Drywall Repair: How to Patch & Repair Ceilings, Walls

To be able to do the diverse kinds of repairs and patching that appear on drywall, means specific procedures when the damage is on a wall and other methods for the ceiling. Each repair poses both unique and similar challenges. The wall repairs are best done first, if possible, then the ceiling since they tend to be more involved - don't be caught setup on a ladder wondering what to do next without a grasp on the basics, it's not the time for guesswork. A decent line of progress is to develop the techniques for mudding and taping, basic cuts and hole patches, and proceed forward from there.

Mudding, Taping and Procedures
The types of joint compounds are unique in the properties they offer. From hot mud (speed dry) too all-purpose and then for final coating, topping mix. The hot mudd is notorious for setting the cut patch in place and for taping. Which accelerates dry time and gives a quicker repair. The speed dry comes in bagged, powder form. But it is not intended for final coating. Mainly bedding, curing to the hardest granular set.

Redi-mix, multi-purpose is a bedding and finish compound. When sanding, redi-mix topping compound is ideal. Certain multi-purpose mixes are formulated to shed toward the ground upon sanding, rather than dissipate into the air.

Wall Hole Repair
Damages to the walls occur from moving, by all sorts of accidents and from vandalism. When repairing these incursions through the wallboard there are verstile techniques that can be applied across damaged areas as determined by hole size. For dings and surface repairs there is wall spackling.

Walls that have roughly pencil sized hole damage, are prevalent from mounts and brackets inserted into the drywall. These small hole repairs the wall can be entirely restored to the eye. For damages of the next approximate increment, that is, hole repairs to a couple inches across start to become taped, to prevent cracking and to form structural basis for the compound. Which is an important concept for all repairs, mudding and taping.

Board swapping, or replacing the existing with new drywall sections is the sturdiest fix overall. It provides both the most servicable surface and amount of deterrence to cracking as compared to other techniques. The materials you have on hand and the extent you wish to go to, to secure a strong patch, will make all the difference -- with hole size playing a dominant role.
Patching a Large Hole
Patching with Clips a Large Hole
Tape Alone Patch for Large Holes

The advent of metal patching methods brings another choice for fix of sized damages.

Ceiling Area Repairs
Damages to ceilings are caused by everything from roof leaks to a misplaced foot when walking the attic. Almost all that is gleaned from wall repair, is applicable to ceilings. But with ceilings, the tendency for joint compound sagging is notorious. Larger braced ceiling repairs offer durability as do smaller replacements with clips, it's all a matter of choosing the best method for the repair that is before you.

For all patches both ceiling and walls, where therer is the element of direct physical wear, like with the changing out bulbs with canned lighting or the constant light force of a hand onto a wall plate, some methods like a mesh tape patch alone for a section of miscut drywall -- might possibly crack out. Therefore the amount of wear is a factor in deciding which patch method is best suited.
Repair of Ceiling Holes
Ceiling Repair, Can Overcuts
Ceiling Repair, Ducts

Corner Bead
Over time, with seasonal stresses in the framing, cracking and seperation at the corner joints show in many installations. Contrary to opinions, caulking is not the recommended fix. The left bead flashes noticeably and is short term. Options for repairing corner bead reveal the recommended procedure.

Preventive Measures
Looking at the beginning, by taking precautions against cracking and joint failure, the call for repairing drywall might in effect be brought to a minimum.
  • Floating joints as measure against cracking at the corners.
  • Using joint compounds with adequate adhesion and flexural properties.
  • Providing strong enough bracing and attachments for ceiling patches.
  • Choosing screws over nails.


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