Las Vegas Handyman repairs drywall every day. Lots of homeowners repair drywall as well, but may lack a little when it comes to matching the texture. Matching texture is not easy, but it is cheap and you can practice before you apply it to the wall.
Before you spray texture on a drywall repair, make sure the patch is good. It should be flat with no bumps. You can hold a shop light next to the patch and shine light along the wall. If the patch is not flat you will see shadows behind the uneven areas.
Once the patch is flat, use try to remove the borders of the patch. Grab a toothbrush and some warm water and use a swirling motion to minimize the border of the patch. You want to remove the drywall mud that has filled the surrounding texture.
For small patches, the aerosol cans of texture work great. Practice on a piece of cardboard or scrap material and get the spray pattern right. You can change the pressure in the can by holding it in cold or warm water. You can use the dial setting to control the size of the splatter. Practice until you have the right look. I generally start with a large sized splatter and then move to small splatter. It takes some playing with to get it looking right. Let it dry and then take one swipe with fine sandpaper in a sanding block to level the top of the texture.
Drywall texturing is one of the most challenging things in home repair. Most homeowners have the courage to patch a small hole, but putting the finishing touches on the patch can be an anxious moment.
A couple of keys to hiding a patch are getting the patch level with the surrounding area, blending in the border of the patch, and using the right paint. Fail at any one of these and your patch will be noticeable.
After you patch the drywall, tape it and float the mud out, let it dry before you flatten it. The drywall patch should be mostly flat just from the taping knife, but when it dries, you can either sand it or use a damp sponge to remove any excess drywall compound.
Now use the toothbrush. Dip the toothbrush into some water and tap off the drops on the rim of the glass. Rub the bristles of the toothbrush along the border of the drywall patch to expose some of the texture on the wall. This is original texture that you will have covered up with the joint compound. The idea here is to erase the border of the patch to minimize it. You want to get rid of the defined border and make it blend in more.
Once you have gone around the patch to blend it in, you can spray some texture on it. There are as many ways to do this as there are drywall repair professionals. For most homeowners, I would suggest the texture in a spray can. It is easy and the results are very good.
You don't have to be a drywall veteran to get good results matching drywall texture. You can go to any home center and buy texture in an aerosol can that will give you very good results, even if you have never done it before. Drywall texture that resembles the peel of an orange, hence the name, is very popular and so I will focus on that type.
Orange peel texture uses higher pressure and a smaller orifice than other texture types. When you use an aerosol can, you will have to take a few practice shots on a piece of scrap or cardboard. If the texture comes out not quite right, you can adjust the size of the orifice by turning the dial on the can, or by using a smaller straw (if you purchased that type of spray). If the pressure at the nozzle is too high, you can stick the can in cool water to lower it. Conversely, if the pressure is too low, you can stick the can is warm water to raise it. These adjustments will all affect your finished look, so play around with them until you get it right.
When you are ready to spray the texture on the wall, keep the can moving as you depress the button or trigger. You can tape a section of newspaper on the wall with a cutout of where you want the texture to fall. This will help control overspray and make for easy cleanup. Once the texture is dry, you can paint just the patched area if you have a great paint match, or more likely, the entire wall for it to blend in.
Drywall repair and drywall texture can be very frustrating. Sometimes you get a good patch, but the texture just doesn't match. Or maybe the texture looks good, but the underlying patch was poor and noticeable. Homeownership is full of these challenges.
My career of blending in damaged surfaces started when I was about 10 years old. In one of his fits of unprovoked rage, my brother chased me up the stairs with my sister's baton.
Well, I narrowly escaped by hurling myself into my room and locking the door. My brother dug in and -- reminiscent of a major leaguer -- put the baton through the cheap hollow door. My parents were due home shortly and we knew we would be in big trouble if they saw the hole.
I stuffed the hole full of newspaper and slid a piece of cardboard inside to hold it all together. A couple of pieces of masking tape finished the primitive patch. Fortunately, the color of the tape matched the door.
It was 10 years before my parents realized that the door was damaged. By that time the statute of limitations had expired and my brother and I had a good laugh. The point is that even if the patch job is excellent, you will likely notice it because you know where it is. Someone walking through the house would probably not.
I doubt there is a home repair person around that has not wrestled with the challenge of matching texture. Short of reshooting the entire wall, you will have to experiment with different techniques and mixtures to get the right look.
You first want to make sure your wall patch is dry and then sand it. Use fine sandpaper and a sanding block to level the patch. Use a swirling motion with your hand to get rid of the high spots.
You're going to see a flat patch in the middle of the textured wall. Before you start texturing the patch, feather the patch into the surrounding texture. Use warm water and either a sponge or a soft-bristled toothbrush. Dip the sponge or toothbrush into the warm water and swirl the border of the patch away (if you use a sponge, wring it out first). You want to erase the outline of the patch.
There are two main types of texture: orange peel and knockdown. Orange peel uses a thinner material, higher pressure and a smaller orifice than knockdown, which is leveled with a wide trowel to create larger flat areas. Between these options, you can get a lot of variety in the finished look.
You can buy spray texture in a can that does a pretty decent job. It sells for about $12 and claims it will cover up to 100 square feet, depending on the splatter size. For this option, I recommend the Homax brand. It comes with three straws of varying diameter to shoot different sized splatters. It's also oil-based and will dry in about 30 minutes. The downside is that it stinks and will stain carpet and clothing, so cover everything up.
You can adjust the nozzle pressure by changing the temperature of the can. If the pressure is too low, stick the can in warm water for a few minutes. If the pressure is too high, stick it in cool water.
Practice on a piece of cardboard first. You want to hold the can 1 or 2 feet from the surface and use a quick sweeping motion. Don't hold the button down for too long.
If you have knockdown texture, instead of using a trowel to flatten the texture while it is drying, wait until it has completely dried and use fine sandpaper on a sanding block to flatten it. You will have more control.
You can also try to match the texture using a sponge. Choose one that has various sized holes. Use a flat pan (like a pie pan) and mix some joint compound with water. The mixture shouldn't be too soupy or too thick. Practice on scrap before you move to the wall.
Get the sponge damp and push it gently into the mixture. Touch the wall with it and pull it off. Peeling the sponge off will give a different look. You will be left with little spikes that you will have to knockdown.
Along the same lines is to mix up some joint compound and water and use a turkey baster. This technique is good for small patches. Just don't load up the baster so much that it just squirts a big blob on the wall. The tip should have a space so that as you squeeze the baster, the rushing air picks up the texture and throws it on the wall.
Probably the most important part of the job is the paint. You can make most patches go away by repainting the entire wall and not just the patch.