How to repair wall cracks

crack along door frame

Can you repair wall plaster?

Maybe you’ve had to do some electrical or plumbing around the house that required cutting into the drywall. Then here in Texas, the houses shift with the dirt, and with shifting foundations, the drywall cracks. Sometimes a drywall professional is needed, sometimes, you may be able to do your own wall repair

There are wall repair kits available at your local hardware store or the big box home repair centers so you can do it yourself. Wall repair isn’t as difficult as you may think, it is mostly patience and taking your time. We’re going to talk about wall repair in this piece today, what it takes and some tips on how to do wall repair or what you should expect from a professional drywall contractor. 

First, let’s clarify what drywall it though. Before drywall, the walls were plastered, in the early 1900s, the drywall invented by Augustine Sackett came to America. The construction of new homes changed forever. Drywall, sometimes called sheetrock, became the material to cover ceilings and interior walls at a low cost. Even better, it became a DIY-friendly project too! Even wall repairs are easy DIY projects. 

One repair method would be to rip out the old plaster and replace it with new, tape and bed the repair. Or you can opt to do your wall repair a cheaper, easier, and faster way by following these steps:

  1. Protect floors and walls where the repair is needed using plastic drop cloths held down with painter’s tape.
  2. Drill holes into the plaster with a 3/16-inch carbide-tipped drill bit for masonry use, being careful not to drill into the wooden lath. The holes should be spaced 3 inches apart around the area  needing wall repair. 
  3.  Using a shop vac clean dust from in and around the holes you drilled. The surface needs to be clear of dirt and dust. 
  4. Spray a liquid conditioner into each of the holes you drilled. Using a clean sponge, wipe off any extra conditioner that overflows down the wall. 
  5. With a utility knife, open the caulking product tube’s nozzle and place the tube in a caulking gun. 
  6. Squeeze some of the caulking product into each of the drilled holes with one full squeeze.
  7. As soon as you have squeezed the caulk into the holes, with a drill or screwdriver, insert a plaster ring to pull the plaster tight against the wooden lath.
  8. Once the adhesive is dry, remove all the screws and plastic rings with the drill. 
  9. Using the putty knife, scrape off any raised areas of  adhesive and apply a thin coating of joint compound with the putty knife.
  10. Let the compound sit overnight to dry then lightly sand the surface.
  11. Apply a thin second coat of compound.
  12. Once the compound has dried, prime, paint and your wall repair is done!

When do you do a wall repair with spackle? 

Half the battle of a wall repair is knowing which product you need to use, and because joint compound and spackle appear to do the same thing, they often get misused. 

Spackle is for small drywall or plaster wall repairs. Spackle has a goody consistency, similar to toothpaste, made with binders and gypsum powder. It is sold in small tubs of pre-mix solution is ideal for small wall repairs like dents, dings, and nail holes. Spackle dries faster and has less shrinkage. Within 30 minutes of completed your wall repair with spackle, you can sand and paint the wall. 

What to use instead of spackle? 

When you’re installing a wall or making a major size wall repair, joint compound the right choice. Joint compound, aka drywall mud, is made from gypsum dust, a wall repair fiber reinforced compound that you can buy the dust and mix it yourself or buy it in a tub pre-mixed and ready to use. 

When contracts are doing a drywall installation, they will affix sheets of gypsum board to the frame and then tape the seams. Next comes the joint compound  and some finish work, they have a smooth surface. Because spackle comes in smaller containers and dries fast, it doesn’t work well for wall installation or large wall repairs. 

crack in wall

Can you repair wall studs?

If your wall repair needs the wall studs repaired too, it is a doable job and not as difficult as you may think. The hard part is removing the drywall to get to the stud that needs repair. Then, you’ll need to replace the drywall you remove. The following 7 steps will walk you through the process: 

  • Step One: With a drywall saw, remove the drywall from the studs. Then remove the drywall screws or nails and trim the drywall edges with a utility knife to create smooth edges on all four sides. 
  • Step Two: If there are any electrical wire or plumbing on the or through the studs, remove them Use a reciprocating saw to remove the pipes if necessary. 
  • Step Three: Cut the nails that are holding the studs to the bottom and top plates by fitting the reciprocating saw blade in the gap between the plates and studs.
  • Step Four: Remove the damaged wall studs and fit the new ones in place, cutting notches in the new studs for the plumbing pipes. Cover those openings with metal plates so the drywall screws won’t pierce the pipes. Check the new studs with a level, making sure they are plumb. Now attach them to the bottom and top plates with two and half inch screws. No reattach the electrical wires and fasten with wire staples.
  • Step Five: Cut the new drywall to fit in the area where you removed the drywall  and fasten to the studs with drywall screws. The screw head should be sunk into the drywall paper.
  • Step Six: Spread the joint compound along the drywall seams then cover with drywall tape, scraping off any excess joint compound. Allow to sit overnight and dry. 
  • Step Seven: Apply three coats of joint compound allowing each coating to dry overnight and sand before applying the next coat. Now prime and paint your wall install or wall repair. 

As you can see, wall repair and painting isn’t as difficult as it may seem. If you’ve never done this type of DIY project, get a wall repair estimate from a professional drywall contractor. Once you have that quote review this piece and search the internet for how-to-do videos. Start with a small wall repair before you try to install whole dry wall! Call 817-400-7625 today for your wall crack repair in Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX.