The walls in our home serve as protection from external elements. Between weather changes, kids, pets, and general wear and tear, the walls are bound to suffer from scrapes, scratches, dents, cracks, and holes.
However, there might need to be more for these unsightly marks to justify repainting the entire wall alone. If that’s the case, help with wall painting and patching is required.
There are many ways to fix these defects on your walls, from minor dents to big holes. Learn how to patch and repaint drywall.
- Before starting your repair, determine the utility placement in your home. Electric wires are usually attached to wall studs, so it’s important to locate these studs before proceeding to cut, drill, or nail drywall. Also, wear protective gear when working with drywall.
For minor scratches and dents:
- Scrape away loose paint and debris from the surface flaw.
- Cover the defects with quick-drying spackle.
- Let the spackle dry for 24 hours or the time recommended by the label instructions.
- Once dry, sand the spackle smooth until it becomes level with the wall.
For small holes
- Cover the hole with a one-sided mesh patch.
- Cover the mesh patch with a spackling compound. Then feather the edges of the spackling compound to blend with the wall.
- Let the spackling compound dry. Apply a second coat of it if necessary.
- Once dried, sand the compound to smooth it until it becomes level with the rest of the surface.
For large holes
If the hole is more significant than six inches, you’ll need to cut new drywall as a patch. Drywall holes are usually irregular, so the hole needs to be cut in a regular shape (mostly rectangle or square) and a few inches bigger.
- To make a drywall patch, use a suitable knife to cut a new piece of drywall that’s a bit bigger than the hole.
- Hold the drywall patch over the hole and trace it around the edges.
- Cut along the traced lines with a drywall saw. Again, before cutting, check the hole for electrical wires.
- Install furring strips (a furring strip is a small, thin piece of wood that act as a supportive structure, among other purposes) inside the hole with screws. Sink the screws below the surface of the wall.
- Fit the drywall patch into the hole and adhere it to the furring strips, sinking the screws beneath the wall’s surface.
- Apply adhesive mesh tape to the borders of the patch to strengthen the bond between the patch and the wall, preventing future cracks.
- Apply joint compound over the patched wall. Make sure to feather the edges to blend with the wall. Allow the compound to dry.
Finishing the repair
You’re almost done. Here’s what you make the patched walls as if nothing happened.
- Lightly sand the wall to ensure a smooth finish and seamless blending between the patched area and the wall.
- Apply a primer over the patched area and let it dry.
- Finish with paint. Make sure that the new paint color matches the surrounding wall.
Finding a painter to do the wall patching and painting
Instead of laboring over patching and painting, especially if your wall has bigger holes, enjoy the convenience of hiring a professional house painter to do work for you. Most local painting service companies offer other home improvement work, such as drywall patching. But to make sure, ask the painters whether they provide such a service.
To ensure you have the right painter for the job, here are the following tips:
- Once you have listed down the names of the local painting contractors you’d want to work with, ask for a list of references from each contractor. Then call each reference and find out about their experience working with that contractor. You may also request to visit their homes or ask for photos and videos to see if the contractor’s work still holds up. A history of positive references is a good indication of a reputable contractor.
- Verify whether the painters have appropriate licenses. Preferably, a painter should have general liability and worker’s compensation insurance. You can refer to the California Contractors State License Board to confirm whether the painting contractor carries valid licenses.
- Consider credentials. Find out if the painters have memberships in trade or local business groups or associations. While such memberships aren’t an indication of quality work, they show a level of reliability and commitment to their craft.
- Seek a written estimate from each contractor. A typical estimate includes the breakdown of material and labor costs, the number of coats of primer and paint, surface prep work details, and the brand and model of paints and materials. The total cost in these estimates should be similar, with only slight differences. For instance, if an estimate is significantly higher, it could be influenced by certain factors, e.g., an additional coat of paint or a premium paint brand, which is more expensive.
- Obtain a written contract. The contract typically includes the essential items: the contractor’s name, address, contact information, and license number. Make sure to read the contract thoroughly to be clear on what is and is not included in the job.
- Ask for a written guarantee. A guarantee applies only if there’s a failure in the workmanship (paint that’s chipping, peeling, flaking, peeling, etc.) that occurs within two or three years after the job’s completion. Then the painter will fix these mistakes at little or no cost.
If you don’t have time or don’t want to bother with all the work, hire a licensed painter for professional help with wall painting and patching. These painters’ proficiency in various painting techniques enables them to complete multiple interior and exterior paint projects according to their client’s specifications.