Hot Topics: What If Your DIYer Has Good Intentions but No Talent?

A very badly textured drywall repair.

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A lot of people want to try their hand at a DIY project, and as long as you have the proper tools and experience to draw on, the more the merrier. But when a loved one has more ambition than skill, it can be touchy to try and put the brakes on before they get in too deep. This drywall “repair” is going off the rails. Now what? Get the Forum to intervene.

Original Post: Advice needed: Right or Wrong?

Silberxx Member

My boyfriend and I bought a house last year, and there was a wall running up the side of the stairs that seemed to be very drafty. He tore it apart, and found that the spray insulation had settled at the bottom and was no longer effective. He replaced the insulation, and attempted to fix the wall himself… and did try very hard. However, he seems to think it just needs to be sanded now and then painted. I'd like to help him finish it, as it's been a daunting task... but I have concerns over whether or not he's doing it even slightly right. His mother has questioned his methods... but he won't listen to her. Can anyone here tell me if this is right, wrong, and/or what needs to be done to fix it/finish it? (Our house has old world plaster on all of the walls downstairs... and I'm thinking perhaps that was what he was trying to duplicate. However, none of the walls upstairs do, because they're only a couple years old... so the plaster texture isn't necessarily important)

Hot Topics: What If Your DIYer Has Good Intentions but No Talent?, drywall repair

*All of this is DRY. And it is drywall mud. Pictures were taken with a phone, so not the best quality

Hot Topics: What If Your DIYer Has Good Intentions but No Talent?, drywall repair

Highlights from the Thread

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

Welcome to the forums!

I'm not sure what part of the job you are questioning but drywall joints are taped and then along with the nail/screw heads receive 2 to 3 coats of joint compound [drying between coats]. After the drywall is finished a texture can be applied if desired. It looks like he tried to apply the j/c too heavy to mimic a rough texture. I have painted a few homes that had an accent wall with texture that thick. Any cracks in his mud were caused by the j/c being applied too thick and shrinking/cracking as it dried.

I'd probably wet the wall with water and try to smooth it out some, maybe even removing some of the j/c. Regular j/c is water soluble.

mitch17 Group Moderator

Welcome to the forums.

Personally, just based on the pictures you provided, that looks like crap. What do the rest of the walls in the house look like?

Silberxx Member

The rest of the walls of the ground floor are textured with what I believe they call "old world plaster." The walls and complete upstairs are new, normal smooth drywall. I didn't want to confront him about it until I was 100% sure it was right or wrong... but I think he may have been trying to mock the texture of the ground floor's walls. I've also been informed that thick coated j/c walls do not handle high moisture well... and seeing how we are in Michigan, very close to a lake... that is also a concern I think I need to bring to light for him.

The wall in the pictures is half of the wall beside the flight of stairs to the second floor, so it's a wide area that he has covered already, but half is still uncovered. I also shudder to think how much money he has put into j/c so far with it being so thick!

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

Personally I don't care for that heavy of a texture. I don't care for the look, it's difficult to paint and it gets dirty easy. For the most part once primed and painted the j/c is protected from moisture. High humidity areas like a bath w/shower should always be painted with a latex enamel as it offers more protection from moisture than flat latex paint does.

I'm not sure what the answer is as I'm sure he is doing his best... and no man likes to be told he's wrong. Maybe you can sweet talk him into a softer texture which should be doable by wetting the j/c and smoothing it down.

mitch17 Group Moderator

FWIW, joint compound is pretty cheap so I wouldn't be worried about the cost of materials here.

Silberxx Member

Thank you! I know he's trying terribly hard. He tries to do a lot of house things as far as fixing things, but he just doesn't have the tools he needs as far as skills and experience. I'm thinking a few home depot home improvement classes are in the plans.

I believe what I may try to do is have him explain to me first what he thinks he is trying to do with the wall... and from there, I can tell him the pros and cons of the way he's doing it, and the pros and cons of getting rid of that and doing it the "normal" way... and letting him make the decision for himself. I'm willing to help him finish it either way, but I want to make sure he at least has the knowledge to make the decision before it's too late!

joecaption1 Member

Looks horrible to me too.

I would never even buy a house if it looked like that. Looks like someone was trying to skim coat the whole wall and forgot to level it out. Going to be nothing but a dust trap and look dirty all the time.

Why does it look like someone used a chain saw to cut out the old sheetrock?

Silberxx Member

I believe the chainsaw effect is because at one point, there was a laundry chute there, that has since been removed...but the boards overtop of it (I lack all technical lingo here), were never repaired or replaced... so it looks like a gaudy hole... I'm guessing a patch would fix it, or a piece of sheetrock. But I don't even know if he's planned for that part yet

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

There are a lot of members on the forums that are either pros or advanced DIYers, so all you have to do is ask. We should be able to walk you thru most any DIY repair you need to do.

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