Drywall Ceiling Repair
The repair of drywall on the ceiling areas of the room present special challenges.
Mounted on the vertical, there has to be a different approach. The repair may call for drywall extension tabs - props from
floor to ceiling - for temporary holds, and plastic rolls to provide for floor protection.
To get briefed see repairs
for the tools needed and ceiling corners
if these are involved.
Step 1 )
Determine how extensive and the cause of the damage. Also if the cause of this damage has been solved.
If water damage existed, check the attic space, taking extreme caution when walking the chords
of the truss braces. If possible, wait for rain or test with water outside following any roof
fix, to avoid yet another ceiling repair.
While in the attic, clear away loose insulation that is to be returned to normal following the patch
(any detection of mold or mildew should be addressed by a pro and goes beyond the scope of this article).
Once open, if feasible, take a utility knife equipped with a new blade (gypsum has a tendency to dull blades quick)
and do the cutout halfways onto the truss-width to bridge the new repair. Clarify the adjoining drywall by making repeated scores
with the knife along a straight-edge line. Note that making a cutout per desired dimension first, and using this for a template
that is traced on the ceiling, is almost always the best method for shaping cut to cut-out. You may however need to rasp the edges
for a straightness after cutting.
Upon forming a clean square shape, mount wood backers in areas lacking support,
1 x 3's screwed to the drywall commonly do the job.
While still there, scrape with a putty knife an area of about 1" from any existing texture,
such as stomped or popcorn texture (assuming the texturing material does not contain asbestos).
Clean this surface smooth and without tearing through the drywall membrane.
Step 2 )
Place and secure the cutout in the opening, fastening with drywall screws, not nails.
For single person operations or to reduce stress, drywall extension tabs may temporarily hold
the repair board while securing. Secure the loose board with screws and too the existing
cutaway section around any bracing.
Step 3 )
Optional - for especially older surfaces, smooth the drywall and apply a high grade drywall
sealer on the top surfaces for enhanced bonding/resulting in less absorption by paper and medium.
Step 4 )
Bed the mesh or paper tape with a 3" knife, cleaning the knife on the blade trough
or hawk as you go. Remember that particles are readily attracted from ceiling textured surfaces.
Step 5 )
Give sufficient dry time and lightly sand to remove any obstructions or roughness.
Skim coat with mud that is mixed to the desired consistency.
Step 6 )
Skim again if necessary, and float out any uneveness. Realize that repairs over areas
that are not level, become most obvious across the plane of a light-cast ceiling. Perform a final
Step 7 )
Optional - seal with drywall sealer on areas of questionable adhesion. Then, texture
Step 8 )
Typical stomp - on a test board, mix mud to thin consistency to form a backdrop that matches
that of the ceiling, erroring on the side of thinness. Next, roll on with a thick nap roller and continue
by testing the stomp with various brushes. The bristle head may need to be worn in or soaked in a pail of
water before application.
Ordinarily, though this cannot always be done, the closest match achievable for an existing stomp ceiling is the
situation where there is an unpainted ceiling surface.
Other textures to match, like popcorn from a hopper/spray rig should first be tested on a spare wallboard.