If you want a really nice paint finish in your room, you have to start with clean, smooth walls. Repairing any holes is an essential part of prep work, and is actually fairly easy to do. The first thing you need to do is assess the hole - smaller holes are easier to fix. Larger holes can still be fixed with do-it-yourself methods, but require a bit more time and effort.
For small holes, such as those caused by nails, screws, or tacks, follow these steps:
- Use a putty knife to spread a small amount of spackle over the hole.
- Allow the spackle to dry, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- If the hole is not completely filled, or the spackled bit is not flush with the rest of the wall, repeat Steps 1 & 2.
- Once the hole is filled, lightly sand the area to create a smooth surface.
For larger holes, follow these steps:
- Use a utility knife to cut a square around the hole. (Thus making a bigger, but more easily repaired hole.)
- Cut a square the same size out of spare drywall. Set this piece aside.
- Using some spare wood, cut a piece that is slightly longer than the hole. Insert this into the hole, and screw it to the drywall to create a support behind the hole.
- Carefully insert the drywall square into the hole, and then screw this to the support behind it.
- Secure strips of self-adhering fiberglass drywall tape around the edges of the drywall patch, making sure that you have at least one inch above and one inch below the seam.
- Use a putty knife to spread drywall compound around the edges of the patch, covering the seams and the tape. (Get this as smooth as you can.)
- Allow to dry, according to the manufacturer's instructions, and then lightly sand the area.
- Again using the putty knife, apply drywall compound to the entire patch, completely covering the surface of the patched area.
- Allow this to dry, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Lightly sand the entire area to create a smooth painting surface.
Once any holes are repaired and you have sanded the walls as smooth as possible, it is time to prime your walls. This is more important than you may think. A good primer will help to cover any patches, and will ensure a quality paint finish.