HOW DO I?: Fixing holes left by door knobs
Have you ever opened a door too hard and couldn’t grab it before it connected with the wall, resulting in a fresh new hole in the surface of the drywall?
One easy method to make this repair would be to use a drywall repair kit.
Available at home improvement stores, this simple repair kit consists of an aluminum square of various sizes, (depending on the size of the damage), with a matrix of small holes within the aluminum surface to allow the drywall compound to bond to the surface of the drywall.
One side of the patch has a coating of adhesive; just peel the paper and press the metal patchwork to the surface of the drywall centered over the hole in the wall.
Make sure the edges of the hole are clean and flush with the walls surface.
Using drywall mud, apply the compound over the metal patch with a mud knife and smooth the application to a feathered edge. This may take two or three applications to complete the repair with proper drying time between each coat of the compound.
Each coat should increase the overall size or spread of the material to lessen the possible “hump” that may be the result if the compound is not spread over a large enough area.
There are basically two types of drywall compound to choose from – pre-mixed compound in a bucket or the quick dry powdered type in a bag.
The pre-mix type is easier to use but takes longer to dry because it dries by air and temperature. The drying time can be overcome, if the area is small enough, by using a hair dryer to speed up the process.
This type of compound is available usually in 5-gallon buckets for approximately $12 but is also available in smaller-sized buckets that are designed for small repairs for approximately half the cost of the larger size.
The powdered mix is usually used by professionals due to the more complex skill level to work with it. It is available in a 5-minute, 20-minute, 45-minute and 90-minute mix.
It “dries” more from a chemical reaction than it does by air and temperature, although it can be frustrating to use when it doesn’t dry in the time indicated. This happens sometimes when humidity levels aren’t cooperative.
These bags cost approximately $20 and could be more than you need for a small repair job.
Whatever type of drywall compound you decide to use, after the final coat has thoroughly dried, it is time to sand it to a smooth finish. You will want to feather the edges so there is no ridge left from the mud knife because, if you don’t accomplish this detail, it will tell on you when you apply the finished paint.
Speaking of painting, the flat finishes touch up much easier than the finishes with any sheen to it.
Many repairs such as this can be touched up by painting only the area surrounding the repair if the original paint is a flat finish.
If your walls are coated with an egg shell or higher sheen finish, you will probably need to plan to paint the entire wall from corner to corner and floor to ceiling.
If all of this is still too overwhelming for your skill level, you can see if the size of damage can be hidden by one of the round plastic stick-on covers.
With this product, just clean the edges of the damage so that the surface is flat, allowing the adhesive on the back of the plastic disc can connect to as much wall surface as possible.
This allows the door knob to continue coming into contact with the wall surface, protected by the plastic disc, although a better solution would be to install a door stopper to the baseboard or hinge pin.
Hint: The “hinge pin” door stoppers fight against leverage created by the width of the door slab and can cause indentions in the face of the trim casing or it can even pop a hole in a hollow core door. The “baseboard” stoppers are less likely to cause damage.
You may email questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
JD Norris is the owner/operator of DreamMaker Bath&Kitchen and a certified S.C. Master Builder, certified “Aging in Place” Specialist and certified Green Professional.