Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fri with Bri: a Friday drywall repair tutorial, and a scotch pairing.

This year, Brian will be blogging on most Fridays, about his activities, musings, matrimonial experiences…and his wine, scotch, beer, and tea recommendations. This week, Brian teaches us how to repair holes in drywall, and finishes the weekend off with a fine glass of scotch. Enjoy.

This week I wanted to cover how to repair a hole in the wall… most people have them, lots of people hire someone it fix them but when you move into a new place in December, most people just want to have it fixed fast.
Now, I have to officially recommend that you hire a professional to do all repair jobs for you and we can’t in any way be held responsible for any damage or negative result that may occur through following this tutorial. There, that’s out of the way now.

another hole
I found the holes...
We of course started off by finding the holes and communicating the problem to our landlord; we asked for his permission to complete the work ourselves. When you are renting, this is a very good idea when you move in. Most times by offering to do the work you can get the landlord to cover the costs of the materials, and depending on the size of repair, you may even negotiate for a rent reduction. Sometimes it’s worth it for the landlord to ‘pay’ you a hundred bucks rather than wait weeks on end for a high-priced contractor to come in. It really depends on the repair. 
When you are looking at the holes, note for how deep they are, what the wall is made out of, and how big (wide) the holes are. All of these factors with help you to decide what materials to use. Our walls are drywall and paint and the holes were no bigger than a quarter in diameter, so we could use basic drywall compound to fill in the holes. 

scraped off paint
peeling paint scraped off
Make sure that if there is any paint chipping off around the hole, that you remove it. I used a putty knife to scrape off the flaking paint which exposed a very large area. This is an iimportant step, because you will otherwise end up with paint that continues to chip and peel, or there may be a visible line where the peeling paint is lifting. Jordan’s dad, Bill, came over to help with this process; we used a large putty knife to spread the drywall compound around and to smooth it out. 

Tip: the smoother the surface when the compound is still wet, the less sanding to do when it’s dry.

 I then had to start the sanding… ever hear the saying ‘Hindsight is 20/20’? Well, in hindsight I would have worn a mask and probably put a sheet around the area because the dust goes everywhere…. And I was spitting out dry wall dust for about a full day. After the sanding, be sure to get rid of any imperfections, ripples or bumps by running your hand along the surface to check for them. Then vacuum the floor and walls, as this helps to control the dust and makes applying the putty easier the second time. Jordan took a dry dishtowel and wiped at the repair areas to slough off as much of the dust as possible before painting. After applying any final coats of putty to any imperfect areas, sand one more time and then vacuum again when it’s dry.

Smooth putty
Once the final round of sanding is complete it is ready for paint. The nice thing about asking your landlord to cover the cost means that if they have any leftover paint they may opt to give it to you: we got to use the last of the ceiling paint that was originally used, which made painting the ceiling so much easier. This is the part of the process Jordan hates! She doesn’t enjoy painting big flat walls in single colours, preferring a canvas and free reign to create colourful images; I however love painting walls, and It was so exciting going to the paint store and having them use their computer to match the paint chip we had kept from the scraping process. 

Warning: The matched paint is not perfect, so be sure that if you do paint match, you must paint the entire wall—not just a cover up the section you repaired.

 For the bedroom, we went with a brighter colour but still in a similar tonal range. The one we chose was Bagel (which Jordan says sounds way less awesome than it's a banana pudding type of creamy yellow).  When you are painting the walls it is important to tape all the edges you don’t want painted, to paint the edges of the wall with a paint brush first, and use rollers over all of it. Oh, and move the furniture well out of the way. Be sure that you are spreading the paint evenly. If your paint doesn’t have a built in primer, really consider using a primer to reduce how many coats you need to do. We decided that a built-in primer was the best for our project as time = money, and with the built-in primer paint, we only needed two coats to get our colour right.

Tip: when you hear the roller going wub wub wub wub wub wub as you roll, it means you need more paint.

I recommend doing two coats of the paint on the wall, even if you are using a primer; it ensures that you have proper coverage and there is none of the previous colour coming through the paint. Read the paint to see how soon you can put on the next coat: if you put it on too soon, you risk actually peeling off the still-damp layer!

Once you’ve finished all your coats and they have dried for 24-48 hours, it is now time to remove the tape!!! This is my favourite part. I like trying to make a large tape ball :) The next step is to now tape off the ceiling in the same fashion, if there was any repairs done to the ceiling, and apply a coat of ceiling paint to the area. This step is also helpful for any mistakes that happen because of slipping rollers. Be sure to feather the paint out on the ceiling: it’ll help blend the paint tones together, even though it’s the exact same paint, as time does change the colour of white. Now take off the tape and add it to your tape ball from previous. 

Tip: if you make multiple tape balls keep them close or your wife might throw them at you. 

Last step is putting furniture back and cleaning up. Not only does this finish the job, but it earns you big brownie points if you do a little extra cleaning in the process. 


Now reap the rewards of a job well done! I like to pair the reward reaping with a lovely scotch. This project’s scotch pairing was Glenfiddich, 12 years old, which has a beautiful golden colour with a full oaky aroma and a hint of peat; this scotch is nice because I find it has a smooth taste with a nice sweetness and a subtle smoky finish, very good for the beginner scotch Pairs best with a happy wife and a freshly painted room.

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