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gtabmx 08-26-2008 01:15 AM

Small problem/damage that needs repair
Hi, I'm new to the forums and needed some advice regarding a slightly damaged wall. I have a horizontal towel hanger glued to the wall at two points, i.e. each end of the bar has a mount. In some random act of misfortune, I put too much pressure on on end of the bar and the right mount ripped off the wall about halfway and took a chuck of paint with it, right down to the brown of the wall. Now it is currently hanging by the remaining intact paint (lower part). My question is how do I go about fixing this, given that I still have the paint for the wall)?

I'm guessing that plastering over top of the damaged area and waiting for everything to reattach and the paint would leave the area too vulnerable and weak since now plaster is holding it. Should I completely remove the right mount (i don't know if thats possible without ripping the left mount off too) plaster and then paint and re-glue? Or is there some other type of plaster-like product that can be used in this situation?

Thanks in advance,

slickshift 08-26-2008 05:22 AM

If I am understanding your situation correctly, your problem is that the towel bar was merely attached to the wallboard, and not some actual structure (underneath the wall) such as studs
This is unacceptable, as you or any guests have a reasonable expectation of the towel bar being more sturdy and (even regardless of that) in an emergency may be used as a grab bar
It seems you may have found this out in one way or another

The proper fix would be to remove the bar, fill the hole(s) with joint compound, and re-attach the towel bar properly (to a stud or other stronger method)

Nestor_Kelebay 08-26-2008 02:59 PM

I'd pull the other towel bar support off too, and get a towel bar that requires that you screw mounting plates to the wall and hang your towel bar supports on those mounting plates.

You'll need a stud finder to find the stud locations in the wall. Screw those mounting plates through the drywall into the studs. If you have the standard square cross section chrome plated towel bars, you can buy them in different lengths from 18 to 36 inches long, so you should have no problem getting both supports screwed firmly to studs inside your wall.

If you have children, you can also buy stainless steel bar with a square cross section that will fit into Taymor towel rod supports.

gtabmx 08-26-2008 09:26 PM

@ slickshift

You're right, they were just glued (strong clue non the less) to the painted wall. It lasted long enough but was never subject to any force other than a decorative towel hanging from it. The bar and mounts are seamless (and all one piece as a matter of fact) all around so unless there was a way to use a stud without touching the front, I wouldn't be able to do it as the bar is part of a matching set and must be modded to use a stud mount. Thanks for the tip on the joint compound.

@ Nestor_Kelebay

If it was up to me I would get mounts that had studs but the towel rod is part of a set used in the entire bathroom.

So because its all one piece it will be difficult to work on one end without ripping off the other mounting end, hence possibly ruining the paint surrounding the left mount as well. Do you think sanding down the paint attached to the right mount and around the ripped area on the wall so everything slopes into the wall slightly, and then using joint compound to fill in the bare areas and over the sloped parts thereby making everything flush again, is a good idea? I'd love to make the bar sturdier but I don't think it can be done without some heavy modding and the removal of the left mount as well. Lets just say that the in this bathroom the main goal is aesthetics and ensuring the paint job is seamless, although I'd much prefer a functional and safe bathroom.

Thanks again guys,

Nestor_Kelebay 08-26-2008 11:13 PM

If you feel compelled to continue using the same towel bar, I'd be most inclined to strengthen the area you will be sticking the rod support to.

I'd paint the brown paper where the drywall paper has been pulled off with white wood glue diluted with enough water to make into a paintable consistancy. Paint that on the brown paper and wait for it to dry.

If the area where the drywall paper has been removed is smaller than six inches square, then I'd just apply joint compound over it, but I'd have thinned that joint compound with the glue solution you painted onto the wall in the previous step to make it easier to spread and dry harder and stronger.

If the area is larger than six inches square, I'd be inclined to strengthen the surface of the drywall there by applying strips of self adhesive fiberglass mesh drywall tape. Apply one layer of tape in one direction, then a second layer perpendicular to the first. Paint with diluted white wood glue after each layer of tape. As the glue dries, it'll bond the tape to the substrate, thereby replacing the strength lost with the missing paper.

Apply joint compound thinned with diluted white wood glue over the mesh tape. Allow time for the joint compound to dry.

Scrape the joint compound smooth with a sharp paint scraper while holding a bright light close to the wall you're repairing to exagerate the roughness of the repair. Apply more compound where needed to make the repair smoother, allow to dry and sand smooth this time. Do not sand into the fiberglass mesh because that will damage the mesh and compromise the strength of the repair.

Once the wall surface looks "OK" under critical lighting, it'll look perfect under normal lighting.

Prime and paint.

gtabmx 08-27-2008 12:22 AM

Wow, that was very informative and much appreciated. The area is less than 6 square inches so I'll follow your instructions appropriately. Thanks for the diluting, thinning, and lighting tips; really helpful. I think that would be the best solution and sounds pretty solid. I'll see if I can take a before, during and after picture to see how you instructions played out and to help out future people who may run into a similar situation, although I hope no one has to have that happen to them. Again much thanks to you and slickshift; I'll reply back with the results tomorow, if not, the day after.


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