How to Repair Drywall Cracks

cracked drywall

As a home or building settles, imperfections may develop in the drywall. With this easy guide, learn the latest techniques to repair drywall cracks. The only materials you will need to repair drywall cracks and even small holes are drywall (joint) compound, mesh tape, a putty knife, sandpaper and a sharp utility knife (drywall screws are optional).

To repair drywall cracks, follow these fast, simple steps:

Step 1

Use the utility knife to remove any loose drywall material.

Step 2

Carefully create a small indentation so that once applied, the mesh tape will be flush with the surrounding drywall. To do this, cut a narrow groove on either side of the crack with a sharp utility knife.

Step 3

A crack generally occurs because the drywall is moving and may need additional support. To be sure your drywall crack repair is permanent, secure the drywall. Insert drywall screws on both sides of the crack and along the entire crack. Be sure to screw into the wood behind the drywall. Countersink the head slightly but do not break through the paper layer.

Step 4

Using mesh tape designed for drywall repair, cover the crack and heads of the screws. Note: Some experts recommend hot mud (also called "quick set" or "fast set" joint compound) instead of drywall compound when using mesh tape. The powder is mixed with water and dries very quickly -- 5-90 minutes, depending on the product. It actually dries too fast for the liking of some do-it-yourselfers, who prefer ready-mixed joint compound to repair drywall cracks and holes.

Step 5

Apply a thin layer of drywall compound and allow it to dry. Repeat until the drywall compound is slightly more raised than the wall. Once the drywall compound is dry, sand the area to make it flush with the existing wall. Brush away any dust or residue.

Step 6

Coat with primer. After the primer has dried, apply paint to match the existing wall color.

Drywall tape may occasionally loosen due to the passage of time, roof leaks roof or excess moisture in the building. Repair loose tape over joints in the same manner that you repair drywall cracks. The only difference is that any loose tape needs to be carefully cut away with a sharp utility knife.

Follow these easy steps to repair drywall cracks, holes and loose tape, thereby keeping your walls looking fresh. Maintaining the drywall will also maintain the value of your property. Don't have time to do it yourself? Hire a professional.

Updated May 6, 2018.

Get Free Quotes

Looking for a Pro? Call us at (866) 441-6648





Get Free Quotes
  • Service Needed
  • Zip Code
Get quotes from qualified local contractors