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How To Repair Cracks In Drywall

Small cracks can be repaired easily with a little time and effort.

Tools: Lightweight drywall compound, Sandpaper coarse (80 grit) and fine (150 grit), Utility knife, putty knife, wall repair tape, scissors, brush, ladder, drop cloth.

Lay your drop cloth to protect floors and furnishings.
Check the width of your crack. A crack can only be repaired if it is wide enough to accept joint compound. Run an old credit card along the length of the crack. If the card sticks, the crack must be widened.

Scrape the crack with a utility knife to remove any loose debris. Brush out all the dust or the plaster will not stick.

Measure the length of the crack, and cut your wall repair tape a few inches larger on both ends. Apply the tape to the crack, sticky side down, and smooth it out.

Using a putty knife, apply a generous amount of the joint compound over the tape, feathering the compound out as you go. This first coat does not have to be perfect; you will be sanding out any imperfections after it dries. The first coat must dry at least 8 hours. After it has dried completely, use the coarse grit sandpaper to smooth out any large bumps. I have also used a wet washcloth to smooth it out, but it must be allowed to dry completely again before you re-mud.

Apply the second coat of compound, this time being a little more careful with the application and feathering. Allow to dry completely, and use the fine grit sandpaper to sand out imperfections.
Apply a third coat of compound, allow to dry, and sand with fine grit sandpaper. Three coats usually does it, but you may have to apply a fourth coat if you still have imperfections. If your wall has a texture to it, you can apply texture using the joint compound (watered down a bit) with a roller. An orange peel texture will need a regular paint roller, while a coarser grade texture may require a coarser roller. Experiment on cardboard until you get the texture you desire. You may sand the texture lightly if necessary.

Prime this area before you paint it, using a water base interior primer.


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