Repairing Wallboard

It is fairly common for wallboard to need basic repairs that can be done by homeowners. Fortunately, repairing wallboard is a relatively easy process, differing slightly depending on the type of damage done to the wallboard.

One reason for repairing wallboard is because of popped nails. Popped nails literally pop out of the wood, often because studs and joists twist, push, and pull away from the drywall. To repair popped nails in wallboard, press the wallboard firmly against the joist or stud. Drive a screw through the wallboard into a stud or joist, near the popped nail, until the screw is indented into the wall. Next drive the popped nail into the wallboard so that it too is slightly indented. After filling both holes with wallboard compound, let it dry and repaint the wallboard.

Cracks are another reason for repairing wallboard. Cracks frequently appear in the wallboard, at the transitions from the ceiling to the wall or at seams where two boards abut. To begin repairing wallboard, fill the crack with wallboard compound, using a taping knife. Place joint tape over the crack in the wallboard, then smooth it out with the taping knife. Use the knife to apply a thin layer of wallboard compound over the tape. Add another layer of compound, and let it dry, sanding it if necessary.

Small holes in wallboard can be easily patched. While repairing wallboard with small holes, you may be able to simply fill the hole with spackle, let it dry, and sand it down. If the holes have cracked edges, a peel-and-stick repair patch, with a metal mesh center, can be used to cover the hole. Next, apply a thin layer of wallboard compound or spackle over the patch, using a putty or wallboard knife. Add a second coat, and let it dry. Use a wallboard wet sander to smooth the area, and prime and paint it.

Repairing wallboard with large holes is a slightly different process. First, outline the area with the hole, using a carpenter's square. Next, cut away the damaged section of the wallboard, using either a jig saw or wallboard saw. Install plywood strips, fastening them with wallboard screws. Cutting a wallboard patch that is slightly smaller than the cut away square, place it in the hole, and add wallboard tape over the cracks. After applying wallboard compound, smooth the area and paint it to match the wall.

Written by Bronwyn Harris

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