We’ve been tackling some home improvement projects over the summer, and happened to have some unsightly holes in our walls. For small holes like those left by picture hangers, a little bit of spackling putty can easily make them disappear, but a larger hole is going to require a few more steps to cover up. Maybe you’re moving out of an apartment and don’t want to lose your security deposit, maybe you just like punching the wall...I’m not gonna tell you how to live your life, but should you need a step-by-step to make your walls look good as new, read on!
Put a doctor’s coat on and grab that red nose, because we’re about to patch up this situation! First, we have a gaping hole in the wall. Measure to see how large a patch you will need, your hardware store sells various sizes of self adhesive mesh patches. They’re like Band-Aids for your wall! Make sure there’s no dust and clean around the hole with an alcohol based cleaner before slapping on the spackle.We recently discovered DAP DryDex spackling that goes on pink, but turns white to indicate that it’s fully dry. Spackling tends to dry out pretty quickly, so don’t get more than you need for your project.
Use your drywall knife to cover the patch with spackling in a crisscross pattern, smoothing out the edges so it blends with the wall. If you increase the pressure and angle as you get to the outer edges of the patch, it will make your final result look much smoother. Let the patch dry, and apply a second coat if needed.
Sand smooth with a sanding sponge. We prefer this to traditional sanding paper, it’s just easier to handle. Look for a drywall sponge (120 grit); one that’s strong enough to remove the excess spackling, but not so rough that it will undo your work.
Once you’ve sanded the patched area so it’s smooth with the wall, you may need to match the texture to the original wall. There are three typical wall textures: smooth, orange peel, and knock down. If your wall is either orange peel or knock down, you can buy a water based texture spray that will add texture to match.
Paint to Match
Paint your patched area with matching paint and you’re good to go! Don't have your original paint? No problem, you can collect a paint sample from an inconspicuous area (behind furniture is usually a good place to start). Then take your paint sample to anywhere that does color matching (Lowe's and Home Depot both have this service) get the matching color AND finish. Feather out the paint to create a smooth transition between the patched-up spot and the rest of the wall. If using a brush, extend your strokes slightly beyond the touch-up area. If using a roller, sweep out from the center of the area with a lightly soaked roller, slowly lifting away from the wall as you go. Be patient and wait until the paint has dried completely before evaluating. A touch-up that’s very noticeable when wet may dry to an exact match.
Measure your hole.
Buy a self-adhesive patch that will cover the hole.
Clean around the hole thoroughly.
Stick on your patch.
Apply one layer of spackle in a criss cross pattern, feathering away from the center of the hole. Let dry, if you're using the DAP spackle we suggested, you'll know it's dry when it turns white.
If needed, apply a second layer of spackle.
If your wall was originally textured, get a texturizing spray.
Finally, paint with matching paint.