Thursday, June 02, 2011

miss fix-it: how to patch a hole in your wall

Now I happen to have a lovely old 1950s home, which {lucky me}, came with plaster walls. Yipee! So making holes and un-making holes is not as easy as it is with sheetrock walls. BUT this trick works well with both, so here's some useful information:
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First, this is the putty I've been using to fill my holes. Out of all the ones I've tried {and believe me, I've tried LOTs}, it's my favorite. Plus, it's zero smell/VOCs. Good for preggo do-it-yourselfers. I also use the crap out of this multi-tool found in the paint section of my hardware store. It spackles, smooths, opens paint cans, cleans rollers, etc etc. It's brilliant really, I have two.

First things first, use the flat edge to remove any bubbles, raised edges, anything that could result in a non-smooth working surface. {Sorry I forgot to take a picture at this point but here's what came out of my giant hole:}
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Now use the flat edge of your multi-tool to fill your hole with putty, smoothing out as you go. If you're not an expert at this, just get enough in there to make it more than level with the wall, and we'll take care of the excess when we sand.
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Now here's the IMPORTANT part. Wait for it to dry. If you don't, you'll end up taking up the putty and having to start over. When you have a small hole, it won't take long, maybe a couple hours. When you have a giant crater like I did, it's best to wait to sand and paint until the next day. Here's the sanding portion. I prefer these sanding blocks because you can get a nice smooth surface when you lay it flat against the wall. There's little room for error.
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Now you're ready for paint. Paint ONLY the area that needs it. The sheen will look different from the rest of the wall, due to time and sun, so you want to keep the area as inconspicuous as possible. No need to break out a brush or a roller. I find these small foam craft brushes work great, and they're cheap, so you can toss them if you're not into washing and reusing. Try to pat on the color at first and then smooth it out so you don't have any visible edges.
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Voi La! You've just hidden an oops, or an old design element, or a furniture moving disaster. Let me know if you have any questions, and happy fixing! {In the picture, my paint hasn't dried yet, but once it does, it will be magnificent!}

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3 comments:

daisygirl said...

I HAVE to get me one of those tools!!!! I am the do-it-yourselfer too. I've never seen one of those! I'll have to look here in Canada-they don't always have everything wonderful that the States do.

tinkastinka said...

Let me know if you find one. If not I'll ship you one!!

Anonymous said...

Just yesterday I tried to patch a fairly large spot on a wall in a bathroom. It previously had a large vinyl wall letter T with scrolling around it. When taken off it pulled a layer of the sheet rock off. I puttied, dried & sanded and still when painted you could see the outline. What am I doing wrong???? When I run my hand over it after sanding it feels smooth.

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