Drywall Repair and Repainting: 6 Steps for Success

calander Dec 15 , 2020 user-icon Nash Painting

As common and convenient as drywall is, it isn’t the most durable material out there. Indeed, drywall damage can occur in any number of ways, the most common culprits being impact, moisture, popped nails, and pests. Plenty of homeowners also damage their drywall (or uncover previously concealed problems) after taking down wallpaper. Whatever the case, neglecting the dents, holes, cracks, and deterioration of your drywall won’t do you or your home’s value any favors. Addressing these concerns promptly is key in maintaining your home’s integrity and beauty.

Drywall repair jobs are twofold, including the repair itself and the subsequent paint job to make the fixed area look good as new. Hiring reliable painters who offer drywall repair services will yield the best results, but tackling this project yourself can save you money, not to mention that plenty of people simply enjoy DIY projects. If you’re one of these individuals, note that speeding through the process might leave you with a bigger mess than before, so it pays to do your homework, invest in the right materials, and take your time at each stage.

Whether you’re tasked with repairing drywall after wallpaper removal, water damage, or years of wear and tear, here are six steps for a successful repair and repainting job.

How to Properly Maintain Drywall

1. Assess the Damage and its Source

The first step in securing a successful drywall repair and repainting project is determining the type of damage before you and its potential cause. As just mentioned, there are many ways to maim drywall, and the extent and methodology of your repair job will depend on the problem’s source and severity. For instance, if your drywall merely contains a few small dents or holes from hanging decor, you can expect a fairly low-key drywall repair and repaint job. On the other hand, if your wall has been infested with water damage, you may need to replace a portion of the drywall itself as well as determine and amend the root cause of said moisture issue (i.e. leaking pipes, severe weather, HVAC malfunctions, clogged drains, etc.) to prevent further damage from occurring.

If you notice something wrong with your drywall but don’t know how to diagnose the problem, call the professionals to inspect the damage for you. Once you have this information, you can decide to continue tackling this project on your own or sticking with the pros to handle it for you.

2. Obtain the Right Tools for the Task at Hand

After any underlying problems have been resolved, it’s time to tackle the resultant damages. In order to do this, you’ll need the right products and tools for the type of repair you’ll be making (i.e. cracks, dents, small holes, medium holes, large holes, and so on). Different repair jobs will require different materials, but the items listed below will cover most types of repairs:

  • Joint compound/spackling paste/putty

  • Putty knife

  • Sandpaper (various grits)

  • Dropcloth

  • Hammer

  • Utility Knife

  • Tape Measure

  • Pencil

  • Drywall Tape

  • Drywall Screws

  • Drywall Patch Kit

  • Extra Drywall Material

  • Paint (and roller pan)

  • Paintbrush/roller

You can pick and choose the materials you’ll need based on the particular repair, though some items apply to virtually all drywall repair and repaint jobs, such as drywall tape, joint compound, putty knife, sandpaper, drop cloths, a utility knife, paint, and a brush/roller. A drywall patch kit is useful for fixing smaller dents and holes, though this product won’t do for larger and more severe repairs. And you might not need extra drywall material on hand unless you’re fixing up a larger hole or replacing a portion of the drywall (i.e. corners).

3. Carefully Follow Relevant Repair Instructions

With your materials at the ready, you can now begin to repair your drywall. Minor dents and small holes can be filled with spackle/joint compound and leveled off with your putty knife. If using a patch kit for slightly larger holes, carefully read the instructions written on the package, which will tell you to place the patch over the hole, gently apply light joint compound over the patch, feather the edges, let dry, and apply a second coat of compound if necessary. If you’re fixing up cracks in your drywall with a repair spray, make sure you apply the product as instructed. And if you need to replace larger holes and chunks with extra drywall material (i.e. California patch, crumpled corner bead, etc.), do plenty of research online, watching professional tutorials and reading step-by-step instructions to ensure that you tackle this job properly.

Simply put, you want to make the right moves for the type of repair you need to make. Neglecting steps, using the wrong method(s), measuring improperly, and/or moving too quickly may force you to start over.

4. Sand Down the Repaired Surfaces

Once the repairs have been properly made, it’s time to begin the second phase of your drywall repair and repainting project. Now, it’s time to prepare the newly-repaired surface for painting for the most seamless results. For starters, you’ll want to sand down the repaired area(s) to eliminate any uneven surfaces and provide a more receptive surface for the incoming primer and paint. If the repair was extensive enough and you plan on repainting the entire wall, you might as well sand the entire wall. Otherwise, primarily focus on the repair in question, making sure to use sandpaper with the proper grit size for each stage.

5. Prime the Spot or the Entire Wall As Needed

Interior house painters can tell you that priming your drywall is a crucial step after making repairs. Starting with a coat of primer will help conceal the fixed area and aid in paint adhesion once the time comes. Once again, you may not need to prime the entire wall unless you plan on painting it in its entirety. At the very least, prime the areas that you fixed and sanded -- simply put, prime the portions of drywall you will paint.

6. If Necessary, Match Your Paint Colors and Finishes

After the coat(s) of primer has dried, you can finally paint over the repaired drywall so it looks good as new. There are some caveats to consider before doing so, however. If your drywall repairs are in preparation for a widespread interior paint job (i.e. repainting the entire room), you won’t have to worry so much about matching the colors of your room’s previous paint job (unless this matters to you). On the other hand, if you’re merely touching up a few areas of your drywall and don’t wish to completely repaint these surfaces, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the exact same color and finish for said touch-up. Otherwise, the repair will continue to draw attention to itself. The easiest way to ensure a successful paint match is to properly store and label leftover paint from previous projects for later use. At the very least, it’s a good idea to document the brand, color, and finish of the paints you’ve used in the past for future reference. If you don’t have these resources on hand, though, you can reach out to interior painting services and/or your local paint/hardware store that offers color matching services to help you with this matter.

When in Doubt, Call the Pros

Drywall repairs vary in shape, size, scope, and severity. While some can be handled with minimal effort and experience, others require an expert approach. If you don’t feel up to the task when it comes to fixing your drywall or repainting it, you can rely on the experienced local painters at Nash Painting. In addition to our interior and exterior painting services, we offer such services as drywall repair, door refinishing, color selection, wallpaper removal, and more. Let us protect and enhance the integrity and beauty of your property as we have for hundreds of homeowners and business owners in Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN.

To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at (615) 829-6858 today!