Asked on Jan 27, 2012

Smoothing out sheetrock repairs

Ernestine BDan's of Central Florida, Inc.A. M.


We've had our house for about 27 years. When we bought it, I took a spackle knife and "smoothed" out tiny dings in the hallway sheetrock. Later we installed new windows and as a result the light shines down the hall. This is very nice but it highlights all of the faint bumps. All these years later, is there any way I can smooth those out without making things worse? They are driving me nuts!
7 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 27, 2012

    Anna. I'm assuming this wall is not textured And is a basic smooth drywall finish? Raking light, light at an angle nearly parallel to the wall ( what you have now with your new windows) will show flaws very easily as you have pointed out. To make drywall look good in this light you will need to skim it again and feather the edges of the repair...the more distant this feathering is the better it will look. Flat paints also hide better than eggshell or semi-gloss. I have done some repairs in this context where the repair will fan out a foot or more. Poorly built walls can also show full floor to ceiling bumps. These are even harder to hide. The trick is to work with multiple thin coats and evaluate your progress as you go...sanding and skimming when dry to get all the imperfections out....then prime and paint

  • KMS has it right on here. You will need to reskim the areas. The goal is to make feather out the bump larger (as opposed to higher) so that it tricks the eye to a point where you no longer see it.

  • 3po3
    on Jan 28, 2012

    DIY rookie drywall work can be really frustrating. I have had many walls where I worked all afternoon to make it perfect, only to see a glaring flaw the next morning. I would suggest hiring a pro to come touch this up. They shouldn't charge much for such a small job, and it would save you a lot of headaches.

  • This is exactly why new home builders use flat white paint on everything. Even those guys do lousy work. I just love when I did home inspections on new houses and shined my light against the wall. It showed up every little detail. You can take a electrical sander and lightly sand over the high spots. Your not trying to remove them but to break them down just a bit. Then with some spackle you will put another very thin coat over the area. You in effect are just going to "fill in" around the spot where you sanded. You should when your done end up with the spot showing just a bit with spackle surrounding it. There should be almost nothing there when your done. Then you need to wait for several hours for this to dry. Then do another coat of spackle but cover the spot in the center and go out a few more inches on all sides. Once again let dry then lightly sand using fine sandpaper. Then clean with damp rag and prime area. Use a flashlight and shine against wall to look for any imperfections. If need be, you can simply spackle over again. Once you get the hang of it, its not really hard. It just takes a few very thin coats to hide. Also the paint texture will also make these repairs stand out if your just spot painting. Once your done with all the dents and dings. Prime the entire wall area with a good quality primer using a slightly thicker nap roller. This will leave a bit of a texture although smooth on the wall. Then use your color coat with the roller that is needed for the paint your applying.

  • A. M.
    on Jan 29, 2012

    Wow, thanks. That's about what I would have guessed I'd have to do. Can't wait to fix it once and for all.

  • Good luck Anna, let us know how it goes!

  • Ernestine B
    on Feb 11, 2012

    I thank everyone for answering my question in such detail.

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