Eliminate drywall repair clean up by controlling the mess Part One

14 Mar

I have some bad news for you. Doing a perfect drywall repair where there is no indication of the former damage can get you in real trouble. The look on your wife’s face could range from sad resignation to hatred, if the work area and beyond is covered in drywall dust. If you want to be a real hero and get all those sexy hero points you are going to have to do the clean up yourself.  The good news is that I can tell you how to eliminate the clean up. 

We have all heard the saying “you can pay me now, or you can pay me later”. That’s the deal with doing not only drywall repair projects, but all projects. The secret weapon is painters plastic. I am going to tell you how to catch all the dust and debris from your project by spending 2-10 minutes using some very easy methods to erect plastic drop cloths and dust barriers.  When you are done all the dust and mess will be sitting on the plastic waiting to be rolled up and tossed out. Under your plastic will be a clean surface just like before you started. You can either make a big mess and then clean up the mess. Or you can quickly put down a plastic barrier to catch the mess. The plastic barrier for most drywall repairs is just light weight painters plastic. If you are like me, you will soon find yourself tagging plastic on the garage floor before you start a project or bring the car in for a repair.  A blue tarp on the lawn before digging a hole leaves no dirt in the grass. The applications are endless. I shouldn’t admit this, but  have a roll of wide Kitchen plastic wrap I run down the counter when I cook. I just leave my meat scraps, egg shells etc at one end and roll the plastic up when I am finished so I don’t have to wipe the counter.

My go to method for a basic wall repair is one I call  the waterfall. It takes less than three minutes to install and catches all the dust before it can get to the floor.  If I am working on a wall I run a strip of 2″ wide masking tape across the wall 2-3 feet below the repair. I run it out 3 feet on each side of the repair if nothing is in the way. I cut the plastic long enough that it will come down the wall to the floor and cover the floor 3 or 4 feet. I lift up the lower edge of the tape on the wall and tape the plastic to the wall  and tag the other end to the floor. Keep it loose or it will pull off when you walk on it. Now Any dust, scraps or mud blobs have to end up on the plastic. There is no seam at the floor, so nothing escapes.

Next time I am going to show you how to erect a quick inexpensive dust barrier to take your dust control to the next level, which you can use for a ceiling repair.  After that I am going to show you how to cut a perfect fitting patch in less time than it takes to cut a poorly fitting patch. 

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Drywall Repair Tips and Tricks

14 Mar

My goal on this blog is to pass on 35 years of  tips and tricks and skill to help you to repair drywall  with the knowledge of a person who has been doing it professionally for 15 years.  I know what you are thinking. You have seen lots of articles on drywall repair. I have read many articles myself.  If I repaired drywall the way most of those articles tell me to, I would not have a business.  My goal is to give you the information you need to make the drywall damage in your home go away.  Along the way I hope to hear from others who are willing to share their knowledge.  Soon you will be breezing through your drywall repairs and moving on to your hobbies instead of your to do list.  I may be a great drywall patch man, but I am not yet a great blogger. I will be reading other sites about blogging and getting better all the time. One day, I hope to back up and remove the admission of my lack of blogging experience. Not today though. Lets talk drywall repair.

Today I had a couple of interesting estimates that allow me to pass on a couple of excellent tips to help you save time and create equity.  One was a two bedroom apartment in a nice building in Spokane that was vacant. The owner wants to install a new texture on the ceilings and walls of the whole unit. I knew these were pretty smart owners because adding new texture to the walls and ceiling can make a unit look like new. Combined with new carpet and paint the transformation is amazing and a good bang for the buck.  On the other side of the coin. New carpet, doors and trim with a paint job will fall short of the new look you were after if the same old blemished walls are still there. Don’t overlook refinishing the walls and ceiling if they need it. It is amazing how may people spend thousands on new cabinets, counter tops etc. and then refuse to refinish the ugly drywall. This is a big mistake and your return on equity for the project will take a big hit. On the other hand if you put a nice even new texture over the drywall to cover up the old nicks,  scratches, poor texture and visible repairs the whole room will look much better for a relatively small investment.

The other estimate was a ceiling and wall in an older home that needed a little work after getting new cabinets. The bad news was that the new cabinets had been installed already and there was only 4″ of clearance at the top in some places. The other challenge was the home is an old plaster home and has a large sand texture from the original plaster job. These are tricky to match, but it can be done. This presents a tough spot for the homeowner. If  the work is done properly it will not show and the ceiling will look like it was not damaged, thus maintaining the equity. If the work is done poorly it will show and the ceiling will look bad and lower the value of the home, working against the increase the owners were hoping to add to their equity with the new counter tops and cabinets.  The price of this repair has been doubled because the work was not done when the cabinets were not in the way.  One of the best time and money saving tips I could ever disclose is the importance of doing the work on a project in the right order. Doing the work in the right order is imperative if you want the best quality work done in the least amount of time. This is a good subject for a future blog. Too large to begin on my first day of blogging. Stay tuned, more to come.