can disappear with a little work and the right tools. Remember: Always read the instructions, always measure twice and always, always, always stay safe. If you still don’t feel comfortable fixing the damage yourself, call a contractor. It’s better to seek help before you make things worse. For more information on new drywall materials and products, visit CertainTeed.com.
Preventative Measure: Using the Tough Stuff
If you’re tired of fixing holes and dents in your drywall, there are new, stronger wall options on the market. For heavily used areas, like garages or entryways, consider using CertainTeed’s Habito drywall, which was designed to take a beating. It is the strongest 1/2" drywall available and shows no sign of damage after minor bumps, collisions and hammer strikes? Learn More.