Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in...

Well maybe not rain, but there was a huge hole in our wall where there was previously a vent for forced-air heating. We didn't know it was there until we took down the mirrors. Apparently since the mirrors were going up - there was no need to fix the wall. *sigh*

Luckily, fixing a hole in the wall is much easier than it sounds.

For small holes, you can buy a patch kit at most home improvement stores. All you do is apply the screen, mud it over and sand it smooth. Pretty simple.

Our hole was a lot larger than something we could use a patch kit for so we took the "let's make it more difficult than it needs to be" route and actually patched it with drywall.

We bought a small 2x2 piece of drywall at Lowes. We had some drywall tape and more mud than we know what to do with (we have a 50lb. bucket for when we finish the attic) so it was a pretty inexpensive project.

Here's a step-by-step of how to fix a hole in your wall with drywall.

I can't be too sure how accurate this will be - and considering the circumstances of where our hole was, we had to do use some methods that we don't think we'd find in a tutorial.

Step one: cut the hole to an even size
You don't want to have to cut a weird shape out of the drywall, so it's better to cut the hole to be square. If you're lucky, the hole in your wall will be over a stud. If not... well... we feel your pain. Ours wasn't either.

Step two: cut the drywall to the size of the hole
Pretty easy... cut to the same size...

Step three: attach the drywall to the wall. 
This, my friends, is where it gets a little tricky. Most tutorials will tel you to cut the wall until you find a stud and then screw the drywall in that way. Honestly, it's the safest and best way to do it. However, considering the placement of our hole and the unique situation, we chanced it and decided to glue the drywall into the wall with a really strong adhesive.

Also to note: Our hole was at the bottom of the wall and opened up into our basement (you could look down the hole and see what folks were doing down there) so Garry got on a chair and installed the drywall from "inside" the wall. This is why this solution worked well for us. 


Step four: apply mesh tape and mud/joint compound liberally over seams
Okay, the hard part is over! Yes! All you have to do now is grab your mesh drywall tape (it's sticky on one side) and lay it over the seams where the existing wall meets with your new piece of drywall. Once you've got that on, take your putty knife and slather some mud or joint compound over the mesh tape and extend just a bit beyond the tape. Try to get it on there as even as possible because you're going to have to sand it down smooth later.

Step five: let it dry, sand it smooth
Before you start sanding, you'll want to wait about 24 hours to let the joint compound or mud cure properly. Then you'll want to sand until smooth. Start with a coarser sandpaper and work your way up to a finer grit (three different grits should do it). Since we're planning on adding wall texture, we don't need to sand it down that smooth.

Step six: paint!
Hopefully you saved a wee bit of paint from your last project for touch-ups. If you did, break it out along with your brush and go to town.

We're at the "waiting for the joint compound to dry" step. This evening we'll sand it smooth and apply the texture. It's nothing fancy... just the spray orange peel stuff. Our walls are actually plaster (and gorgeously done) so the orange peel will be a little different, but not so much so. Since the texture doesn't take very long to dry, we might also be able to paint the accent wall today too. Not terribly sure yet. Either way, it looks like maybe Friday or Saturday we can post finished photos of the kitchen and living room (well finished until we start adding a lot of the decorative stuff).

Our big fence install/yard clean-up will also be this weekend! I'll make sure to keep you updated and include a bunch of photos (hopefully it won't rain!) Even though we needed to get all of this done this spring anyway having a puppy coming in a few weeks certainly lights the fire under our bums to get a lot of these projects taken care of since not having them taken care of can be harmful for our little guy. Also, my dear friend Tavis will be coming to visit and I'd like the house to not be a mess. Can you say spring-cleaning frenzy the night before they arrive? Yep.