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11 tips to be adequate at drywall repair

Doing drywall well is truly an art form. Doing drywall well enough to patch holes is not that hard. It is a useful lifetime skill to develop. You will have to clean up after plumbers or electricians who cut holes but don't "do" drywall.

For less than 50 bucks you can get all the equipment you need. You can watch YouTube for about 15 minutes and try your first repair.

Drywall is the hard gypsum board that make up most interior walls. The goop is sometimes called mud, drywall, or Spackle.

    1. Learn how to use a pole sander

    The pole sander is the perfect device to sand a flat wall. Easy to use, requires no power and gets the job done quickly.


    2. Use drywall screens in the pole sander

    These work better than sandpaper and last longer

    3. Use 2 different sized putty knives at once

    Use one to scrape off the other one:


    4. Before you smooth your patch make sure your knife edge is clean

    Or you will drag a streak through your patch

    5. Big patches are easier to feather in than small ones

    If you pop a hole in your drywall with a door handle you want to cut a 12x12 rectangle patch.

    6. Learn to make a patch using a piece of drywall with the paper still on it: apparently this is called a "California Patch"

    7. Count on at least 3 passes to make a smooth repair

    8. Always feather out 2-4 times the size of the patch

    For example if you used a 12x12 square patch you should have a circle of Spackle that is at least 24x24 to blend it

    9. When you match paint you should paint the entire wall at once if not the whole room

    Blends will always show no matter how careful you are.

    10. When you make mistakes applying the mud don’t overwork it when it is wet.

    Let it dry, sand it off and add another layer. I have found that I always make it worse. One to three attempts to smooth it and then come back later.

    11. I found that Dyson bagless vacuums are good at getting the drywall dust

    For the homeowner that does a few repairs a year you don't need a shop vac. Bagless vacs actually manage the fine dust better then bagged vacs with filters and they can be cleaned out.

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