How to Repair a Hole in the Wall

8 02 2010

Although I’m not painting my guest room today, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to clear out the room and repair some of the holes in the walls that I’ve caused with pictures or shelves.  Once I’d taken all the pictures down, and removed my shelves, I pulled out any nails I could easily remove.  Anything that was really stuck in there, I used the end of the hammer to pull out.  I unscrewed the two bars that held up my floating shelves, and unscrewed the drywall anchors.  There were two that I couldn’t get out, either by unscrewing or with pliers, so I used my utility knife to cut off the edge sticking out from the wall and then repaired those holes as below.

The hole I had to fix

First, I prepared the wall by rubbing a sandpaper block over it to remove any rough edges. 

You don't have to use a sandpaper block, but this is what I had on hand


Much better!

Next, I got out my spackle and putty knife.  I use DryDex Spackle with a dry time indicator – that basically means that the spackle is pink in the can, and then once it dries on the wall and is ready for further sanding, it turns white.  Great for the amateur repair artist like me, because there’s no guesswork.

DryDex - love this stuff!

I took a little bit of spackle out of the can with my knife and wiped it into the hole (kind of like icing a cake, but you can be a little firmer with your touch since it’s a wall). 

A little dab'll do ya

The object is to get spackle into and around the hole to create a smooth surface.  With small nail holes, it’s very easy – wipe the spackle in, and then run the edge of the putty knife almost flush against the wall to remove excess.

Time to apply the spackle

But for these slightly larger holes, it didn’t work that easily.  I applied a little bit more spackle and ran the edge of the putty knife over it to get a mostly smooth finish.  Because I would later use the sandpaper again, I wasn’t worried about it being perfect.

A good start, but I still needed to apply a bit more and wipe off the excess


Then, it was time to wait for it to dry.

*Almost* entirely dry. I'm a little impatient.

Once it was dry, I rubbed the sandpaper block over the spot to smooth it out. 

Time to smooth it out

And voila, finished!

Now it's ready for paint!

From what I’ve seen, this size of hole is about the largest you can fix without needing to get mesh tape to give the spackle something else to hold on to.


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