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A fresh lick of paint is always a great idea, but make sure you do it the right way by preparing your drywall first (if applicable, of course). Drywall is a popular wallcovering material because of its durability and low cost. However, like any other wall surface, it can be damaged by moisture, sun exposure, and pollutants.
In this blog post, we will go over the basics of drywall repair before painting and show you how to prepare your walls before a big paint job. Solve any drywall repair questions that you may have before making the decision to repair or replace your drywall!
What Is Drywall
Drywall is a relatively cheap material that is easy to repair, and is a popular choice for walls (as the name implies) and ceilings in both residential and commercial settings. It is also commonly known as gypsum board or sheetrock. It is also often used to create aesthetic designs, like arches and eaves.
When it starts to deteriorate, it can become damaged by moisture or general wear and tear. To avoid any headaches during the repair process, make sure to know what drywall is, what it’s made of, and what the signs of damage are. Additionally, take the time to patch holes, clean surfaces, and adjust trim levels before painting.
Types of Drywall Repair
Wall repair is a necessary evil – at some point, every homeowner will have to give their drywall a bit of a makeover. It helps to know that there are two types of repairs; patching and sealing.
Patching is the most common, and it involves reinforcing the area that needs to be fixed with a new piece of drywall, or by spackling the area with a drywall compound. Sealing is necessary when there’s water damage or mould on the wall, and it creates a waterproof sealant that prevents further damage from occurring.
There are also two methods you can use;
Tape and Spackle
Tape is best for straight lines and spackle is better for curves and corners. Use a level when taping and spackling to ensure accuracy. And finally, allow time for the patch to dry before painting over it – this will help avoid future problems.
A joint compound is a mortar that is used to repair drywall before painting. It is a two-part compound that has a water-based and an oil-based formula. You need a joint compound when repairing drywall because it bonds the wallboard together.
Preparing Your Dry Wall for Painting
Drywall repair can be a daunting task, but with a little patience and the right tools, the process can be successful. Before you get started, be sure to assess the damage. Remember, drywall is a thin sheet of paper and can be damaged easily. Once you have an idea of the extent of the damage, follow the step-by-step repair process to get the job done right.
First things first – start by removing any works of art or decorative pieces adorning your wall so you can get up close and assess the true condition of your walls. Naturally, you should notice a few small yet insignificant flaws from normal wear and tear.
Dents, nail pops, cracks, scrapes and the like are to be expected. These imperfections can be difficult to spot, but if you fail to repair the dings, a fresh coat of paint is guaranteed to highlight the damage – it does not make for a professional-looking paint job! If you are having trouble identifying the problem areas, just slowly inspect the wall with a utility light. When you find an offending spot, circle it with a pen so that you can get back to it.
- Small holes and hairline cracks – To repair holes and dents that are small, the process is fairly quick and painless. For small dings and holes, clean the surrounding area and get rid of debris. You can then fill the hole with either a spackling compound (either pre-mixed or mix it yourself) and level the paste with a putty knife flush with the wall. Simply follow the instructions to the letter on your product, and you can’t go wrong. Leave the area to area for about 24 hours, and sandpaper the area for a smooth surface. This technique works well to fill up popped nail head holes.
There might also be more serious areas that require attention, like patches of water damage, mould, or larger holes.
- Larger holes – For large holes, to repair process is a little bit more advanced. If the hole is smaller than about 6 inches in diameter, you can just place an adhesive drywall patch over the hole. Viola! Now apply a layer of the drywall compound over it. Allow this first layer to dry properly, and then add a second layer of the compound. Once this has dried, you can sand over it like in the above step.
For holes larger than 6 inches, you need to work a bit harder, so you will likely have to cut your own custom drywall patch to fit over the hole. The following steps are very much the same as for smaller holes, but you will have to a drywall screw for furring strips to keep your custom patch in place. If you are unsure what to do in this case, your best bet is to call in the professionals.
- Water damage – Water damage can happen to any part of your house, and it’s always important to be aware of the signs. If you suspect water damage, always test for moisture first. If there is a lot of moisture or water stains present, repairing the wall may not be possible as the plaster will start rotting. In this case, hiring a professional contractor would be the best solution. Water damage can also cause mould and extensive damage to property in general – so it’s important to have all your ducks in a row before starting any work!
Once you’ve done the repairs, don’t forget to vacuum up any dust, and give the walls a good wipe with a damp cloth to remove any residue. Once the walls are dry, you are ready to start painting your first coat of primer and paint. Remember, always remember to wear protective gear, like safety goggles, a dust mask, and gloves, if you are going the DIY route.
Are Drywall Repairs Expense?
This depends on the extent of the damage, and your own skills in carrying out the minor repairs yourself. That said, a botched DIY drywall job can be more costly than getting experienced contractors in from the get-go.
The best contractors will offer repair estimates before starting work. We offer free and transparent quotes so there are no surprises.
DIY Drywall Made Easy
As we’ve illustrated, drywall is a common building material that is often used in construction and design. However, repairs can be a messy and time-consuming process. In this blog, we’ve discussed the basics of sheetrock and explained the steps to take to repair drywall before painting.
When in doubt, or if you aren’t completely confident in your own DIY capabilities, make sure to reach out to professional painters. At Painting in Colour in Dublin, we can take care of all your drywall dramas for you, at competitive rates that deliver outstanding results.
Robert Martinak is a Painting Technology Specialist with over 30 years of experience in the field. He is based in Dublin, Ireland and has extensive knowledge and expertise in the application and management of painting projects.