Patching Plasterboard

It can happen in any home. A cranky toddler, a teenager who aspires to be the Karate Kid, or a team of amateur furniture movers can, in a matter of seconds, create a ragged hole in your otherwise perfect wall. Do not despair. These errors can be quickly and thoroughly repaired with just a few tools, and a little time. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, follow the steps below to make the hole disappear. If you doubt your skill at wall repair, ask your house stylists Sydney to recommend a handyman who can erase the hole in short order.

Assemble the materials and tools:

You will need a scrap of plasterboard, of the same depth and just a bit wider and taller than the hole itself. You will also need some window screening or a self-adhesive screen patch which can be found at your local hardware store. Assemble a couple of screws, a bit of lath (a thin, narrow piece of wood sometimes used to build outdoor trellises) and a supply of cornice cement. You’ll also need a utility knife, a screwdriver, some construction adhesive, and a 12-centimetre putty knife.

Cut out the patch:

Using your utility knife or a plasterboard saw, cut out a square-cornered patch of plasterboard that is large enough to cover the hole. Place the patch material over the hole and draw its outline on the damaged wall. Pencil a small X on the wall above the patch and an arrow on the patch pointing to the X so that you can better align the patch later.

Prepare the hole:

In order to prepare the hole for your patch, use a plasterboard saw to cut an X that reaches from the edge of the hole to each corner of the outline of the patch you drew earlier. Score along the outline of the patch with a utility knife, then snap the plasterboard pieces toward the inside of the wall then cut each section free with the knife, leaving you with a clean, square-cornered hole that matches your patch perfectly.

Create a foundation: Cut a piece of lath 12 centimetres longer than the height of the hole. Apply a small bead of construction adhesive across the entire face of the strip. Insert the strip into the centre of the hole with the adhesive facing outward. (Be careful not to touch the adhesive as it is difficult to remove.) Pull the lath firmly against the inside of the damaged plasterboard to hold it in place, then drive two screws through the plasterboard into each end of the slat to anchor it into place. (You’ll want the screw heads driven just below the wall’s surface, but not so deeply that they compromise the integrity of the plasterboard.)

Attach the patch: Orient the arrow on your patch with the X you pencilled on the wall earlier, and then press the patch firmly against the adhesive. Drive two additional screws, top and bottom, through the patch and into the lath to hold the patch firmly in place.

Mud it up: Using a 12-centimetre taping knife, apply a thin layer of cornice cement over the patch, filling the seams, and the screw heads. Next, cut a piece of window screening a few inches longer and wider than the patch. Press the screen fabric into the compound with the trowel. The screen will prevent cracks from forming between the patch and wall. Work from the centre outward to keep the screen fabric from wrinkling, as you add more “mud”, then remove the excess. The trick here is to apply thin layers that will not crack as they dry.

The final coat: When the cornice cement has had time to dry completely – 24 hours or more — apply a thin final coat of cornice cement. Extend the mud about 12 centimetres beyond the edges of the previous coat. Allow this layer to dry thoroughly, and then sand with fine sandpaper to smooth away any tell-tale ridges, making your wall surface smooth.

Prime and paint: Cover the patched area with a good primer before you attempt to repaint the wall. The new mud will absorb paint differently than the previously painted surface, making this step essential in order to keep the patch from showing up. House stylists Sydney will tell you that an entire fresh coat of paint can be spoiled by skipping this step.

Beautifully smooth and freshly painted walls are important first steps toward selling your house quickly and for top dollar. If you are not inclined to do the patching or painting of your walls on your own, your house stylists Sydney will be happy to either recommend a painting professional, or to supervise the work from start to finish for you – yet another reason that contracting with trustworthy home staging professionals puts you well ahead in the real estate game.

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