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Scotch99 08-21-2011 08:09 PM

Is tape necessary to repair holes in drywall (in garage)?
DH and I are newbies to drywall repair and are not handy in general; we usually hire someone to fix things that folks in this chatroom routinely do themselves. But I'd like to save some money right now, so I'd appreciate any help.

We have a ~ 30 year old house. The 2 garage has high ceilings -- probably ~ 16 feet+? -- and the drywall was never finished with paint. It looks terrible because of the exposed strips of drywall tape and dried compound. I'd like to paint the entire garage ourselves (but DH is happy to hire someone to do this). I understand we can just prime and paint directly on the drywall (without mudding it first), so that is the plan. One of the first tasks is to patch the holes that were created when we removed some of the wall shelves they left behind.

I went to Home Depot today to buy the necessary tools and asked someone to walk me through the steps. (I didn't research online beforehand.) I was surprised that the HD guy told me I need to use paper tape to cover the holes after applying the first layer of joint compound (and then I need to apply the compound over it later). The reason I was surprised is that the former owners had patched hundreds of holes in the garage without using any drywall tape -- I can see the round holes showing under the strips dried drywall compound. And I'm not exaggerating when I say "hundreds of holes." The former owners appeared to have had wall to wall shelving as well as ceiling shelving; the drywall has strips of dried drywall compound covering holes that go vertically from ceiling to floor roughly every 12" and each of these columns repeat itself roughly every 16" from one end of the wall to the other on all 3 usable walls. The ceiling looks similar -- columns of patches holes from one edge the ceiling to the other.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that I may need to tape all of those strips of patched holes before I paint, and the task feels overwhelming. (I don't even have a ladder that would allow me to do that for the ceiling.) Do I really need to tape over the existing strips of patched holes and add another layer of joint compound over them? Or can I just fix the dozens of holes we're creating (from the removal of shelving), and then start painting?

oh'mike 08-21-2011 08:17 PM

Holes bigger than your fist need tape---smaller ones do not--although the mud may shrink and need a second coat.

m1951mm 08-22-2011 07:02 AM

When you say you are seeing floor to ceiling holes patched every 16" or so, what you are seeing is the joint compound covering the nails and or screws that were used to hang the drywall. They really are not holes. The studs are behind those nails:). (That is just an FYI for you if you plan to add any shelves or tool holders etc, the studs is where you would want to screw into for good support) In my garage I marked on the concrete floor next to the walls where the studs were for future reference. Made it easier than using a stud finder.

Hope this helps some.

Scotch99 08-22-2011 12:38 PM

Thanks for the replies. I felt a big sigh of relief that I won't have to tape over all those strips. I'm sure those are all patches of nail/screw holes. I guess I'll save my drywall tape for that chunk of missing drywall area where the former owners cut out to install an electronic exterior cat door (and neglected to replace the drywall in the surrounding area). I'm not ready to tackle that project yet; I figure I'll need to do more research to figure out how to cut and install missing drywall in that awkward area.

m1951mm: thanks for the suggestion re marking the concrete. That would come in super handy after we paint because we do plan to install our own shelving system.

m1951mm 08-22-2011 01:08 PM

Replacing a piece of missing drywall is not that hard. If you have the studs exposed on either side of the opening, cut a new piece of drywall to size and nail (I prefer to use drywall screws 1 1/4" long) into the studs (hoping that you have about 1" to 3/4 of an inch of wood showing), to span the hole. You just need to make sure you have wood on atleast two sides showing to attach the new drywall to. I tend to add what is called a nailer at the top edge of the new piece. You can cut a piece of wood, be it 3/4" plywood, a scrap of 2 x 4, anything that is wide enough to get behind the old drywall and screw to (make sure to screw the old drywall to the nailer as well as the new piece) (you want atleast 1 1/2" of wood showing so you do not have to screw the very edge of the drywall, maybe about 1" in is the distance from the edge of the old drywall, and leave enough wood below the old drywall for the new piece to be screwed into.) The nailer is not necessary but it will help the new joint between the two pieces of drywall to act as one. Less possibility of a crack coming back to haunt you. Once that is done that is where your tape comes into play. First smear some joint compound on the perimeter of the new drywall, including getting some on the old, place the tape so the center of the tape is spanning both sides of the patch and then using a 6" drywall knife, smooth the tape into the compound, flattening it out. Let that dry and then smooth another layer of compound over the taped area. In a garage I would not worry about sanding smooth unless you want perfect walls. Once the second coat is dry and looks smooth enough to you it is ready for paint.

When you are ready to do that drywall patch, send pics of the hole and you might get better information. I know I threw out lots of info and it can be confusing. Drywall patching is really pretty easy!!!!!

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