True story. When my daughter was 4 months old, a sleep-deprived mom (me) fell down the stairs while holding her. As I felt myself falling forward, my mommy instincts kicked in and I tucked her into my chest, my arms shielding her, as I rolled like a ball down the carpeted staircase. Luckily, she was unharmed, but my foot went through the wall and the aftermath left a huge hole (and gave me a sore back for a week.)
Come to find out, this is a common household accident. But not one that has a complicated remedy.
Here's how to patch and repair holes in your drywall:
As with any DIY project, safety comes first. Lowe's cautions homeowners to wear protective clothing, work gloves, goggles and even a mask when working with dusty drywall. What's more, be sure to locate wall studs before you begin your project, as electric wires are usually attached to them.
The repair steps
If you need to patch a small hole or dent, simply spread a small amount of spackling paste over the damaged area with a putty knife. Let it dry for a day and then sand the area to match the smoothness of the wall. Depending on the size of the hole and color of your walls, you may need to paint the patch to complete the repair.
Learn More About Home Repair Plans Near You
For larger holes, follow this easy repair method from Popular Mechanics:
1. Buy a new piece of drywall. Your local home center should sell smaller pieces, so you don't have to buy an entire sheet.
2. Cut the new drywall to size. Hold it over the hole and trace around it with a pencil before using a drywall saw to cut along your guide. You should now have a piece of drywall that fits perfectly inside the hole.
3. Insert the replacement piece. Drive two drywall screws into the replacement piece at opposite ends. These will act as handles before you secure it in place.
4. Make it flush. Scrape down the edges with the saw's teeth and smooth the edges with joint compound. Use a putty knife to make sure the compound fills the slight gap between the wall and replacement patch. A damp cloth will remove any excess compound that gets on the wall. Let it dry for at least two hours.
5. Sand it down. Remove the screws and sand the area until the patch is smooth. You can apply another thin layer of joint compound if necessary. Just be sure to let it dry before sanding again.
6. Paint the wall. Wipe off the dust with a moist cloth, let it dry and then paint the patch. For larger holes, you may consider giving the entire wall a fresh coat.
While this is an easy DIY fix, more serious repairs will require the help of a professional.
Being prepared for unexpected home repairs and replacements is always a good idea. See how plans from HomeServe can help with the costs of covered repairs.