Repairing Sheetrock

Repairing sheetrock damage such as holes and cracks should always take place before paint coats are applied. Sheetrock is also commonly known as drywall and gypsum board, so for the purpose of this article the terms shall be interchangeable

Drywall Tools and Supplies

Drywall is fairly straightforward to repair and does not require an extensive tool kit. All of the tools are fairly inexpensive and no power tools are required.

The few drywall supplies needed for repairing sheetrock are also very inexpensive compared to paint.

Drywall Spackling

The normal wear and tear of everyday living can take its toll on drywall. Small holes from picture hooks and other hanging objects, scratches, dents, and small tears from masking tape and adhesives are commonplace. Drywall Spackling is a quick and easy fix-it for sheetrock when only filler is needed.

Drywall Hole Repair

Drywall is not extremely resistant to impact. Flinging a door against a wall can cause the doorknob to puncture the sheetrock, leaving a sizeable hole. Rough treatment, such as banging furniture into a wall, can also create substantial holes. Cutting access holes in walls for electrical or plumbing work is also quite common.

Drywall hole repair for medium sized holes, ranging from 1 ½ - 3 inches and drywall hole repair for large sized holes, ranging from about 3 inches to 12 inches require more than just applying a paste filler.

Holes greater than 12 inches should be opened up to the surrounding studs, typically at 16 inches on center, and a new piece of drywall installed.

Drywall Crack Repair

Drywall is subject to cracks. Cracks are primarily caused by movement from settlement in the underlying foundation. Stress cracks are usually found above doorways and above and below window openings. Expansion and contraction due to large swings in temperature and humidity can also cause cracks as well as popped nails or screws. Earthquakes are another example of movement that causes cracks in drywall. Drywall Crack Repair is a simple task requiring just a few steps. Often, the most difficult part of repairing sheetrock is matching the existing wall texture.

Priming Drywall

Priming drywall after the sheetrock repairs are completed is a good idea. An interior all purpose acrylic primer or a PVA primer will seal the drywall joint compound, better preparing it for a coat of paint.

Because unsealed drywall compound is not durable, a primer coat will also help protect it from damage due to minor abrasions.

Priming over drywall patches will make it easier to see whether the sheetrock repairs need any additional touch ups before proceeding with the paint coats. This is especially the case for smooth types of surfaces.

Final Thoughts

One of the difficulties painters encounter during the process of repairing sheetrock is trying to match existing wall textures. Many of the spray on wall textures are almost impossible to match using a drywall knife, joint knife, sponge, etc. The good news is that a few spray textures are available in spray cans. These spray cans are usually on hand at the better paint stores. The last point about spray on textures is that some are only sprayed on and allowed to dry while others are sprayed, and after partially setting up, are gently knocked down with a drywall knife. You will ultimately be the judge of your wall texture.

return from repairing sheetrock to house painting advice


Professional Painting, Inc. is a full service painting company serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1988.