Tape, mud and finishing the drywall repair panel to blend with the wall. This project is continued from How to Repair a 2×4 Load Bearing Wall Stud – Part 2.
Drywall Repair Panel Finishing
The drywall repair panel is fastened with screws then self-stick fiberglass joint tape applied:
Before you begin, have your bucket of drywall joint compound, 12″ drywall blade and 3″ or 4″ blade ready. You need to work promptly before the thin layers of joint compound starts to dry out and can’t be worked. It’s also good idea to put a drop cloth over the carpet.
Drywall joint compound is applied to the taped seams with a 3″ putty knife to work the joint compound into the gap between the wall and repair panel. A thin coat of mud is all that’s needed:
Move quickly and apply the feather coat with the 12″ drywall blade. Keep the blade angle shallow (close to the wall) and move with a steady stroke and firm pressure, but not so hard you bow the blade inward. Remember – the less mud you put on, the less you’ll being sanding off later.
The first pass with the 12″ drywall blade. Notice the edges are feathered to near transparency. The goal is to make the wall and repair panel blend as a single flat surface with no high or low spots:
You’ll only need one or two passes per side with the 12″ blade to apply the initial coat of joint compound before the thin edges of the feather coat will be too dry to continue working. If the joint compound gets too dry to work, it’ll ball-up and leave tracks in the joint compound.
Drywall Wet Sanding
Allow the first coat of joint compound to dry for 24 hours, then wet sand with a drywall sanding sponge. Keep the sponge clean by squeezing and rinsing often in a bucket of water. Slide your hand over the surface to feel for high spots. Sand until you can’t feel any bumps or edges:
Feather the Drywall Joints
After wet sanding, allow the wall to completely dry, then apply a final very thin coat of joint compound with the 12″ blade for an ultra smooth finish:
This final feather coat should be so thin it’s almost transparent as shown here:
This side view gives an idea of the feathered edges and sanded finish. Sliding your hand across the repair shouldn’t detect any seams, high or low spots. Just like the hole was never there!
The repair almost vanishes after painting. The fresh coat of paint from the original can is slightly darker than the rest of the wall. The paint will blend in as it cures.
I later painted over that awful grayish/green wall color with Sherwin Williams 7557 Summer White paint that really brightened up the basement. Compare this newer photo of the repaired wall from the bauco rondo drywall access panel project:
Additional photos of the Summer White paint job are available in How to Finish a Basement Bedroom.
The last task was to turn off the circuit breaker, drill holes in the cross braces and reroute the NM-B 14/2 cable inside the framing to the electrical outlet. I’ve yet to install a cable staple to secure the NM-B 14/2 cable within 12 inches of the outlet box as required by the National Electrical Code:
Home Builder Load Bearing Stud Repair
Compare my repair above with how the home builder tried to fix a broken 2×4 wall stud on the opposite wall in the following photo. The builder nailed two short studs to the bottom and splice on the right side. I don’t believe this sloppy repair accomplished anything:
A large piece of the stud is missing and it’s cracked completely through:
Thanks for reading,
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