Drywall being installed and fixed in an empty house

How to Fix A Drywall in Your New Fixer-Upper

A fixer-upper represents something new and exciting. It’s a chance for you to roll up your sleeves and do something unique, create something fabulous. It tickles the imagination, and the possibilities may seem endless. Hold on to that thought for the time being. On the other hand, way back in 1916, drywall made its debut, and man, it caught on like wildfire! Cheap and relatively reliable, it seemed to solve a lot of problems. For example, drywall partitioning is often used as an economical way to create new spaces in homes. Its application is far further reaching, though. Now let’s zoom forward a century and a few odd years into the future and come back to that thought we put on pause. There are a lot of possible results. You could turn your newly acquired, poor, downtrodden property into a dream house. On the other hand, you could be in over your head and ruin it even further. Here’s a guide on how to Fix a Drywall in your new fixer-upper to avoid that very scenario!

First Things First- Diagnose

Before you start, you need to know what you are up against. We can take care of a scratch pretty easily. Stress cracks don’t require any special equipment or techniques. However, replacing that gaping hole in the middle of the drywall will require a little more than goodwill and some crack repair solution. Put it all down on paper, so you can get all the tools and supplies you will need to tackle this project properly.

There is a second part to this. You need to be able to spot the damage. Going back to that yawning black hole, you might think, who wouldn’t spot that? However, what about that bump over there? Did water damage/humidity cause it, or is it a sign of improper patchwork? It’s always essential to identify the damage’s cause and the extent to ensure you apply the right solution.

A hole in the middle of a wall
After careful inspection I may have located the problemtheres an entire section of the wall missing

Start With the Small

Let’s start with small holes. These usually nail pops, screws, or hooks can be tackled with some joint compound and a putty knife. If you lack experience, buying some spackling paste that takes longer to dry could be the way to go. Why? Simply put, it gives you more time to react and correct any errors you may spot in your repair work. Be sure to remove any debris around the hole, and once it is ready, use the putty knife to fill the gap with the joint compound. The aim is for the surface of the wall to be smooth. Deeper holes may require additional layers. Once it has dried, some sandpaper could come in handy to ensure it’s all nice and smooth and there are no inconsistencies in texture. Some touch-up paint will take care of the colour differences. You can also consider some additions. For example, you can insulate between wall cavities in your new home using Isoboard thermal ceilings, or they can be used for underfloor insulation. Repair and remodel your way to a dream house!

Move on to the Big

As you can imagine, bigger holes will need a little more work. This will require you to find a patch of drywall. Best to find a damaged or old piece you can cut the required part out of rather than buy a new sheet. Remember to check the thickness of the original drywall, so it all matches up.

Quick tip, if the hole is irregularly shaped, better make the hole match your patch than vice versa. You’ll need to screw in the patch and then tape the edges. This should be done to transition between the original drywall and patch seamlessly. Use compound along the perimeters; you’ll need two or three layers in total. You will need to use some sandpaper to smooth it all out further.

What About Cracks?

Other problems can appear. Cracks in the walls are one of them. This could be due to the foundation settling. It could also be caused by the natural expansion and contraction of the walls. You can always fill in the cracks, but that’s a quick fix. The cracks will probably reappear somewhere down the line. What you ideally want to do is use mesh tape. Future cracks will appear under the tape and will not be noticeable. As mentioned before, there is a difference between fixing something and making it look like there was never a problem to fix in the first place. A lot depends on how you apply the compound and how you sand. You want the repair to blend in with the surrounding wall. Practice and patience are the bywords here.

A crack in a white wall, representing how to fix the drywall in your new fixer-upper. It looks unseemly, but fortunately, it can be fixed seamlessly
A crack in a white wall represents how to fix the drywall in your new fixer upper

How to Fix A Drywall

With a fixer-upper, there will be a lot of work. You do not just concern with the drywalls but most aspects of the house. It means you need to have good working conditions. During any renovation work, the main problem is what to do with your possessions not to be damaged and don’t get in the way. The easiest thing to do could be to rent out a storage unit for the duration of the renovation work. You can temporarily move all the things you don’t need to a new location and have peace of mind knowing they are safe and sound. This frees you up to focus on the task at hand.

Good as New!

There you have it! How you can fix the drywall in your new fixer-upper! It can be something you can take on yourself, especially if you are dealing with minor repairs. However, it would be remiss of me not to mention that calling in the cavalry is the advisable option for more extensive repair work, especially if water damage is present. Drywalls are very handy, but there is only so much punishment they can take, and being able to fix smaller problems is a skill that will come in very handy—armed with the above knowledge, set forth and turn that fixer-upper into a picture-perfect property! There is only so much DIY can do, and the pros are the pros for a reason. You know who to call and who always has your back for all the bigger jobs that are too tricky to handle.