Unless you live in a museum, even the most beloved and well-kept house is going to show signs of wear and tear. From little nail holes left when you rearranged artwork to the occasional stray furniture corner--or elbow--that crashes though the drywall, no wall stays perfect forever. Patching drywall is not difficult, but drywall compound sometimes cracks or falls though larger holes. For a very sturdy repair job, use Bondo to patch drywall.
Things You'll Need
- Putty knife
- Drywall repair mesh kit and mesh tape
- 1x2-inch wood strips at least 12 inches long
- Spare drywall for patching
- 150- and 200-grit sandpaper
- Palm sander
- Drywall screws
- Power drill
- Sharp utility knife
- Right-angle straight edge
- Dust mask
Patching Small Nail Holes
Patch small nail holes by scraping away any paper and making a slight depression around the actual hole. The eraser end of a pencil works well for this.
Spread a little Bondo over the hole and the depression with a putty knife, and then feather the edges with a sponge.
Let the Bondo dry, and smooth it out with the palm sander and 150-grit sandpaper.
Patching Small Cracks and Gouges
Repair small cracks and gouges by using a sharp utility knife to cut away any paper or rough edges of the drywall.
Use a putty knife to fill the crack or gouge with Bondo, and feather the wet edges with a sponge.
Apply the Bondo in thin layers, letting it dry between each one. When the last layer is dry, use the palm sander to smooth it out.
Fixing Larger Cracks and Gouges
Fix larger cracks and gouges by cutting away any loose paper or drywall and applying a strip of mesh tape over the crack.
Use the putty knife to smooth on a thin layer of Bondo, tapering off to paper-thinness at the edges.
Let the Bondo dry, and apply another thin layer if needed. Run a palm sander over the patch to smooth it out.
Repairing Holes Up to Three Inches Wide
Follow the directions on your drywall mesh repair kit to adhere the mesh to your drywall.
Apply a very thin layer of Bondo with a putty knife. Feather the edges with a sponge while it is still wet. Keep applying thin layers, feathering the edges and letting them dry until the hole is patched.
Use the palm sander with 150-grit sandpaper to level the Bondo with the wall, and finish the patch with 200-grit sandpaper before priming and painting.
Fixing Holes Larger Than Three Inches
Use your sharp utility knife and a right-angle straight edge to cut a square out of the drywall around the hole.
Attach 1x2-inch wooden strips to the backside of the drywall at the top and bottom of the square opening. Use drywall screws to secure them, but make sure the screw heads do not tear the surface of the drywall.
Cut a patch out of spare drywall the same size as the square you cut out of the wall. Gently press the patch into the space you cut for it, and secure it to the wood strips with drywall screws.
Apply mesh tape around the seams of the patch, and cover the whole thing with a very thin layer of Bondo, remembering to feather the edges into the surrounding drywall. Let it dry, and add one more layer and let that dry.
Use the palm sander to smooth it out, first with 150-grit sandpaper and then with 200-grit sandpaper.
Tips & Warnings
- Bondo dries within 10 to 15 minutes, so work quickly.
- Do not try to hand-sand Bondo once it is dried because it dries too hard. Always wear a dust mask when sanding.
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