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How to repair a hole in the wall

Instruc­tions

Holes hap­pen. One of the most com­mon causes are door handles punch­ing through plas­ter­board walls. While it looks nasty, dam­age of this nature isn’t that dif­fi­cult to repair. Here’s the job broken down into a few easy steps.

Pre­par­ing The Area

Cut the dam­aged sec­tion of plas­ter­board out of the wall with a sharp util­ity knife. Mark around the cut with a pen­cil and ruler and then make sure all the dam­aged plas­ter­board is removed, leav­ing a tidy square or rect­an­gu­lar hole. Sand around the area to pre­pare the sur­face, using 220 grit sand­pa­per.

Pre­par­ing The Hole

Step 1:

Cut a backblock from a scrap piece of plas­ter­board that is slightly nar­row­er, but about 40mm longer than the hole. Push a nail through the centre of it, then apply some stop­ping com­pound to each end of the block.

Step 2:

Using the nail as a handle, slip the backblock through the hole, move it into pos­i­tion and pull it firmly against the rear face of the wall lin­ing. Hold it there for about 30 seconds while the com­pound adheres to the wall. Leave it for about an hour until the com­pound has dried suf­fi­ciently to hold the backblock in place, then push the nail through the backblock and let it fall down behind the wall lin­ing. When sand­ing and dust­ing off stop­ping com­pound, always wear a dust mask to avoid inhal­ing the dust.

Step 3:

Using the 100mm broadknife, fill the hole with stop­ping com­pound, so it’s slightly over­filled. Remem­ber to remove any excess com­pound from around the repair as it’s easi­er to remove it now while it’s wet than it is later when it has dried.

Because the com­pound in this repair is quite thick, it may take a con­sid­er­able amount of time to dry – up to a couple of days in some instances, depend­ing on ambi­ent weath­er con­di­tions. Don’t try and work on it before it’s com­pletely dry as this will cause fur­ther issues later on. Fix a door­stop to the wall to pre­vent door handles from going through the wall. As a dust-free altern­at­ive to sand­ing, a tech­nique called ‘wet-sand­ing’ can be used.

Step 4:

When the com­pound has dried prop­erly, scrape off any high spots with the broadknife and sand back if required.

Step 5:

Apply a second coat of com­pound. When the fin­ish­ing coat is dry, sand back until smooth, then dust off before paint­ing. Using a damp sponge, wipe over the dry stop­ping com­pound until the excess has been removed. When using wet sand­ing, wait at least two hours before paint­ing.

Repair­ing A Blem­ish

Blem­ishes, scrapes and scratches will hap­pen to most plas­ter­board walls at some point. Mov­ing fur­niture or children’s toys; are some of the ways that scrapes or scratches can appear in your wall­board, but they’re not dif­fi­cult to repair.

Before start­ing, remove any paint chips or loose plaster, then sand around the area with 220 grit sand­pa­per to pre­pare the sur­face. Using a 75mm broadknife, apply a lay­er of stop­ping com­pound into the scratch, slightly over­filling the area. Make sure to remove any excess lumps of com­pound before they dry as it’s much easi­er to do this now than it is to sand it off later.

Once dry, the stop­ping com­pound can be sanded and then dus­ted off. If it’s a shal­low crack, just one applic­a­tion of com­pound should be enough pri­or to paint­ing, but deep­er cracks may require a second coat of plaster before sand­ing back, dust­ing and paint­ing.

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