Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fixing A Hole

I messed up on my placement of the sink in the bathroom counter top so I needed to move one of the two sconce lights on that wall in order to get the mirror to center up properly over the sink. It wasn't off by much and I guess some might have not bothered but it was aggravating to me. So, Allen said he would move the light for me and I could do all the patching. Fair deal I thought.
There are several ways to patch drywall but this one is fairly easy. This way uses the same pieces you cut out and you just tape the cuts. This is 1/2" drywall installed on wood studs so I used 1 1/4" coarse-threaded drywall screws. You need to countersink the screws between a big 1/16" to 1/8" so that enough mud will cover the heads and the spots not pop back out when the mud dries. Now, you must tape your joints will either regular drywall tape or you can use this mesh sticky tape. If you don't your joints are going to develop cracks. This mesh type is handy and easy to use and it sticks on the wall itself so you don't have to apply the mud first and bed the tape in it. Not that that is hard to do but it just saves a step.
Next you just skim your first layer over the patch and no, it's not going to look good the first patch but you're not worried about that yet. You will probably have to skim out at least 4-6 inches past the cuts in order to feather the mud out properly. Don't worry about completely concealing the patch on this first pass either. If you look closely, you can still see the tape through the mud. You are going to have to make 3 or 4 passes. This is easier than trying to gob a bunch of mud on and sand it back down. Lots of people don't do well trying to patch drywall because they want to fix it as fast as possible, one pass and forget it, you know. Well, this is one of those things that you are just going to have to accept takes a little time. Use a big enough mud knife also. I used a 6" knife on this and that size should be fine for most patches. It's hard to describe the action of applying the mud. You scoop an even line of mud about 2" thick across your knife and then just smear it down the joint kinda thickly. Scrape excess mud off your knife on the edge of the pan and then draw the clean knife back down the joint, smoothing the mud and removing the excess. Keep repeating this around the patch, kinda feathering the mud out as you go around. You just have to keep practicing and you will see how the mud works. Don't work it to death though. Once you get a thin layer all the way around with no huge ridges, stop! Let that dry, scrap or sand those ridges down (and yes, you will have some small ridges at first) and apply the next thin layer of mud. Repeat, sanding in between. As you apply the last couple of layers it sometimes helps to thin the mud a little with water. then sand and prime. After you prime it you may see some small scratches in the mud and you can touch them up then.
I still haven't finished this patch myself! Hopefully I can get it done today and paint it soon. Most of the time it seems that I am just going at a snail's pace towards finishing this house but I guess as long as you are moving forward, no matter how slow, that's what matters. I guess.
*The Beatles


Pablo said...

I've made a few disasters with drywall mud. I'm probably guilty of the trying-to-get-it-done-too-fast mistake.

I've used that mud that goes on purple and dries white. I thought that was clever until I realized it was merely a marketing gimmick.

edifice rex said...

Hey Pablo! Goes on purple?? I've never heard of such! Well, I've heard of that sunscreen that goes on purple...

Drywall finishing is definately an art.

Pablo said...

Yep, it comes out of the bucket purple and then slowly turns white. I suppose that's to tell you when it is ready to be sanded, but any idiot can figure that out without color coding.

Also, I hardly ever sand with paper. I generally use a clean, wet cloth. Seems like it leaves less mess. Am I doing the wrong thing?

edifice rex said...

Hey Pablo! Yeah, that sounds like what I think about those stupid lasers on saws.

No, you are not doing the wrong thing; lots of people will damp sand to keep the dust down, especially in a finished house. However, I'm not sure how flat a surface you are able to get with a cloth. You need a hard, flat surface to sand with to make sure you get the lumps out. They make these sanding sponges for such a purpose. One side is just a sponge and one side has a scratchy surface to take off more material faster. You just dampen the sponge and use either side to sand with. They are fairly stiff so work pretty good to make a smooth surface.

Ed Abbey said...

There are few things I hate more than drywalling. But since I am so cheap, I just suck it up and do it. I've come to really like the look of texture on walls!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

A nice tidy job. When I worked as an electrician, I have had to do such things to correct a mistake or make an alteration. I have never used the mesh tape. I must try it.

countrypeapie said...

I like what Ed said about coming to appreciate textured walls. In our old house in the city, we drywalled the hell out of a room -- used it like stucco. We put handprints in it and everything. It actually came out kind of cool. It was like our freaky artsy room.

Thanks for posting all of your projects -- love it!

edifice rex said...

Hey Ed! Yeah, I hung the rock in my house but the finishing is the one thing I did sub out and very glad I did!

Hey Philip! thanks! wow, our electricians never repair the holes they make!
The mesh tape is nice.

Hey peapie! Well, maybe somebody can get some info from some of this.

The Country Experience said...

I too appreciate the info. Mudding is not anyone's specialty in this house, either.

And yes, he uses the going-on-purple mud.

I definitely found useful your tip about not being afraid to take 5 or 6 passes to complete the job. That should make a big difference for me.

edifice rex said...

Hey CE! Well, glad you got something out of that post. I was thinking that post would probably not draw much interest but I guess that just goes to show how much I know.
i have never seen this purple mud! I've got to find some of that.