How to Repair Drywall Cracks How to Repair Drywall Cracks

Repairing drywall cracks may not seem pressing, but it must be done as soon as possible. If left alone, the damage can get worse, requiring more expensive, more time-consuming repairs. The cracks tend to occur naturally as the house settles. They can also be caused by moving furniture. The process of repairing drywall cracks is easy, but you have to make sure you do it carefully and conscientiously - otherwise, it won't be long before you'll have to repair it again.

Drywall Repair Tools

In order to repair the drywall cracks, you will need the following.

  • Patching compound - there are a number of compounds you can choose from. Be sure to check how quickly they dry - you want a compound that dries fast, but not too fast. This will give you room to correct your mistake while allowing you to avoid long wait times.
  • Flexible putty knife - this knife comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The knife shouldn't be too wide, but it shouldn't be too small, either. This will give you maximum flexibility without sacrificing quality. 
  • Patching tape - another term for adhesive mash tape. While it isn't strictly necessary, but it will make it even less likely that the drywall crack will form again.
  • Touch-up and finishing tools - tools necessary to make sure the wall looks good as new after the crack has been sealed. This includes sandpaper, primer and paint.

Step 1 - Prepare the Drywall Repair Area

Before you begin to repair drywall cracks, make sure the cracked piece of drywall is clean the area around the crack and wait until it dries. If there are any loosened pieces, use the putty knife to cut them off. They will only get in the way.

Step 2 - Apply the Patching Compound

For best results, apply the patching compound with the wide side of the flexible putty knife using strong, firm strokes that go in both directions. You will need to try to get as much patching compound into the track is possible. You will need to apply pressure to make sure the packing material sinks in. After each stroke, check to see if the material is applied evenly. If it isn't, apply the patching compound again. You will need to do it until the crack is completely filled. It has been mentioned before, but it bears repeating - you must be thorough. Otherwise, you will leave weaknesses that will eventually undo all your hard work.

Step 3 - Remove Excess Patching Compound

Use the sharp edge of the putty knife to remove any excess patching material. So long as the material is dry, you will be able to remove it with smooth, gentle strokes.

Step 4 - Make Final Patching Touch-Ups

Dip the knife into water and apply the final layer. This will close any gaps that aren't readily apparent. If some areas still need patching material, this is your last opportunity to add it.

Step 5 - Apply Patching Tape

Apply a piece of watching tape atop of the crack. Make sure it's firmly attached at every point. Then, apply a layer of patching compound  on top of it to smooth away the tape. You may need to apply more than one layer, but avoid applying too many - otherwise, you will end up with a deformed lump. Once you are done, wait for the patching compound to dry.

Step 6 - Touch up the Drywall

Once the patching compound is dry, use the sandpaper and primer to prepare the drywall for whatever color and/or texture you want to apply.

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