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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am about to take on my first drywall ceiling repair project. Due to some water leakage over the years, a section of my ceiling has softened and deteriorated (see photo).

I have since repaired what was causing the leak upstairs and I will be cutting out that section of ceiling.

After watching several YouTube videos, I am confident that I can complete this project. I will be buying a 2ft by 2ft drywall patching panel to repair the ceiling but I am having a bit of difficulty determining what depth to get. I cut a small piece of my ceiling to measure the depth of drywall. I know the actual drywall is from paper to paper, but there is also that layer of (I am assuming) joint compound/paint/plaster. If i measure just the drywall portion it is 1/2 inch, if i measure the whole piece including the layer on top, it is closer to 5/8 inch (see photo).

Which depth should I get for the repair? Common sense tells me to get 1/2 inch and after joint compound and paint are applied, it should theoretically even out with rest of the ceiling. But I am not sure so I welcome any expertise.


Thanks!
 

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Hi, looks like you cut into a joint and the compound would be a bit thicker, go with the 1/2鈥, try to locate the ceiling joists so that you can securely mount the drywall, not necessarily 2鈥橷2鈥, also before you tape the joints, try and cut back the paper a bit on the drywall so that the tape will fit flush, apply the compound, tape, and go over with a wide blade putty knife or equivalent, you will probably need more than one coat.
Geo
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info, that makes sense.

also, is it possible that that layer of plaster/compound/paint could be spread around the whole ceiling? I cut another hole closer to the damaged area and the layer still seems to be there. I guess i just want to be sure that it is definitely drywall and not something like plaster on gypsum lath - Not sure, Is there a big difference? - I'm learning... haha
 

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retired painter
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It almost looks like drywall with a plaster veneer. It's better to for the patch piece to be shy and build it out than have a piece that is too thick. You can either shim it to fit or add a setting compound over it to make it flush.
 

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You're cutting out a piece at the joint, which is where the joint compound is added, and specifically in the middle of the joint where the compound will be thickest. So you have 1/2" drywall. Follow the correct videos for drywall work and you'll be good. I recommend using FibaFuse tape, rather than paper or standard mesh tape.
 

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also, is it possible that that layer of plaster/compound/paint could be spread around the whole ceiling? I cut another hole closer to the damaged area and the layer still seems to be there. I guess i just want to be sure that it is definitely drywall and not something like plaster on gypsum lath - Not sure, Is there a big difference? - I'm learning... haha

Plaster is quite a bit harder usually. When you do a drywall joint, it can spread about 20" in total, tapering down as you move away from the joint. If it's 1/8" thick at the joint, it will be about 1/16" 10" away.


In any case, it doesn't matter. You're going to be using joint compound to feather out this patch to make it look smooth and flat. It's an illusion - technically they can never be perfectly flat.
 
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