Spackle, Shmackle: Five Easy Tips to Patch a Hole in the Wall
It’s easy to make a hole in a wall, but how easy is it to fix one? It’s easier than you might think to fix any size hole in your wall. Here are five easy tips to follow.
- Determine the Size of Your Hole
Different size holes require slightly different repair methods. If you have a nail or small hole all you need to do is patch it with compound. After it has dried; sand the spot for a smooth finish.
If you’re hall is slightly larger (about the size of a switch box opening), you can fill the hole with newspaper before applying the compound so provide more stability and so you can use less compound.
For medium size holes (those approximately 30” x 30”), you will need to use a technique called the “hot patch.” In this case, you will need to fill the hole with some drywall with a flap on each edge.
For really large holes you will need to treat them as entirely new areas to be covered. You should remove any nails or screws that are showing in the framing and then cut a brand new piece of drywall. You will need to secure the drywall and then tape, sand and finish the new wall.
Measure your hole and then go from there. You want to make sure you are using the proper patching technique for the size hole you have.
Once you’ve decided on the technique you need to use to fill your hole, make sure that you have all the supplies you need at your disposal. It will save you precious time later on making sure you have enough compound mixed and the right tools to apply it. You will need to work somewhat quickly once the compound is mixed and ready so you don’t want to risk it drying because you forgot to lay out all of the tools you need.
If you are filling a larger hole, make sure that you have the drywall cut and ready before you even think about mixing compound. At this stage it might be good to double check the size of your hole so you are absolutely sure that the technique you’ve decided to use is the correct one for a hole of that size. You don’t want to get halfway through filling the hole and then decide that you need backing material like newspaper to hold the compound in place.
- Don’t Over Spackle
Though you many assume that applying enough of your compound will solve all of your problems, that won’t necessarily be the case. If you have a medium or large hole, only using compound won’t be effective because it has nothing to grip onto to. The result will be a very unstable patching that will likely crack or fall apart. Even on small patch-ups, you don’t want to apply too much compound. The secret with compound application is to apply as little as possible and as smoothly as possible. If you apply too much compound or it is applied unevenly, you will have a fair bit of sanding work ahead of you and in some cases the compound can still be seen once painted over. Remember that moderation is the key.
- Have a little patience
When trying to complete a new home project, you are often anxious to get moving. In this case, you do need to take your time and make sure that your compound is completely dry before moving on to the sanding and finishing stages. If you try to sand before the compound is dry you may make more of a mess than you had at the start or you may need to start from scratch. Follow the directions on the compound you are using, particularly in terms of drying time. Take a bit of time away from the project – remember a watched pot never boils. This is a really good time to clean all of your tools so the compound doesn’t have a chance to dry on them.
- Sanding and Finishing
Even though your hole may seem smooth, you don’t want to skip the sanding process. There may be little ridges that you cannot see, but which will become more obvious once you begin painting. Sand the area lightly so that you do not take off too much compound. Clean the area of all dust from the sanding and then proceed to the painting stage.
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