help patching up drywall in bathroom


Old 02-04-19, 11:27 AM
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help patching up drywall in bathroom

I recently gutted a shower down to studs, replaced it with cement board and ceramic tile. Unfortunately the transition from the where the wall stops and the shower surround starts needs some patching. I'm wondering what the best way to go about that is...

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Last edited by PJmax; 02-04-19 at 04:55 PM. Reason: reoriented/resized pictures
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Old 02-04-19, 12:37 PM
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I've seen worse... LOL

First thing I'd do is go get a can of Kilz Original spray primer. Mask off your tile and shower and anything you don't want paint on. Put blue tape on your schluter edge... nice and straight and about 1/8" away from the drywall. Cut open any cracked areas, such as up that joint in the bottom pic. Shake the can well and spray the heck out of the raw gypsum areas. Once that is dry (give it a few hours) you can start the repair.

Get a bag of 20 minute lightweight setting compound (easy sand). Its a dry powder. Mix it up in a drywall pan with a 3" knife and a little water... Be sure you mix it pretty stiff. Push it back into those voids and pack it tight. Smooth it out as best as you can. And don't build it out onto the wall just yet... wipe it down tight as possible flat with the wall. This is just the first coat and it is meant to just prefill the holes.

Like the name indicates, it will start to set up pretty quickly... in about 20 minutes or less. You can continue to smooth it until it's too hard to work. But don't try to add more water to it once you have it mixed.

If you do a good job, it will look pretty good after the first coat. If there are still any voids or if the voids aren't quite full, you can give it another coat after its fully dry. But if it looks okay, you can then switch over to regular joint compound.

Mix the joint compound with a little water so its more like the consistency of pudding. With your 3" knife, put a layer of mud on the wall along your edges. Then lay some paper tape into that wet mud. Hold one end of the tape into the mud with your finger, then with the knife, wipe the tape down tight... squeegee out all the mud you can from behind the tape. Start in the middle of the tape and wipe left... then go back to the middle and wipe right. That's how you tape. The tape should be as tight to the wall as possible... it reinforces the edges between the drywall and your repair.

Once the tape is dry you want to do at least 2 more coats. Use a 6" knife to cover the tape up with another layer of mud... not too thick but not too thin. If you can BARELY see the tape through the mud, that is getting too thin. 1/8" thick or less is what you are after. Once that is dry, you want to do it again, but this time just a very thin coat... with the idea of skimming / smoothing out any lines or imperfections from the last coat. Also, you usually want to add mud along the side of your last coat, wiping it down tight to the wall to smooth up the edges. (not laying it on 1/8" thick).

Sanding is needed once you think you are done. Dont sand so much you sand into the paper. A fine sanding sponge is usually all you need if you did a nice job. Shining a bright light on the wall will help you see imperfections that might still need to be touched up.

Then you are ready for a little primer and paint.
Old 02-04-19, 02:33 PM
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I would add that any oil base primer or Zinnser's Gardz is fine for priming prior to patching although a spray can like X suggested might be easiest. Once the repair is finished and primed you should caulk the wall/repair to the tile.
Old 02-04-19, 03:13 PM
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I like X's process but I'd be removing anything loose - paper or pieces of gypsum - before hitting it with the primer.
Old 02-04-19, 03:46 PM
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Yes, definitely Jim. Like cutting open that cracked joint... that's clearly loose stuff.

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