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Drywall Repair Q's & A's

Nail Pops | Holes | Corners | Walls
Water Damaged | Spackled | Repair | Paneling | Plaster | Ceiling | Mirrors
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Nail Pops

Nail Pops

We built a house 4 yrs ago. Over the past few months I have noticed approx. 10 nail pops in the drywall. What is the proper way to repair this?

They are caused by the studs behind the drywall shrinking. This leaves more nail (or screw) exposed and if you push on the drywall, and it moves back against the stud, it will force the head out through the joint compound. sometimes this will happen even if you don't push on the wall.

So it occurs to me. This is a new idea. But before you fix just the few you have now, if you are going to work on a wall... push it in hard all over the studs to get as many to pop as possible and fix them all at once.

To fix them, pick away the loose compound to expose the head. If it is a screw, (screws are often used now) screw it in tight. You don't want to screw it in through the surface of the drywall, you just want it dimpled. If it is a nail, same thing, drive it in, again not too deep.

Then using ready mixed joint compound refill and cover the hole. Sand it flush and flat and even with the surrounding wall, and repaint it. When you sand, use a sanding block. (A flat piece of wood you wrap the sandpaper around... preferably with some felt or rubber glued to the flat surface.) The sanding block will ensure you are sanding the area flat.

Stud nails coming out of wall through plaster

In several different areas of our three story townhome, it looks like the nails in the studs are coming out. There are round holes in the plaster that are spaced evenly apart vertically. In some areas, it looks like these were patched over previously to hide the nail head. What is going on?

What happens is the studs shrink behind the wallboard leaving a gap and then the wallboard is pushed in or pulled in by other screws or nails, the ones with the gap pop through. They are evenly spaced because the wall is screwed in every 8 inches or so.

You can fix them. Pick off the plaster covering them and if they are screws, screw them in tight. If they are nails hit them in tight. You don't want to sink them so deep that the cut through the top layer of paper on the wallboard, but you want them in a dimple that will hold the joint compound which will hid them.

Apply one or more coats of joint compound. You can buy it in small ready mixed cans. Sand with medium sand paper wrapped around a block of wood in between coats. Sand it flush and flat with the surrounding wall. Prime and repaint that area.

Drywall nail pops

My house is 4 yrs old...A new set of nail pops has appeared in the upstairs bedroom. What is the right way to repair so I can fix and repaint?

The nails pop out due to the shrinkage of the studs behind the drywall. Probably, (though no guarantees here) after these 4 years, no new ones will pop out and the ones you fix now should stay fixed.

To fix them, reset them by hitting them in with your hammer. You want the nail head set in a dimple in the drywall just below the surface. Don't puncture the drywall's surface by driving the nail too deep. Then fill the dimple with joint compound smoothed even with the surrounding wall. Sand the area lightly with medium grade sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block. You can buy a small can of ready mixed joint compound for a small job like this.

Having said all that, and rereading what we wrote, check to see if what you have is not drywall screws before you start hitting them with a hammer. Drywall is often hung with screws these days. Pick all the compound off the offending area and if it is a screw, then screw it in tight instead of hitting it with a hammer.
(also beware... my house has screws along all the seems and nails in the center of the sheets of drywall.)

Then paint away!

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Drywall Nail Pops

Can anyone provide suggestions regarding nail pop repairs to drywall?

Make sure they are dimpled down some. Use a larger nail set to get the bit under the surface. Then drywall compound patches sand smooth, prime and paint. If the walls are already, painted just feather out both the primer and the paint and you will not even notice them. If this is in a brand new home that is still under one year old make sure you have the contractor come out on repair them, as it is his responsibility. Part of most new home warranties from the builder themselves.

Nail pops & cracks

My home is 12 years. Recently 1st floor shows nail pops and cracks mostly on vaulted ceiling, you can see where the studs are. Second floor has nail pops in every room in a straight line. What's happening????????

Seasonal variations of humid-dry-humid makes the nails creep out of the studs. Take a hammer and pound them back into the drywall so the heads are one quarter inch deep... that means you will have a hammerprint at each nail. Then within two inches or so of each nail drive a drywall screw (l.25 inches long) just deep enough to make a dimple and cover screw heads and hammerprints with spakle and repaint.

Another idea: I believe the wood shrinks.. not that the nail backs out. I have seen plenty of drywall screws pop as well. In fact, you have to be careful repairing "nail pops" these days because often they are not nails but screws. When the wood shrinks, because it dries out, a gap will form between the wood and the drywall.. Then either a flex in the joist or stud.. from the wind or from a load. or from someone leaning on it.. pushes the drywall against the stud.. pushing the head up through. So.. it isn't poor workmanship.. or the use of nails.. I think it is just wood drying out..

Drywall Tape Popping

On my second floor, the drywall tape has popped where the walls meet the ceiling. I have been told that this is due to the builder not nailing the trusses to the interior walls.

There is also a gap that increases or decreases in size based upon the season. Is this correct? Can I fix this problem by just nailing the trusses to the interior walls? Is there anything else I can/need to do?

The trusses WERE nailed to the walls. That is the problem! There are special hangers used to fasten trusses to walls and if they were not installed when built, they can't be done now...(without great aggravation).

Simplest solution is to install a crown molding attached ONLY to the ceiling and truss. This will rise and fall with the truss and cover any cracks... Apart from that, use a silicone latex caulk in the joint and hope it holds.


Hole In Wall

I have an about 4 inch hole in my wall, is there a way I can fix it?

You can fill small holes with joint compound directly. This comes ready mixed in a can or plastic tub (at the hardware store) and can easily be spread on with a putty knife. Smooth it on, and after it dries sand it flat with some sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood.

For a large hole, you need to put something behind the patch to hold it in place so the joint compound doesn't just fall into the wall. You can try this:
Where the damage is, cut a patch of wallboard to fit the hole. Cut it square, then cut the wall using your patch as a template the same size and shape as your patch.
Next cut a piece of plywood or even another piece of wall board the same shape as your patch but about 1 inch bigger all the way around. Drill a hole in the center for your finger to fit through. Pass this backer board into the hole and hold it in place with your finger in the hole. Using a couple drywall screws, screw through the wall into the backup board to hold it in place.
Then using the patch of wall board cover the backup board and use joint compound to cover and fill all the seems and screws. Use sand paper (medium) over a block to sand it all flat. It will not be unusual to have to go over it again and fill in some imperfections..

Drywall.....Help I need my deposit back!

I live in a modern apartment complex and I have a couple of large holes in the wall. I would like to know how I can fix the wall so that I can get my deposit back.

I believe that it needs to be fixed with plaster or something.

You can fill small holes with joint compound directly. This comes ready mixed in a can or plastic tub (at the hardware store) and can easily be spread on with a putty knife. Smooth it on, and after it dries sand it flat with some sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood.

For a large hole, you need to put something behind the patch to hold it in place so the joint compound doesn't just fall into the wall. You can try this:
Where the damage is, cut a patch of wallboard to fit the hole. Cut it square, then cut the wall using your patch as a template the same size and shape as your patch.
Next cut a piece of plywood or even another piece of wall board the same shape as your patch but about 1 inch bigger all the way around.
drill a hole in the center for your finger to fit through. Pass this backer board into the hole and hold it in place with your finger in the hole. Using a couple drywall screws, screw through the wall into the backup board to hold it in place.
Then using the patch of wall board cover the backup board and use joint compound to cover and fill all the seems and screws. Use sand paper (medium) over a block to sand it all flat. It will not be unusual to have to go over it again and fill in some imperfections..

HELP!huge hole in sheetrock

Does anyone know how much it would cost to repair sheetrock on my wall, after an accident, there is now a huge hole in my wall that's about 8 in.x 8in., anyone's advice would be appreciated in this matter.

Here is an easy way. You can buy a patch that is made of a thin sheet metal that is held in place with a adhesive fiberglass tape, similar to the tape for joining drywall. Then you just skim coat the patch with joint compound. If you use thin coats and are careful to taper the joint compound, the patch will not be noticeable after painting.

Sheetrock Hole

I have a hole in my sheetrock that is about 6 inches in diameter. What would be the best way to fix it? (walls are textured)

Where the damage is, cut a patch of wallboard to fit the hole. Cut it square, then cut the wall using your patch as a template the same size and shape as your patch. Next cut a piece of plywood or even another piece of wall board the same shape as your patch but about 1 inch bigger all the way around.
Drill a hole in the center for your finger to fit through. Pass this backer board into the hole and hold it in place with your finger in the hole. Using a couple drywall screws, screw through the wall into the backup board to hold it in place. Then using the patch of wall board cover the backup board and use joint compound to cover and fill all the seems and screws. Use sand paper (medium) over a block to sand it all flat. It will not be unusual to have to go over it again and fill in some imperfections..

Last you will need to apply the same texture and paint as the original wall.

Hole in Bathroom Wall

I recently had to have the drain pipe of my bathroom sink replaced. In order to do this the tile and drywall around the pipe had to be broken. Now I have a gaping hole in the wall under the sink. I would like to replace the tile but now don't have much drywall to lie the tile on. How can I "build up" that section of drywall enough to replace the tile?

Install a drywall patch to even out the area. Cut the hole in the drywall nice a square (well a shape you can make a nice even patch to fit it. Then you need another piece of drywall or a piece of plywood (better) and cut the size of the hole, plus one inch bigger all the way around. You pass that into the hole.. (you need to drill a finger sized hole in the center of it, so you can hold it in place) Using drywall screws, screw that backing board into place behind the hole. Then you can mount a piece of drywall in the spot the same size/shape as the hole. Make sense?

Drywall anchor let go

I had a drywall anchor let go in a closest. It left a tear in the drywall about 3 inches in all directions. It also took some of the drywall out with it. What is the best way to fix this? There is another problem it is right next a shelf unit that can't be removed without causing damage to the closet.

You can patch a hole by installing a drywall patch to that area. You would cut the hole into a square. Then cut a piece of plywood or another piece of drywall about 1 inch bigger in all directions. Drill a small hole in the center for your finger. Then pass this through the hole and holding it in place with your finger, screw it in by screwing through the wall into the board behind. Next cut a piece of wallboard the size of the square needing the patch and then fill in the seams with joint compound.

Dart holes

How do you fix dart holes in a wall? (I've had this problem before. )

If the holes are in drywall, the fix is simple enough. Get some spackling compound and apply a small amount, making sure the compound gets into the hole. Scrape the surface with a flexible putty knife and let it dry. Once it is dry, any rough edges can be smoothed with a damp sponge. Once that is done, you are ready to touch up with some paint. If the holes are large, you may need to make several applications of the spackling or use some drywall tape.

Another patch?

I am going to convert electric heating system into gas. When I take off all the thermostats, there are holes 3 X 2 1/2 inch to be patched. Inside each hole there is a metal frame holding the wiring. Do I need to take the metal box out before I put a piece of drywall on or just leave the box inside? If I leave it there, the drywall is too thick (2") to be put on and make a smooth surface.I appreciate your soonest advice.

My guess is that removing the box will be too hard. They may well be nailed to the stud next to them.
You need to make a patch of drywall the size of the hole cover the hole with the patch. You need something behind it to make it sit even with the wall though, right? The box has a back... can you cut a small square of wood the right depth to place inside the box behind the drywall patch??

Small hole (dime) in bathroom drywall

I accidentally pulled a towel bar out of the wall. It was attached using one of those metal things that you screw into and then it anchors as you screw it in. Now I have this smaller than a dime size hole in the wall and I don't know how to patch it. I really want to reattach that side of the bar in the same place if possible, to avoid having to move the entire bar(I have several bars parallel going up a wall and don't want to mess the spacing). SO, is there any kind of product I could use to fill the hole which would be strong enough to drill again in the same spot, using the same method of attaching?

Can I tell you this? Do you know the name of the fastener you pulled out of the wall? It is called a Molly. What you can replace it with is a toggle bolt. Another type of drywall anchor, it has a pair of wings that spread out after being pushed through the hole in the wall and then are tightened against the back of the wall. They are capable of holding more weight than the kind you pulled out.
Take the screw that is used to hold the towel bar to the hardware store.. and pick up one that will fit that sized screw. The thing about these is, the hole they need to fit those toggle wings through is bigger than the molley needed, so you won't have to patch that hole.

Space in wall

I just moved into a house and I noticed in the one bathroom where the medicine cabinet is, is a hole above it where someone measured wrong and just filled it with paper. The hole is about 1 in. wide and 3in. long. How can I repair this?

How are you at repairing sheetrock (a.k.a. drywall, wallboard, gyprock gypsum board etc. depending on your local)?? If you have had no experience, never fear, the area you have to deal with sounds like it is in an out of the way place enough to learn on. You will need to make some sort of backing board for the hole. You can use a scrap of plywood or even a piece of sheetrock. Make it a little wider 1 1/2 W by 5 in long. drill a hole in the center of it big enough for your finger. Put it into the hole and holding it with your finger, screw through the wall on either side of it, into it to hold it in place. A drywall screw on either side will hold it just fine. The drywall screws should be screwed in until they're a bit below the surface, but not so deep they break the paper outer layer of the wall. Then cut a patch of sheetrock, 1 x 3 to just fit the hole. You can cut drywall with a saw or even a utility knife.Place the patch in the hole and using readi mixed, joint compound cover the seams around the patch and the screw holes. Sand it flat and reapply more compound to smooth it out. Don't be afraid to apply this 3 or more times until you have a nice smooth surface even with the rest of the wall. Prime and paint to match.

Hole in the Wall

How do I patch a hole the size of a basketball in my kids room?

Assuming that the hole is in sheetrock cut the sheetrock horizontally back to the center of the studs on each side of the hole then vertically along the center of the studs. Cut a new piece of sheetrock the size of the existing hole and nail into place. Put a coat of sheetrock mud in the seams then tape over it. Wait until it dries, then mud again. Let dry then sand. If its not smooth, mud and sand until it is.

Fixing drywall hole behind the doorstopper?

Need to find how to fix the hole in the dry wall right behind the doorstopper. The hole is perfectly sized for the doorstopper to go in.

You need to patch it as described in the article we have on this site. (click on the url below) But you will need to put a backer board behind the hole and put in a patch. You may want to consider a 2x4 that extends from one stud to the other, so when you install a doorstopper right in that spot, you have a solid wall to attach it to.

Sheet rock holes

There are various size holes in the sheet rock in this home. Please tell me the best way to patch them up.

For small holes.. just spackle right over them. use a small putty knife.. and cover the hole, wiping it fairly flat.. then sanding it flat and flush after the spackle dries.

For large holes, you will need to back the hole up with something .... then apply a patch and spackle around the patch..

Check our article on this... see the link below. * http//

How to cover hole in very thin wall?

We had a small accident and a mobile phone was flung against a thin wall, which looks to be some sort of hefty cardboard with a thin layer of plaster over it. We need to fix this hole as quickly and as seamlessly as possible before the landlord finds out (and find the paint color that matches the walls). Any advice on how to cover this hole?

Probably the easiest thing for you to do would be to buy some drywall tape (the mesh type) and some spackling compound. Place a piece of tape over the hole and then spread a thin layer of spackle over that. Allow it to dry and then sand it. Repeat the process over and over, each time making the patch wider so it blends into the wall and becomes less apparent.


Drywall corner beads cracking.

My house is 3/12 years old. We are starting to see nail pops in the drywall. I read an earlier post on how to fix the nail holes but I also have cathedral ceilings. (Balcony Style) This winter we noticed the paint cracking all the way up & down the corners of or walls. And now the metal corner beads are warping and twisting.

How can I fix this. Do I need to replace the corner flashing w/ anything else. Does it need to be nailed down tighter. Someone said they thought it was caused by the temperature changes in the house causing it to expand. Is there a different type of corner flashing I can replace.

This has also happened on part of our ceiling that has been sprayed. Is there anything you can recommend to patch these type of ceilings. We used a "patch compound" on my parents house that lasted about two years before it fell of.

The only time I have seen corners behave like yours it was due to the house settling. Look for a crack in your foundation or movement in the walls. If the walls stop settling and moving, then your fix will last. I do not think the metal is the reason, so you can re-secure those and patch them. For inside corners, you can cut the seam with a knife and re-tape them.

As for the ceiling, repair the drywall the same way you would on the wall. Taping and applying joint compound and sanding flush. Then repaint the ceiling with same spray.


Wall Tips Please......


I have this urge to tell you how we patched holes in college. (masking tape and a little joint compound)
To do it right....
Where the damage is, cut a patch of wallboard to fit the hole. Cut it square, then cut the wall using your patch as a template the same size and shape as your patch.
Next cut a piece of plywood or even another piece of wall board the same shape as your patch but about 1 inch bigger all the way around.
drill a hole in the center for your finger to fit through. Pass this backer board into the hole and hold it in place with your finger in the hole. Using a couple drywall screws, screw through the wall into the backup board to hold it in place.
Then using the patch of wall board cover the backup board and use joint compound to cover and fill all the seems and screws. Use sand paper (medium) over a block to sand it all flat. It will not be unusual to have to go over it again and fill in some imperfections..

Then paint it....
This of course is the right way to fix it will a wallboard patch.


I guess I missed a big part of the question. If you can get a piece of wall board to use as the patch the whole thing will be inexpensive... You can get a small can of joint compound ready mixed and a small putty knife to put it on with ( a 2 1/2 - 3 inch wide blade is fine)
a couple drywall screws..
a utility knife to cut the wall board with.
1 sheet of medium sandpaper.
and you are in business.

Split Walls

Stairway walls from main floor to basement are made of two materials (upper half is wall board and lower is rough plaster). I would like to finish the lower (plaster wall) with some type of covering. The two walls are flush with each other. Any ideas??

Is there a reason you can't apply joint compound to the seam where they meet and blend them into one wall? Then you could paint or paper them as one.

Or do you wish to cover or repair the plaster wall? There is a new product for repairing plaster walls that may work for you also to blend the walls together. It is called Nu-Wal restoration system from Specification Chemicals and is a very thin Elastomeric coating and fiberglass mat which makes plaster walls look new.
Check them out at or (800)247-3932.

Cracks in drywall

We have a 20 year old house that we have owned for 3 years. Cracks have developed in the corners on the walls that connect one room to the next. (I'm not sure if you would call these doorways ((there are no doors between these rooms))or entryways.) It is happening on the shared wall between the kitchen and dining room and the kitchen and living room. I would like to fix these cracks with the best and longest lasting solution. I am also planning on painting these rooms once the cracks are fixed.
What would you suggest?

The cracks developed there most likely due to some settling of the house. Hopefully that is done. (If not you may have other problems but no patch will keep it from cracking if the wall is still moving) So assuming the wall has finished settling/moving, retaping the cracks with joint compound should do the trick. I don't think there is anything special about the job. Using paper tape makes a stronger joint and you can use a little less mud... but the plastic tape will also work.

Removing coating on interior walls

Three of the rooms in my house (built 1915) have had their walls covered with a product, which gives the wall a rough textured appearance. I assume this was done originally to cover cracks in the plaster in a cheap, fast way. I want to remove this product and return the rooms to their original condition. The walls are plaster and lath construction. Any advice on the best method of removal would be appreciated.

If you are looking to eliminate the texture and return to smooth walls, you are better off having your walls spackled or plastered over to create a smooth appearance rather than removing what is there.

Repairing a wall's surface!

After hating the paneling in my back bathroom for over 15 years I decide to get rid of it. I tore it down and was surprised to fine some old stuff under it that looks like tile, but feels like squares of tin. I pulled those off too. Now I am left with walls that have glue all over them. How do I resurface the drywall so I can either paint or paper?

Why don't you just hang a new sheet of drywall over it?

Redoing a wall where an opening had been made

I was wondering what to do when we have a wall separating the kitchen and the living room, we had cut out a hole in it, but now we want to patch the hole, what should I do? Can I cut 2x4's and insert them between the two cut 2x4's inside the wall? The hole is about 4' wide x 3' high.

If it is drywall, it is straightforward to repair. Sister (attach), 2X4 to each side of the opening. Put two in the middle, on 16 inch centers, cut dry wall to fit, tape the joints and then mud with drywall compound, smoothing and sanding between adjacent coats. Messy job but a do-it-yourselfer can do it, if one takes their time.

Water Damaged

How to fix water damaged drywall

How can you fix water damaged drywall without replacing the whole ceiling?

I will assume it is damaged as in not just discolored. (For that you can repaint it after coating the discolored areas with shellac,or using a shellac/paint product).

You should just cut out the area that is bad. Cut to the center of the joist, to leave the ceiling up there with something behind it, and exposing half the joist for you to mount to. Then cut a square to fit the area you cut out, tape and spackle it and repaint to match the rest of the ceiling.


While removing 20+ year old wallpaper in the bathroom, after getting off the wallpaper, the old wheat paste and lots of mildew, I am left with one section of the sheetrock (about 3 feet by 1 foot) without a paper top because it disintegrated with the old mildew. It is not down to the chalky wallboard, but it is also does not have the same paper top the rest of the sheetrocked walls do. I could fill it all in with "mud" but wonder if there is some kind of overlay sheeting I could use as a surface preparation prior to smoothing it up and painting.

Better to cut out and remove the damaged section, install a new piece of drywall. Then spackle, sand ,etc.

Repair of water damaged ceiling

I have a 3 by 5 foot section of ceiling that was damaged due to a leaking shower above. What is the best way to repair this ceiling? Cut out this section and replace with new material?

I am going to assume the ceiling is drywall. If the ceiling is just badly discolored, you can repaint it with a shellac based product like BIM. Or shellac it and repaint it. If the drywall is damaged, sagging or crumbly, then it should be replaced. You can cut the bad stuff away up to a joist. Remove all the bad stuff. Cut the sheetrock down the center of a joist to allow the new piece to rest on a half of the joist. Cut the new piece to fit the section you removed, and screw and tape it in... And of course in the end.. you will need to paint it to match the texture of the existing ceiling.


Painter's caulk or spackling on window corner?

I have stripped wallpaper and all layers of paint on metal windows. Chemical stripping agents and natural aging have ruined the corners between the windows and the walls/window sills. I have patched some of this with painter's caulk and other times I've used lightweight spackling. 1) generally, would I have better off with regular spackling or is lightweight spackling OK for small dents and cracks?
2) what is the best material to use for window joints (as above)? Should I have used something special for moisture resistance? (I have more to do)

The light stuff is fine for small repairs. Anything that is not too deep it will cover and hold up fine for.
For sheetrock joints and repairs, stick with the spackling compound. You will paint it, right, or cover it with wallpaper again. Water shouldn't be a problem inside the house...

Plastered Drywall Seams

The plastered drywall seams in my recreation room show quite alot, I think from lack of the proper amount of putty (forgive me I am a woman and not into this kind of stuff ... lol). Is there any way of repairing this easily ? or am I going to be buying shares in all the Wallpaper Companies ?? All the walls have already been painted and I am told that I should not have used semi-gloss paint because it shows mistakes more than anything else .. can I use flat paint over semi-gloss once I repaint the room ?? (which in my estimation will be 10 years from now ..ok seriously .. it really looks horrible .. and it's driving me nuts .. HELP me Mr. Handyman !! )

Yes, semi-gloss shows more imperfections, it reflects the light differently off of every bump. Flat paints don't reflect it so directly but diffuse it, hiding the imperfections (somewhat) Yes you can use flat over the semi--gloss. Just make sure you scuff it up lightly with sandpaper first.. and/or use a sizing solution to make it tacky. (do that even to recoat with semi-gloss) As for living with it now? It is possible to correct it.. but you drywall finisher will have to redo the joints adding more compound and spreading it so it doesn't show as much. When you say they are noticeable.. how so? bumped out or in. Of course you will have to repaint then...

Repair or replace??

I need some expert advice on a problem. We had wallpaper on most walls in our home. My husband ripped some down and it took part of the paper off the sheetrock the parts that didn't rip have an orange peel look to them. I tried doing some patch work myself but even though it looks smooth after I painted it it sticks out. My question is can these sections of sheetrock be repaired with drywall plaster by a professional or would it be better costwise to replace those areas?? I am frantic here cause our walls are looking mightily ugly!!

I vote for fixing it. Get an estimate first of course, but if the walls are sound, then a skim coat of plaster will be cheaper by far and quicker than all new walls.

Drywall repair

I need to repair two areas of drywall in my bathroom. It seems a towel rack has been replaced so many times that a 2x2 area is very soft in the drywall from being patched over so many times. I would like to repair the 2 holes and be able to reinstall a towel rack in the same area. What is the best way to go about this????

I am not a builder so there may be a slicker solution out there. I would do the following. Take a two six inch pieces of 1"by 2" wood. Coat one side of the wood with a construction adhesive, Place two or three rubberbands around the piece of wood, slide into the hole, center and slide something into the rubber bands to hold the wood firmly against the inside of the plaster wall. After everything dries, plaster the wall and use screws to attach the towel rack through the plaster into the wood.

Jim has the right idea. Check out the article on this site at the url below... That will fix the hole (pretty much how Jim described) To hold the towel rack.. either move the rack so that you can screw into a stud rather than just the wall. OR.... If you are going into the same place.. use a toggle bolt. They have wings on them that open up behind the drywall and can hold a lot of weight.



There is a wallboard repair kit that you can buy to skim coat those bad places in your wall, I would cut out those bubbles with a razor knife, but be careful because they are very sharp. You can skim coat those places also. Sand the patches, then go over the entire wall with a good primer before you paint.

Major drywall damage from wallpaper removal

HELP! I removed vinyl wallpaper from my bathroom and some of the drywall paper came off with it despite careful soaking with a chemical remover. I have purchased an enamel-based primer to cover the walls prior to painting but the area is still too "peely". One person I spoke to suggested watering down joint compound and giving the walls a skim coat. Any comments or suggestions would be most helpful as my parents are coming next week for Thanksgiving and are supposed to be using that bathroom! (Right now, it looks like a war zone.)

Try to cut away as much of the peely paper as you can and then skim coat, you may have to skimcoat a couple times, and then sand lightly before you primer, also sand between skimcoats also.


Filling and Painting wood paneling

Is there a product out there to fill the grooves and then paint over to seem like drywall?

Premixed drywall compound sand smooth or paintable caulking. If that does not get it smooth then use wallpaper liner before painting. But the other two should work fine. Also make sure you wash the paneling down with TSP or sand to remove the sheen, prime THEN PAINT. How to repair a small hole in the drywall .


Plaster is falling

We have ceiling plaster cracking and getting ready to fall in a few parts of our 1917 bungalow. No moisture or roof problems that we can find. Is this just age? I wonder if the hot weathering Chicago combined with interior air conditioning exacerbates it...? Who should I hire to repair this?

I also live in Chicago and had the same problem. My house was built in 1929. My problem was severe. I couldn't just patch it. What I had to do was hang 1/4" drywall all over the walls and ceilings. Just screw it on top of the plaster. Then I used joint compound to patch in the screw holes and tape for the joints. Sanded it down and painted it. It looks perfect now.

Replacing plaster with drywall

Complete kitchen remodel. The plaster was 3/4" and the drywall is 1/2". How do we compensate for this difference in wall depth when we put the old molding back around the doors and windows?

I had the exact same problem when I renovated my kitchen. My plaster was on strips of wood lath, which happened to be about one quarter inch thick. I took down all the wood lath and then nailed strips of the lath to the faces of all the wood studs. In effect, I used the lath to furr the studs out one quarter inch. It didn't take too long and worked fine.

I would consider gluing one inch wide by one quarter inch thick strips of wood behind and along the outside edge of the old casing .

Actually your case is easier than trying to go the other way. On any door jams or window sills, you will need to trim off 1/4 of an inch. Of course, this will mean removing them first, trimming the wood and then renailing it in.

Drywall over plaster

Bought house built in the 20's. Plaster is very bad from past water and cracks but is not structural problem. Want to drywall over it rather than repair. What thickness drywall is recommended? Do I need to hit studs with screws or is lath OK? Any other suggestions or recommendations?

You can use 3/8 for covering the walls. Finding studs would be best, but screwing it into the lath is ok.

Remember you will need to extend all door and window sills and jams.

Plastering over textured plaster/paint

All of the walls in our house are plaster. The house is 92 years old. At some time in the past cracks in the plaster was "fixed" by applying a textured surface and repainting. This is now starting to crack as well. I know how to fix the cracks, can I simply skim coat over the textured/painted surface to give a smooth wall once again, or do I need to remove the texture and paint to apply a skim coat to smooth the walls? Or (please say this isn't the answer) do I need to remove the old plaster down to the lathe and redo the entire wall?

1. We have a home that has all plaster walls as well (the "new" portions of our home are 120 years old) in doing massive amounts of asking, reading, and trial and error you should be able to do a "skim" coat of plaster to make your walls smooth again. You will want to use a chemical primer on the wall before you plaster to make your plaster stick to the wall.

2. You can just drywall over the existing plaster walls. You will have to get extension boxes and change door jams, etc., but you don't have to tear out the plaster. You might have to use shims to get the walls and ceilings plumb.



I have a finished basement, and I recently needed to remove the returns from the ceiling to gain access to the A/C dampers. The returns were attached very poorly, with screws, and I need to reattach the returns. The ceiling is drywall and very thin and is crumbling where the screw holes are. What is the best type of fastener to reattach the returns?

I think you have found that you can not screw into drywall. It doesn't hold. What you need are molleys or togglescrews. Since you holes are already there...and crumbly you say... go with the toggle screws. They insert into a hole all the way through and then expand and are tightened down giving a wide area to hold the screw from the other side.

Holes in ceiling

I recently removed some butterfly hooks from the ceiling and they left holes 1 1/2" wide. What can I do to fill these holes and then paint the ceiling?

Make sure the holes and sanded smooth with no rough edges. Pre mixed drywall compound and maybe some mesh tape so it does not crack. Fill the hole, apply the mesh, apply fill over the mesh. Once dry sand smooth, prime then repaint.

Drywall ceiling repair


Are you saying the boys were in AN ATTIC area where you have stored things between the joists? Firstly, get them out of that area if this is so as well as remove anything that is not resting on joists only. An attic area without some sort of subfloor is not somewhere you want them to walk since you have no floor. If I do not understand you right let me know. You need to put some plywood down spanning between joists in unfinished areas like this so that no one walks or falls through your ceiling. Repair from underneath by cutting a clean hole from half joist to half new drywall, tape and plaster. Or call someone in to do it for you. ALSO, think about putting in some proper flooring like a 3/4" plywood subfloor if this is the case.

Can I fix a bad tape job?

We had a contractor put in drywall in our upstairs 4 years ago. It wasn't six months later we started noticing hairline cracks, irregular horizontal ones, along many of the places where the wall meets the sloping ceiling. He said at the time he did it he was using a new kind of metal tape (?) Anyway, I've spackled and repainted those hairline cracks two times since then and I've now noticed them coming back again. It's too late to rag on the contractor. Is there anything I can do to fix this problem so the cracks won't keep coming back?

Metal tape or frankly anything metal on a sloped ceiling, which means some cold air, is reacting with the metal which is reacting with the metal tape, thereby causing condensation and the compound to crack. Place your hand on your wall and move it up to where the tape is. I would think it is colder to the touch.

Greg is right not just regular compound should have been used. You may want to try this without removing the tape. Sand it all down some. Then apply a thin layer of drywall compound but add some paintable latex acrylic caulking to the mix. Four parts compound to one part caulking. The caulking being latex based will MOVE with the variance in temperatures and it SHOULD stop the cracking.

IF after a while you see the cracks come back I would remove and replace the metal strip. ALSO, it may not be the metal tape, rather an indication that you have a bad air gap in that corner where the insulation has moved away from that area...check in your attic and add some blown in insulation into that area so it settles better around those walls.

They make a special joint compound you can use which has almost like a rubber compound in it. I had a reoccurring crack in an outside wall that seemed to only come when it got cold outside. I made a 45-degree slice approx. 1/2-inch on each side of the crack and filled it with this compound and gave it two or three coats. After I sanded it, painted it, it never far anyway. It has been 3 years now. It's worth a try!

Settling cracks in drywall ceiling corners

I live in the top floor of a 6-unit condo building. Every winter I get settling cracks in areas where the ceiling and walls meet. I repair them with caulk and retape, but new cracks appear. My attic is insulated with blown in fiberglass, and the building is approx. 18 years old, slab style.

Don't know if this will help or not? I had the same problem with an offset joint or addition in my older house. Every year the crack would reappear. I went to the local paint store and purchased a quart of (Cannot remember) some type of rubberized material. This could be painted over the crack and then covered with a 2" wide nylon mesh tape. Work it in as you would drywall tape, let it dry a couple hours, then add additional material with paintbrush. Finish as desired. Boy, I cannot remember what this was called, but it eliminated the problem. It remained flexible enough, the crack was never seen again. Sorry I can't remember the name. Anyway, hope this gives you something to go on..

Another answer:

Since the building's 18 years old.. and this is a recurring problem.. I think we can rule out the building settling. Which of course leaves.. the building moves on you. Drywall does not bend or stretch or give in any way. So.. your area of the building is either moving with the change in temperature.. or from the wind.

You can try.. not taping the joint, but finishing right up to it... leave a crack to allow the joint to move without tearing your patch each year.

Drywall Tape Peeling on ceiling of uninsulated garage

The tape is peeling in a couple of places on my garage ceiling. I can not find any water damage. The tape appears to be some type of plastic and is covered by a textured coating. The attic is not insulated above the garage, it does have louvers in the gables. We live in central Florida. The house is about 12 years old and I don't seem to have any problems in the insulated (and air-conditioned) area of the house.

What is the cause and what are my prevention and repair options?

The cause is moisture probably from humidity. You can retape the joints using an exterior grade joint compound which is water-resistant and your problems should be solved.


Removing wall to wall mirrors

I have glued on wall to wall mirrors in my dining room and want to remove them. Any suggestions?

I removed those mirror tiles once, I used a long knife, about 12" long, BE CAREFUL. Then I used a glue remover from local store, like Go Off.

I agree with the long knife theory. However, caution must be used. I was not able to remove the mirrors whole and several of the pieces broke. Also, have a plan on what to do with all that glass once removed. That will be you next problem. Usually you can skim coat the wall to a regain it original appearance.

Most often too much damage is done to the drywall anyhow when removing glued on mirrors, or tile, or whatnot...

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