Drywall Repair Naples, FL: How to Patch and Repair Every Type of Drywall Damage

A close-up of a putty knife being used to spread spackle across a yellow wall that is receiving drywall repairs.
If there’s one type of home repair that every homeowner has to make at some point, it’s drywall repair. Naples, FL homes’ interiors are primarily made of this material. Between doorknobs slamming against walls, dents and gashes along wall corners caused by moving bulky furniture, and tiny holes made by someone who needs to improve their dart-throwing skills, there are a myriad of reasons why you might need drywall repair in Naples, FL.

An experienced Naples handyman at Mr. Handyman serving Naples, Marco Island, and Immokalee can quickly and efficiently repair all of your damage so seamlessly that you won't even be able to tell that it was damaged in the first place. Alternatively, you can attempt to do a repair job on your own. In this comprehensive guide, we've provided all the basics you'll need to successfully complete every type of Naples drywall repair project.

Important Terminology for Drywall Repair in Naples, FL

One of the most daunting prospects of drywall repair Naples, FL property owners dread isn't the actual repair itself but the terminology surrounding it. Following instructions isn't as straightforward as it should be if you have to stop every couple of sentences from looking up a term's definition. Understanding differences between different types of materials and repair tools are also important for determining which product is right for the type of repair project you're planning in Naples. Some of these terms include:

  • Drywall: Before you roll your eyes, give us a minute to explain. You know that drywall is what makes up your walls, but do you actually know what it’s made of? It’s primarily made from a mineral called gypsum. To make drywall sheets, gypsum is mixed with water, paper, and other additives to form a thick paste. This paste is then spread across a sheet of manila paper, and then another piece of paper is placed on top. If you’ve heard terms such as Sheetrock, plasterboard, or wallboard, don’t let these confuse you. All terms refer to essentially the same product.
  • Drywall Mud: Also known as joint compound, drywall mud is a mix-it-yourself solution that is used to make large repairs and complete the installation of new walls. When you pick this product up from your local hardware store in Naples, it'll likely be a big bucket of powder composed primarily of gypsum. To turn it into mud, all you have to do is mix some powder with water.
  • Spackle: This term is sometimes used interchangeably with drywall mud, but they’re actually two very different products. Spackle comes pre-mixed in a small tub or tube and is made not just of gypsum but also binders. Unlike joint compound, spackle dries without much shrinkage due to its elasticity, and it also dries much more quickly. This product can be used on small holes, but stick to using drywall mud for all other types of repairs.
  • Plaster Walls: If you live in an older home in Naples or a home with intricate architectural features, your walls may be made of plaster. Before products like Sheetrock came onto the scene, plaster walls were used in virtually every building. A plaster wall is composed of many slats of wood—called laths—and a wet plaster that is built up over the laths. The process for repairing plaster walls is much different than drywall and, as such, will require different techniques than those you’ll see listed below.
  • Joint Tape: Used primarily in installation but also in some repairs, this product is a paper or mesh that is used to cover any seams where two pieces of Sheetrock meet. Joint tape is important for creating a smooth, seamless surface.
  • Wall Studs: Located behind drywall is the wooden frame of your home. Wall studs are vertical wood boards that provide structural integrity for your walls while also providing space for plumbing and electrical infrastructure. During installation, drywall is fastened to these studs. When doing a drywall repair for a large hole, you may come in contact with wall studs.

Tools and Supplies for Drywall Repair in Naples, FL

Now that you have some basic terminology under your belt, you are ready to pick up the required tools and materials needed for this repair project.

Essential tools and supplies you’ll need for these types of repairs include:

  • Drywall mud or spackle
  • Drywall knife or putty knife
  • Sanding block or sandpaper
  • Dust mask
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint color to cover repair job once dry

Additional tools and supplies that you may need, depending on the type of damage, include:

  • Mesh joint tape
  • Drywall panels
  • Drywall screws
  • Drywall saw
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Voltage detector
  • Furring (thin wood) strips
  • Corner beading in a material of your choice
  • Drywall repair kit

Instructions for Drywall Repair in Naples, FL

Patching Tiny Holes

The easiest drywall repairs Naples, FL homeowners can carry out without much hassle include small holes and dent patches, such as for a nail hole. It’s possible for many people to do this type of repair on their own with just a little guidance.

The first thing you'll want to do is remove any debris. Scrape any frayed paper and debris away from the hole so you're left with a clean edge. Next, grab your putty knife and squeeze a bit of spackle onto it. Holding your knife at a 45-degree angle, swipe spackle across and into the hole. If it doesn't look flush, or the hole is still pitted, pass over it again with a second swipe of your knife.

Spackle generally takes around 30 minutes to fully dry but assuming you have enough time, give it a few hours to fully cure. Once it's dry, grab your sanding block and brush over the hole and surrounding wall in a circular motion. Follow with a paint touch-up.

Patching Small Holes

Many DIY experts recommend that you use a Naples drywall repair kit to patch holes that are larger than nail holes but not much larger than a hole caused by impact with a doorknob. Patch kits come with a piece of self-adhesive mesh, which can be placed directly on your wall and over the hole. This mesh barrier provides support for drywall mud application.

Once the mesh patch has been placed, Naples homeowners can use a drywall knife to swipe their mud or mud across the entire area. For seamless coverage, apply mud in a back-and-forth crisscross pattern and decrease your pressure as you reach its edges. Once the mud is fully cured, go ahead and apply a second coat if needed. Finish with a light sanding and a fresh coat of paint.

If you prefer, you can use spackle instead of mud for a repair of this size. That being said, spackle is generally considerably more expensive than mud. If you have several repairs to do, it may be more economical to use mud for everything but small nail holes. Though mixing it up from scratch takes a little extra effort, you’ll also have more time to work with it before it begins to dry.

Patching Medium Holes

As soon as you graduate to holes larger than those left behind by nails and doorknobs, it becomes a little more tricky. At this conjecture, homeowners may wish to hire a Naples handyman to do this job for them. If you’d like to give it a shot yourself, your local experts recommend using the California Patch method.

For this drywall repair method, you’ll need an additional piece of Sheetrock. First, measure the approximate size of the hole. Then, add two inches to these measurements and cut out a square of new panels accordingly.

On the back of the drywall, draw a square one inch from its edge. Using a utility knife, score the lines and snap off the gypsum along its edges. You should be left with a square of gypsum and a paper overhang. This is your handmade patch!

Place your drywall patch against the hole and trace around the gypsum. Using a drywall saw, carve out the area of the wall around the hole and within these traced lines. Apply mud to the back of the paper and insert the patch into your wall. As in the repairs above, finish by covering the entire patch with mud and apply additional coats as needed.

Word of caution: It is strongly recommended that you use a voltage tester before cutting into your wall, as electrical wires are often affixed onto wall studs. If you don’t have a voltage tester, make sure you shut off your power to be safe.

Fixing Large Holes

For larger holes six inches or greater in size, the California Patch method doesn’t quite provide enough structural support. You’ll need to add furring strips to large hole drywall repairs for added support. Furring strips are essentially thin wood strips. Though they’re not as thick as wall studs, they perform the same function in this type of drywall repair.

To begin this repair, cut out a square or rectangular piece of drywall one or two inches larger than the hole. Unlike in the California Patch method, you don’t need a paper overhang, so no scoring is needed. Trace the patch on the wall and cut out an equal-sized area of the wall accordingly.

Place a furring strip behind the wall, about halfway behind the left and right sides of the opening. Use drywall screws to secure the furring strips to the drywall. Then, insert your patch and use more screws to secure it to the furring strips.

To cover the seams, place joint tape around the patch's edges. Complete this repair with a couple of coats of mud, followed by sanding and painting.

Repairing Corner Bead Damage

So far, all the repairs we've covered have involved flat surfaces, but what happens when the corners of your drywall need repairs? Thankfully, we have easy repair solutions for these, too.

When drywall is installed, the point at which two sheets of drywall meet at a 90-degree angle is reinforced with a corner bead. Corner beads may be made from metal, vinyl, or paper. To do this repair, you’ll need to remove the damaged corner bead and any drywall on top of it.

Using a saw, cut into the wall above and below the damage. Then, using a utility knife, connect these two horizontal cuts on either side of the corner with a vertical score. You should now be able to pry off the drywall covering the corner bead. Remove the corner bead and cut a new piece of corner bead of the same length. Apply compound to its inside and place it on the corner of the wall, then cover the surrounding area with compound too.

Unlike a flat surface, corners are very unforgiving when it comes to any errors in repair. If you do not recreate a perfectly straight corner, this repair job will stick out like a sore thumb. This is a type of drywall repair in Naples, FL, that, while you can do on your own, is best left to a professional handyman—especially if it's in a high-traffic area of your home.

Filling Cracked Corners

If you notice a crack forming along the corners of a room, don’t panic. Over time, your home in Naples begins to settle, and when it does, the point at which two pieces of drywall meet can shift, causing a crack to form from floor to ceiling. Resist the urge to patch this immediately, and instead leave it be for a few months to ensure that your home has fully settled.

Note: If a crack like this appears, it could also be a sign of serious issues with your foundation that require further investigation. This is especially true for older homes.

Before mudding:

  1. Remove and reapply new joint tape (which has undoubtedly shifted).
  2. Use a utility knife where necessary and peel all the tape off.
  3. Fill in any gaps with mud, and then reapply joint tape, making sure to crease it along its center.
  4. Cover the joint tape with more mudding on both walls.

For Seamless and Professional Drywall Repair, Naples, FL, Homeowners Can Choose Mr. Handyman!

If you lack the time or confidence to complete minor or major drywall repair on your own, contact the pros at Mr. Handyman serving Naples, Marco Island, and Immokalee. Our professional services are provided by handyman and carpentry professionals with an average of ten years of experience, so you can rest assured that your Naples drywall repair will be completed according to the highest of standards. Whether you're in Naples or nearby communities like Marco Island, our expert team has you covered with professional service for fixing all kinds of wall damage.

If you have any questions about Naples drywall repair or similar projects like ceiling repair, or would like to book an appointment, give our office a call today. Find out how we can enhance the safety and comfort of your home.