DIY: How to Patch a Drywall Crack

How to repair a drywall crack

For a very long time, I avoided all drywall work.  I hate drywall.  It seemed no matter how careful I was, no matter how much I patched or sanded, my drywall patches always turned out looking horrible.  Then I discovered the secret to drywall patching (in other words, I figured out what I was doing wrong): patch in very, very thin layers.  That’s it.  And since we recently moved into an older home that had settled and had plenty of small cracks in need of patching, I put my new skill to use.

Step One: Use a utility blade to ‘cut out’ the crack- this should just be deep enough to cut through the top paper layer of drywall:

How to repair a drywall crack: step 1How to repair a drywall crack: step 1

Step Two: Use a putty knife to remove the paper layer (you can see in the second photo, my patch area expanded)

How to repair a drywall crack: step 2How to repair a drywall crack: step 2

Step Three: Using pretty wet mixed drywall compound, work a very thin layer, and scrape off any excess so little to no compound remains on the clean part of the wall.

How to repair a drywall crack: step 3

drywall compound when still wet

How to repair a drywall crack: step 3

drywall compound when dry

How to repair a drywall crack: step 3

 If you work in thin layers, you shouldn’t really do any sanding.  When the drywall compound is dry, simply use a putty knife or drywall knife to scrape off any high points and repeat step three a total of 2 or 3 times.  When it comes time to paint, do one coat on all the drywall patched areas first, and then proceed with two coats on the entire wall- this will help give the patched area more texture making it even less noticeable.

Now there is no longer a need to fear drywall patching!