Okay…say you’re the maintenance person at the Metropolitan Opera House downtown and you need to repair the wall after the last fist fight. Or possibly you’re Hank, the owner of Hank’s Dockside Cantina, and you’re in much need of sheetrock expertise…or possibly you are the owner of a home in Garden Oaks where cousin Penelope flung open the bathroom door on Thanksgiving Day and now you have a hole the size of Rhode Island in the wall! What’s a person to do?
Never fear, your sheetrock repair guide is here!
And, by the way, why is Rhode Island not an island?
Home Dry Wall (Sheetrock) Repair
Anyway, we are going to repair your moderate-sized sheetrock problems (sheetrock is sometimes called wallboard or dry wall).
- piece of sheetrock (1/2 inch thick usually)
- wall board saw
- 1 1/4 inch sheetrock screws
- adhesive backed mesh tape
- utility knife
- two foot level
- all purpose joint compound
- putty knife (sheetrock knife or spatula)
- fine sand paper
- piece of wood about 3/4 inch thick
- drill and #2 Phillips head bit
- primer and finish coat paints
Sheetrock Repair Procedure
Prepare the Hole
At about two inches above and below the damage in the sheetrock, draw horizontal level lines. Using the tip of the wall board saw, work through the sheetrock and start sawing along each line one way till you reach a stud then do the same in the other direction. At about two inches on the other side of each of the studs work the saw through the sheetrock and finish the sawing of the line.
Clean up sheetrock over the studs. Finish the process around the hole (vertically too) till you have a rectangle or a square. Always be aware of any electrical wires which maybe hidden behind the wall and saw appropriately.
Attach the New Dry Wall Piece
Now attach the wood piece to the back of the sheetrock and secure with sheetrock screws. This wood is to insure the smooth transition of the old sheetrock to the new. The heads of the screws should be slightly below the surface of the sheetrock (Don’t worry…it does not have to be perfect).
Cut the sheetrock piece about ¼ inch shorter than the length and height of the hole you formed. Secure the piece to each of the studs with the screws and wood piece.
Apply First Coat of Joint Compound (Mud)
Cut the mesh tape about 2 inches longer and put on seams on all four sides. Take your sheetrock knife and apply semi-smooth first coat of mud (joint compound). You are now finished for the day … clear your work area and clean off your mud knife with water.
Next day, scrape over the dried mud with clean mud knife and then apply second coat as smoothly as possible. When the second coat of mud is dry, lightly sand it and apply the third (and hopefully final) coat. Finish sanding when dry.
More coats may be needed depending on how good you are with the mud. One good thing to remember: Do not over-work mud. Each layer should take about five minutes. Also, do not sand more than is necessary.
You should paint the mud with primer paint before finish coating with final wall color. If you need to add more coats of mud for a smoother finish you can do that at any stage.
Congratulations on a job well done
Next Thanksgiving, tell Penelope to use the neighbor’s bathroom.