Any Contractors Out There? This Mama Is Patching Drywall Today. Help!

Updated on July 17, 2013
I.X. asks from San Clemente, CA
7 answers

I don't suppose we have to many mama contractors out there, but perhaps you are married to one. I ask my M.D. husband medical questions all the time on this site and pass it along so thought it was worth a try. I'm trying to repair some walls after electrical work. The internet is offering me nothing for my particular problem and you know how it is when you need help in the hardware store. Basically we had can lights and fans added. They had to drill through roof joists and each time took out a 4 x 4" drywall square. They put the cut dry wall back in and coutersunk the screws and told me to just spackle, texture and paint. The problem as I see it is that the patches themselves are not flush with the wall, so how is this not going to look horrible? What to do?

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answers from Santa Barbara on

Sister! You are 38 weeks preggo, have hubby or a handyman do this!!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

The other answers are correct. Mudding drywall takes practice to look great. That said, you could do a good-enough-looking job just by being careful. (A professional would still notice, but most normal folks might not.)

Tape the seams. Put a layer of mud over the seams and patch. Let dry. Sand down a little bit. Repeat. Generally I find that I need at least 3 layers of mud, with drying and minimal scraping/sanding between. The last layer should be easy to apply (mostly smooth already) and easy to sand.

Don't use spackle (it's too light). Use drywall mud. They even sell it in smaller tubs.

I did a lot of drywall and mudding at my old house. And given it was a 100-year old house, it was wonky and the seams were never totally straight/flush. My mudding jobs (by the end) were generally pretty good, but never great.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I just saw this, sorry so late with the reply. So, it will look best if you get drywall tape, and then get some pre-mixed mud (ask at Home Depot or Lowe's for help choosing the right stuff). It's not unlike frosting a cake. First, apply the tape all along the joint. This will keep the drywall mud from cracking later on. Then, open your can of mud and stir it up until it's a peanut-butter type consistency. Don't be afraid to slather the mud on there. Smooth it out as best you can - start with a more narrow putty knife, and on your last coat, use a wider one. Allow it to dry in between coats of mud. You'll need at least 3 coats of mud.

Once the third coat is dry, sand it down. Get it as smooth as you can. Does your ceiling have texture? If it has an orange-peel type texture, then you can get a can of spray texture (again, Home Depot or Lowe's). BEFORE you spray anything on the ceiling, spray the texture on a sheet of cardboard. You can adjust the spray to match what you see on the rest of your ceiling. Get a feel for how far away you need to hold the can, etc. The other thing to remember is that most textures are "knock-down" - so spray the texture, wait a few minutes, and then use your putty knife to gently drag over the surface of the texture. This gently flattens the texture so it doesn't look globby. (One caveat: if you have anything other than an orange-peel texture, this is not a job for you. If it's a hand-troweled texture or perfectly smooth, get a professional on this.)

Once you're done with that, prime it and paint. Since the areas you're working with are small, maybe try all of this one one of them first to refine your technique before tackling all the others. :)

I hope that helps. If all else fails, hire a drywall guy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If it's protruding out, sand it down. If it's sunk in patch with drywall compound to fill the gap. Let this dry completely. Then do what ever texturing you need to do. After that dries, you can paint it. Just fixed a similar problem at our rental property. Hubby made the patch and I had to make it "pretty".

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

If the patches stick out a bit, sand them down so nothing sticks out then spackle with joint compound.
If the patches are sunk in, spackle over the depressions and smooth the surface till it's even.
Wait till it's completely dry before painting.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

That's too big a job, and on a ceiling, no less, for do it yourself job. I do quite a bit around the house including changing out a light fixture, patching small holes in the drywall and venetian plastering and painting, but I would hire this one out. You could go out, buy all the stuff and still have to hire a handy man. Your lighting contractor should have set you up with someone to do this. Call around to painting contractors for an experienced drywall guy. It really is an art.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I could tell you how to do it but it will look like poop! Taping is one of those things you are either good at or you practice a lot! You could go to Lowes and they will give you what you need and they can tell you how to do it but if you can't pull it off it will look like poop!

What I would do is get the stuff to do one. Try it and see if it looks like poop. If it doesn't look like poop do the rest. If it does look like poop hire a professional, it will be cheaper to have him fix the one you did wrong than all of them.

The two most common mistakes are not taping right so when you sand the tape shows through, or too much mud so you end up with speed bumps on the surface.

I always find it funny that people don't understand, someone asking did you drywall yourself, on a finished product, is a criticism. :p

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