Do It Yourself
For most drywall repairs, we recommend calling in the pros, but for some smaller jobs, you may be able to save yourself some money by completing the repair yourself. While it likely won't look as good as if it were repaired professionally, you can take satisfaction is having done the job yourself. Be advised, a drywall surface with texture will be considerably more difficult to end up with a repair that doesn't look out of place. While you can attempt to repair a textured surface, we don't recommend it.
Tools and Materials Needed
Depending on the size of the repair, you may need the following:
Putty Knife - This is a wide, flat tool to spread spackle/drywall compound onto a repair.
Drywall Saw or Serrated Knife - This is to cut a straight line around a drywall repair
2x4 Lumber - For repairs larger than about 3", you will need support behind your drywall repair
Drywall Clips - For some repairs you can use drywall clips instead of support from behind
Drywall Screws - For securing drywall repairs to their supports, whether it's clips or wood
Spackle / Drywall Compound - For filling in gaps or small holes, or covering screws and clips
Drywall Tape - For larger repairs, drywall tape will strengthen the repair
Sandpaper or sanding blocks - For smoothing out your final skim coat
Small Hole or Dent in a Wall - Less than the size of a quarter
The methods to properly repair a hole in a vertical drywall surface depend on the size of the hole. For holes less than the size of a quarter, you can fill them in with spackle, or drywall compound. While you can mix some yourself, if you're not sure you can get the mixture right, it's best to buy a small container of pre-mixed drywall compound. For this, you will need some spackle and a small putty knife. It doesn't really matter which spackle you buy, but some make this process easier by starting out one color, then changing colors as they dry, which lets you know when it's safe to go on to the next step. Put some spackle on your putty knife, then press it into the hole. Once the hole is filled, let it completely dry before you move on to the next step. Once it's dry, it's time to skim. Skimming is done to blend the repair into the rest of the wall surface. Use your putty knife to spread a thin layer of spackle in an area at least 3" past all sides of your repair. You want this layer to build up a little bit so it's about 1/8 of an inch thicker than the rest of the wall and as flat and even as you can get it. Once your skim coat is dry, it's time to sand. Be careful not to sand down to the paper layer on the drywall, but you want to smooth out all rough edges and bumps and get close to the original wall thickness to help your repair blend into the rest of the surface. After you've completed sanding, just paint it to match the original surface and you're done!
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