Dry wall repairs made easy

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Is dry wall repairing the most exciting part of interior design? No, but it is important and can help your future decorating endeavours to really pop and sparkle! 

Dry wall is also known as wallboard, plasterboard, gypsum board or sheetrock and all of these are readily used in modern housing construction, meaning that you will most likely have some in your home that you will have painted. With this in mind, you will probably want to change up your colour schemes and alter your hanging pictures at some point but how do you repair any dry wall damage first? With a little patience and some helpful hints and tips you'll make it look easy so let's get to it!

Cover hairline cracks with repair spray

White Metro 20x10 Tiles:  Walls & flooring by Walls and Floors Ltd
Walls and Floors Ltd

White Metro 20x10 Tiles

Walls and Floors Ltd

If there is an area of wall that shows signs of hairline cracks on the surface you might want to think about how you can patch dry wall before trying to disguise it. We know this preparation lark is a bit time consuming but for a flawless finish it's worth investing some effort.

You can get a special repair spray, which effectively shoots a flexible membrane over the top of any cracks, allowing you to then paint and cover them up. This can be especially effective in a bathroom, such as this one from Walls and Floors, as the membrane will prevent any damp or moisture getting into the cracks.

Use a setting compound for large holes

If you notice some serious damage and don't feel that you can simply try to patch dry wall then you might need to invest in some slightly more heavy duty filling materials. A delicate membrane repair spray will be no use for large gouges or uneven surfaces so prepare to bring in the big guns.

A firm setting compound will be your best bet for effective large hole repair but be sure to buy something that will work with your particular type of dry wall. Generally, a plaster-based product will work well as it can be finished to a perfectly smooth surface.

Self-priming filler will cut the job in half

 Corridor & hallway by SILKASCHWIETZER
SILKASCHWIETZER

BEHIND THE WALLS

SILKASCHWIETZER

Why do a job twice if you can get away with only taking half the time? We love innovative self-priming materials when it comes to DIY projects and none more so than self-priming filler. When you need to patch dry wall you want to be able to slap in the filler, leave it to dry and come back later to a perfect finish, don't you?

Self-priming filler will allow you to simply and effectively fill in any holes and cover and cracks with just a filler knife. It will bond with your dry wall effortlessly and dry super smooth and pale enough to paint. Now that is our idea of an easy repair job!

Fill a number of holes in one swoop

If you have decided to change up, let's say your living room, and you used to have lots of pictures on the wall that you now want to remove, how are you planning to fill in all the picture hook holes? You might think that doing each one separately is a good idea and will lead to a more precise finish but professionals use a different technique.

Remove all your pictures and then, when you come to patch dry wall holes, simply sweep filler across them all in one motion. This will allow a far smoother finish overall and camouflage the damage far better.

Seal exposed walls before repairing

Exposed brickwork internal walls:  Household by R+L Architect
R+L Architect

Exposed brickwork internal walls

R+L Architect

If you've decided that this weekend is your moment to patch dry wall that you have been ignoring for a while make sure that you don't need to do any serious prep work first. If scratches, holes or hairline cracks have really broken the surface of the wall you might find that the inside has been left a little too exposed. 

We suggest making sure that the damage you are looking to repair has been suitably sealed to prevent any water or moisture damage at a later date. Can you imagine how horrified you would be to finally finish a room only to see part of the wall crumbling?

Try stick on patches for small holes

Cool aqua walls and bright stripes: country Kitchen by Pat Staples Interiors
Pat Staples Interiors

Cool aqua walls and bright stripes

Pat Staples Interiors

For a quick and easy alternative to needing to patch dry wall why not invest in some repair stickers? Basically, they are Elastoplasts for your walls and can be very effective for temporarily hiding small holes or little areas of damage.

You apply them, paint over the top et voila, you have a fabulous wall again! We don't recommend this technique for large holes or serious damage and this wouldn't be a permanent solution but if you have a refurbishment planned in the future this would be a great stopgap idea.

For more wall ideas, take a look at this Ideabook: Wall Murals. What better way to hide some wall damage, than with an eye-catching mural?

Are you feeling a little braver about your wall repairs now? Which technique would you consider using? We'd love to know!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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