Replacing the drywall
Photo 1: No power saws for this step
Probe with a nail to find the framing on either side of the breakout. Mark the cut between the framing, then make those two cuts until you hit the framing. Then cut alongside the framing at the sides.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 2: Patch the hole
Screw 3/4-in.-thick cleats to the sides of the trusses and replace or repair the vapor barrier. Then patch in a fresh piece of drywall.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 3: Reapply texture
Wet the texture on the edges of your patch and allow it to soak in for several minutes before you scrape. Tape the joints and then reapply texture.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
We’re not going to ask how you managed to step through your living room ceiling. But we can tell you that pros fix that mistake quite often, charging several hundred dollars to patch the hole and retexture it. But you can do the job yourself for a lot less. You’ll have to paint the entire ceiling afterward, and even then the patched area won’t match perfectly; even a pro can’t achieve that. Perfection calls for scraping off and retexturing the entire ceiling after the patch is complete.
You’ll only need a small piece of drywall and a couple of scraps of any 3/4-in.-thick wood or plywood, plus standard taping supplies and materials. And you’ll need to rent a texture gun. But first, scrape off a small sample of your texture material and find a match for it at a home center. If it doesn’t carry it, try a local drywall supplier.
Start by cutting out the damaged area (Photo 1). Avoid cutting the vapor barrier, or reseal it with red moisture barrier tape if you do. Screw backer boards above the unsupported drywall ends of the enlarged hole and install the new patch (Photo 2).
Mist water over the surrounding ceiling texture in an area about 24 in. out from the patch to soften it so you can scrape it off to prep for the taping work (Photo 3). Then tape, mud and skim-coat the entire patch. Sand it smooth and you’re ready to spray.
Rent a professional spray texture gun and practice on scrap drywall or cardboard. Apply a light coat of texture and add more in stages until you get a match. Lightly blend it into the existing texture.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- Cordless drill
- Drywall sander
- Drywall saw
- Dust mask
- Mud pan
- Safety glasses
- Taping knife
- Utility knife
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
- Drywall compound
- Drywall screws
- Drywall tape
- Spray texture