1 Kitchen Update: How to Repair Drywall

In our home, the only areas in the house with drywall are the kitchen and the entryway. We were lucky in a sense that drywall is more durable (as opposed to paneling in the rest of the house) and it happened to cover the areas with the most traffic in the house.

The minor downside was two medium holes to fix. One was a surprise behind the exhaust fan we removed and the other was from demoing the bathroom.  Since the boyfriend used to be a carpenter, this wasn’t a hard task. Teaching me, well it added a little time.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, one may ask since we were already fixing various openings why we didn’t fix the paper plate looking eyesore. The answer: our chimney is directly behind the opening and we were worried that hole would carry itself through the brick itself. We concluded the fix was beyond the time/money/effort we wanted to spend.  So we left it and decided just to paint over it.
Before we cleaned the walls.
The boyfriend did much of the work, so I could observe and ask a ton of questions. I may have put a coat or two on in a later step. Anywho, these are the tips and tricks he uses and tries to teach me. Please note: this method cannot be used for plastered large holes or large holes in drywall.

To begin patching the drywall, we started off with the following supplies:
1 Utility Knife | 2 Self Adhesive Joint Tape (also known as Fiberglass drywall tape) | 3 Easy Sand 45 | 4 Mud Pan | 5 Drywall Knife (also known as Joint Knife) | 6 Drywall Compound Plus 3 |7  Plastic Drop Cloths (leftover from painting)

First, lay out the drop cloth, clean the area of grease, cigarette residue, etc, and look over the opening. If you find any loose pieces of drywall; trim them away with a utility knife making the edge clean.

Next, using the mesh tape, cover the entire opening. The tape should only be sticky on one side so make sure the sticky side is the side that faces the drywall. The tape only needs to extend about an inch, inch and a half beyond the opening itself. No need to tape the whole wall or anything.
After that, only using the amount you need to fill the hole, combine Easy Sand 45 with cold water in your mud pan using the drywall knife to mix. If you mix too much for your size opening, it will need to be discarded (as it does not keep well). Match the mixture consistency to the size of the hole. If the opening is small, use a thin consistency like cake batter which won’t easily pour out. If the opening is medium, use a thicker toothpaste-like consistency. Again, larger holes require support with scrap pieces of drywall.
Then with a clump on your drywall knife, apply the easy sand mixture liberally approximately 1 inch passed the tape into the opening. Think of it as filling in the hole behind the mesh tape. When done, you should still see the tape. Let the product set for approximately 45 minutes (hence the 45 in easy sand 45).
If you were able to see the other side of the wall (like in our case the hallway wall which is along the bathroom wall, the compound squishes through the mesh tape like Play-Doh:
Scrape off, with the drywall knife, excess bumps like these:
Since drywall compound is already pre-mixed in a bucket, apply directly to the area. Multiple thin coats are key. Feather out the compound further with each coat and let thoroughly dry between coats.
Once each coat is dry, sand between coats, until smooth. Avoid over-sanding to the point where you reach the mesh tape.

Two biggest mistakes one can make are (advice from the boyfriend):
  1. Applying too much drywall compound which results in unnecessary excessive time-wasted sanding.
  2. Forgetting to fan out the compound layers which can result in noticeable edges and more sanding.
Take your time with the entire process especially if this is the first attempt. You can always sand down and apply thin layers of drywall compound until you achieve your expected result.

Oh and an optional step may be to match existing texture. Since we didn’t have any texture on the walls we didn’t bother. But if you do, add the texture (like sand, suede, popcorn, or stone) to the paint and feather it out to blend. If all else fails, you could always use a Sawzall, cut out the culprit section, and start over.

Someday, we hope to capture a video of the process.

P.S. I was not paid or perked from any of these vendors; we just happily picked up the supplies necessary for the job.

Want to follow along with the Kitchen progression? Here’s the Intro and Painting.

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