Let’s be honest, fixing drywall is probably the least favorite DIY task you can take on. It is fragile, can be extremely messy, and a small mistake means you get to start the entire job all over again. When you are working on a ceiling, the aggravation factor is multiplied by ten because of the difficulty in positioning. Hopefully, these tips will make your next drywall ceiling repair a bit easier.
The first step is in looking at the damaged area and figuring out exactly what repairs must be done. Is it a simple leak that can be fixed and small section of the ceiling that can be cut out and replaced or are we talking major renovations. We cannot stress enough that before you do anything, make sure you find the source of the leak and fix it!
Once the leak is isolated and repaired, it is time to go to work on the ceiling. You will have to inspect and remove all damaged areas. To be safe, you should extend the area around the damaged area and remove that as well. Wet drywall will end up getting moldy, and that is a problem that can cost you thousands of dollars to repair. You are much better off replacing extra drywall now.
Try to make this a square cut if possible, it will make it easier to install the new drywall. If need be, you can extend the cut to expose the joists. You will need to screw the new drywall into these joists, so again, go bigger to make the overall repair easier. Measure the opening and cut a section of drywall to fit the area. We all know the drill, measure twice, cut once, right? It might not be a bad idea to have the drywall slightly larger than the actual hole. This way, you can trim it down once you have it up against the actual hole.
The next part is more than likely a two man job, just to be safe. Have a friend hold the new piece of drywall in place while you trim it down (if necessary) and screw it into the joist. Tighten the screws just past the surface of the drywall. When the drywall is up and secure, cover the seams with drywall tape. In addition, you should cover all of the screw holes with the tape.
You can use spackle if you prefer, but we recommend using a drywall compound. Cover the taped areas with the compound or spackle. Allow the surface to dry (let it go overnight). Before sanding, cover the area with a tarp because dust is going to fly. You will also want to wear protective face gear to prevent the dust from getting into your eyes and nasal passage. Sand down the areas. You may have to reapply some compound after the first round of sanding. If so, repeat the process above for any bare spots. That’s it, now all you have to do is clean up and paint!