“Don’t slam the door open!” The number one cause of holes in sheetrock walls is this common complaint. The door swings wide open and the doorknob strikes the wall pushing in a dent or worse, knocking a hole in the sheetrock. This particular sheetrock damage is not hard to repair and with only a few tools and materials you can make your damaged wall look like new.
- Using a sharp utility knife, cut away all loose sheetrock from the edges of the hole.
- Clean the wall of any loose paint, dirt, dust, or grease.
- Now, using your utility knife, trim away the edges of the hole until you have a square or a rectangle. Use a square or a template to achieve a uniform shape.
Make the repair-for dents
- If the wall damage is only a dent but the wall is still solid, you can repair the dent by filling it in with sheetrock mud, also known as joint compound.
- Simply force a layer of the joint compound into the dent and let it dry.
- Build up the joint compound, layer by layer, until it is flush with, or a little proud of the finished wall.
- Sand the joint compound with 80-grit sandpaper until it is flush with the existing wall and smooth.
- Add texture to the sanded surface to match the existing wall. You can do this with a small spray can of texture or just apply some joint compound and texture it with a sponge.
- Prime the repair with a good latex wall primer. Let it dry and paint the repair with one or more coats of a matching wall color.
Make the repair-for holes
- If the damage is a hole, you can repair it by following these tips.
- Cut two or more strips of wood like 1×2s or 1×4s that are two or three inches longer than the width of the hole to be repaired. Use whatever width of wood that will slide through the hole. You can even use strips of lathe. These work well for backing strips but screws do tend to split them. You can install the lathe strips with adhesive instead.
- Slide one end of the strip in the hole, then maneuver the other end of the strip in the hole. Holding the strip in place with one hand, insert sheetrock screws through the existing sheetrock and into the wood strips to hold them securely in place on the backside of the sheetrock.
- In place of screws, you can also use a dab of adhesive like Liquid Nails on the wooden strips but you will need to hold them in place until the adhesive dries. You can hold them in place with duct tape if you go this route.
- Cut out a piece of sheetrock to match the hole. If you used a template to trim the damaged hole, you can use this template to also cut out a repair piece.
- Place the repair piece of sheetrock in the hole and secure it to the backing strips with sheetrock screws. Recess the heads of the screws slightly into the new sheetrock.
- Apply sheetrock tape over the edges of the hole. You can use self-adhering tape or apply a light layer of sheetrock mud and embed the tape in it.
- Let the tape dry and apply succeeding thin layers of mud over the screw holes and the joints, letting each layer dry and sanding them lightly.
- When you have your final layers applied, sand them lightly, apply one or two coats of latex wall primer, and one or more coats of a matching wall color.
To prevent damage like this from occurring again, install doorstops on the baseboard or on the floor. Baseboard doorstops work well for carpeted areas. Floor-mounted doorstops work best on hardwood floors.
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