If you own a home, you know how easy it is to put a hole in drywall, whether it is from a door handle, something falling over, or an accident from a child playing. The good news is that drywall is pretty easy to fix, especially smaller holes, so it is something even a novice home owner can tackle. If the hole is really large (anything larger than 12 inches, it would probably be advisable to replace the entire sheet of drywall rather than creating a large patch. For all of the other drywall holes you may come across, here are some ideas:
Traditionally when you had to fix a hole in drywall, a contractor would try to square up the hole as much as possible and then put in wooden braces to support a new square of drywall. Luckily, they have created aluminum patches, which can go directly over the hole without having to square it up. The aluminum patch is strong enough to span larger holes, and yet thin enough to be covered over with a thin layer of spackle. They work the same way traditional drywall tape would work, where you put a layer of spackle over the mesh, let it dry, and then come back the next day to add a second coat with a larger trowel. I recommend sanding in between applications, but some people would say you could get away with just sanding after the second coat.
Cracks will often occur when a house begins to settle, so it is not uncommon to find cracks in drywall in both new and old homes. The good news is that this is an easy fix. Take a razor blade or utility knife and create a v-shaped channel along the crack. Fill the crack with spackle or joint compound and then apply a mesh tape over the top (while the aluminum patch works well for holes, it is recommended that you use regular mesh tape for this application). Once the mesh tape is applied, cover that with spackle and feather out the ends. After it dries, continue to feather it out on a second application (third if need be). Once it is done, sand to a smooth finish.
Repairing Nail and Screw Holes
The most common fix that will be required is filling in old screw holes or nail holes from pictures or fixtures that were attached to the wall. Another common repair from screws and nails is when vibrations cause them to come loose. This is another easy fix. First, take the end of a trowel or screw driver, and tap in the edges of the hole to create a little crater. If the drywall is loose, nail or screw in a new fastener just below the existing hole. Take spackle and trowel it over the hole, filling it completely. Once it is dry, sand smooth.
In more modern homes, metal corner bead was used to finish off the corners. It creates a nice crisp corner, but is easily dented. The good news is that as easily as it was dented, it can be bent right back into shape with a couple of soft taps with a hammer. Once you have hammered it back into shape, check the wall for cracks along the metal bead. If you find any, you will have to apply mesh tape over it. Once you have it taped, apply a coat of spackle, wait to dry, and then repeat the process. Afterward, sand the patch to a smooth finish.
So rather than hiring a contractor to help repair any holes in your drywall, follow these simple steps and you can repair your own drywall (putting that money back in your pocket!).