Drywall Crack Repair DIY


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DIY Drywall Crack Repair

Drywall crack repair is one of those jobs nobody looks forward to doing. In fact, when I posted to the wall that I was going to do the repair over the weekend, the first response I got was “Just hang a tapestry over it.” That seems to be the initial response for a lot of people out there. I am going to show you 2 methods of repairing the cracks. One any amateur can do and the other is a little more advanced, but still simpler than the alternative which is ripping out the drywall around the crack, applying mud (joint compound), priming and painting. The 2 methods I’m going to outline both can be done by a moderate DIY’er. Here is my initial crack I wanted to repair:

drywall crack repair

This crack measured over two feet in length. My initial thought was to try a simple solution that I found on Amazon called Stress Crack Tape. I actually tried it out on a less conspicuous area and I decided this method was not optimal for the size and location of the crack I am attempting to repair. This tape does look “good enough” for high out of reach areas and is as simple as placing the tape over the crack and painting it (probably wouldn’t hurt to apply two coats). Here is what my test tape area looked like and you’ll see why it is not optimal for highly visible areas.

First coat of paint.

Second coat of paint.

A second coat of paint did help and made the tape a little less visible, but I decided I would take a different approach at repairing the larger crack. Here is a list of materials needed to perform this drywall crack repair:

The first step is to clean and prep your repair area. You will need to use your Utility Knife to actually make the crack wider and maybe a little longer. The purpose for this is to relieve the pressure on the drywall and it’ll help prevent the crack from expanding in the future. This is also the perfect time to cut out a small section of paint to have color matched. Typically, stores need a 1 inch X 1 inch sample to color match.

drywall crack repair

 

Next, you apply a very thin coat of joint compound (mud) to the wall using the Joint Knife to apply the Mesh Tape so it acts as a glue. You lay down the Mesh Tape over the mud and apply more mud over the top until the Mesh Tape is completely covered (not hidden). Allow this to dry for several hours before continuing. It should be dry to the touch.

 

Then, you use your sandpaper sponge to lightly remove any large burrs and make it a little smoother. Now you apply a thicker coat of mud to conceal the Mesh Tape making sure to apply thicker over the tape and fan out about 1 foot above and 1 foot below the tape using your 10″ Taping Knife.

 

Remember, you really can’t go too thick on the mud at this point, but it is extremely important to go as thin as possible on the edges. You will allow this to dry for probably 8 hours or so; most likely overnight. The next step is the messiest. You are going to use your sanding sponge to smooth out the entire area. You will need to be sure to smooth out the edges as flat as possible and make everything as smooth as possible. This is where you’ll remove a large portion of the thickness of the mud you applied. Be careful not to go too deep and expose the Mesh Tape. If you do, you may need to apply more mud and try again later.

drywall crack repair

 

After you finish sanding, and you are happy, you will then use a sponge to wipe away the excess dust from the mud. Now you are ready to paint. Some people will say you need to apply primer before painting, but my response is that the wall has already been primed and sealed. If you use a high quality paint you should be OK, but if you are using a cheap paint you may want apply 1 coat of primer before continuing. I elected not to and I painted 2 coats over the mud. Be careful not to get paint on your floor using the drop cloth and use your paint brush to avoid the trim areas and hit the corners first with the brush. When using the paint roller be sure to fan out even further than the work area to help blend the paint and in my case I opted to apply a second coat about an hour after the initial painting.

 

Above is the finished product. I actually repaired about 6 similar cracks over the weekend, but this was the largest and most visible. This detailed of a repair is best for doing multiple jobs since it is fairly time consuming to get all the supplies out. The first method listed above using the Stress Crack Tape may be your best option if all you have is one smaller repair and then you can go back later and do the more detailed drywall crack repairs as the “Honey Do List” grows.

~Michael

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