Repairing Holes

Are you ready to paint but repairing holes in a wall is stopping you? Then this page should help you out.

All too often, when we start to do a project, there is something in the way that must be taken care of first before we can do what we started to do in the first place.

What if you have a nice faux finish selected. You've collected all the information and instruction and materials. You're ready to start, but right there in the middle of the wall, is a hole that doesn't belong.

Perhaps a door handle got pushed through the wall or a picture slipped last year and marred the wall and you just haven't gotten around to fixing it yet.

Maybe the reason is that you didn't understand how to go about repairing holes or scratches. Well here are a few hints.

There are a number of products that you can use depending on the severity of the problem.

Is the imperfection just a scratch that just barely gets into the drywall or plaster?

Or is the hole very small like a pin or nail hole?

Then all that would be necessary is a spackle paste and a 3" to 6" wide taping knife. All you would need to do is take out a little of the spackle paste on the edge of the knife, and smooth the paste into the imperfection.

Do not worry excessively about getting it totally smooth. Let the first coat of spackle paste dry and then repeat the process with the paste and the knife. No matter how much they claim that spackle doesn't shrink, it almost always does to some degree. So the second coat builds out the center of the imperfection where the first layer shrunk in.

After all of this has dried [and how fast this occurs will depend on the temperature and humidity] you will need to sand the spackle smooth with sand paper. Usually about a 100 grit to 150 grit is good for this.

When your patch is smooth, you may prime and paint or faux finish as you like. For some tips on paint primer, click here on our paint primer page.

But now, what if your problem is a hole. Let's say a hole that is left because someone moved an electrical outlet. This would mean that you have a hole in your drywall or plaster that is at least 4 inches across.

Don't worry, repairing holes can be easier than you think.

Here's the trick:

Go to the paint/hardware store and look in the drywall, plastering, or wall patching department. You will find what is called a metal 'hot patch'. This is a piece of thin metal with drywall taping mesh over the outside of it. The inside, the side that goes to the wall has been treated with an adhesive to make it sticky. Buy this to put over the hole you need to fix. They will range in size from two inches across to eight inches across. Get the appropriate size for your repair.

When you put the metal over the hole make sure that it will lay flat over the hole. Sometimes you may have to get some of the loose debris away from the hole to insure a flat fit. Then securely attach the metal patch, with the mesh fiber side towards you, to your wall.

Next take spackle paste or drywall joint compound with your 6" knife and smooth the compound over the surface of the patch. Don't try to put on too much. You won't be able to cover it sufficiently in one coat any way. After the first coat dries completely reapply the compound smoothly over the surface of the patch.

When you are satisfied that the patch is sufficiently covered. When you're pretty sure that when you sand it smooth, the mesh fiber will not show through, then let it all dry thoroughly. Once it has dried hard, sand it smooth.

That's it. Repairing holes is something you can do now. And now, you are ready to prime and start your faux finish masterpiece!

Return from repairing holes to wall preparation.

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