How to Repair a Drywall Crack

Drywall cracks can occur for any number of reasons.

Repair a Drywall CrackRepair a Drywall Crack
Over the years homes begin to settle sometimes causing cracks around the corners of doors and windows or where columns support beams. Walls can even take a beating from moving furniture around or even by active children or guests. Drywall can be easily repaired with little skill. Using these simple steps, repairs can be made in just a couple of days leaving practically no evidence of damage.

To begin the repair project make sure you have all the necessary materials. Materials for the drywall repair are available at your local home improvement store. Be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully and follow each step as suggested.

Prepare the room. Remove or cover anything you want to protect, such as, furniture, blinds, curtains and flooring. Drop cloths or old sheets work fine for protection.

To begin the drywall repair run your utility knife through the crack to remove any loose particles. Be forceful enough to widen the crack to about 1/8 inch, almost through the drywall. Carve out all loose materials until the area is clean. This will eliminate any chances of residue occurring on the new surface.

Once the surface area is clean you are now ready to apply compound. Load the putty knife with compound and apply by sweeping the knife back and forth in a diagonal motion over the crack. Force the drywall compound into the crack with strong, firm strokes slightly bending the putty knife with pressure as you draw it along the cracked area. Carefully use the putty knife to remove any extra compound. Layer several light coats of drywall compound building up a smooth, flush surface. Remember to allow each coat to dry completely. This step is critical to the final appearance of the wall.

After 24 hours the drywall compound should be completely dry. You are now ready to sand. Use 150 grit sandpaper to smooth out the entire surface area. Thoroughly sand the area to remove any ridges or bumps that appeared from the compound hardening. Do not over sand. Simply feel the wall. When it feels smooth you have sanded the wall enough.

When sanding is finished your repairs are complete. It is now time to use your shop vac to clean up. When all the drywall dust is gone you are free to paint. Be sure to use a primer over the repaired drywall area. Once the primer is dry you can paint the area to match the rest of the room.

Things You Will Need

  • Premixed drywall compound
  • Sand paper (150 grit)
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Drop cloths
  • Mask
  • Shop Vac

Tips

  • Tightly seal drywall compound after opening. Drywall compound can easily dry out in the container. If this happens, add a little water and mix it up. Add just enough to create a smooth and slightly moist consistency.
  • Drywall compound tends to shrink while drying.
  • Thick drywall application can cause cracking. To eliminate this, apply several thin coasts of drywall compound allowing each one to dry thoroughly before applying the next.
  • Using a wide putty knife to knock off ridges and high spots will eliminate extra sanding and extra messes.
  • Wait until drywall compound is completely dry before sanding.
  • Sanding drywall compound creates quite a bit of dust and is very messy. Close doors to prevent dust from spreading to other parts of the house.

Warning

  • Drywall dust is not toxic. However, it can cause sore throats, coughs or even white lung disease. Take precautions and wear a mask.