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How to: minor home repairs

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Have a small hole in a wall that needs patched up? It is easy to do it yourself with these easy guidelines.

  1. Size up the hole. Spackle repairs holes up to about the size of a hand and any hole larger than the size of a fist will require a different technique.
  2. Choose a good spackle. One way to classify spackle is by weight: bigger holes will require heavier spackle.
  3. Trim up the hole with a utility knife. Don’t make the hole any bigger than you have to, but do make sure to remove any crumbling or unsupported wallboard gypsum.
  4. Choose an appropriately sized spackle knife. The knife should be slightly larger than the hole. If you are unsure, go with a larger one.
  5. Stir the spackle, especially if you are using a previously opened spackle tub.
  6. Press the loaded side of the spackling tool into the wall about a half-inch above the hole.
  7. Press hard, and using a smooth stroke pull the knife down over the hole. Usually, pulling over the hole at a slight angle works best.
  8. If the spackle begins to sag, leave this coat to dry in the current state and come back later for a second coat. It is better to give a hole several thinner coats than one thick one.
  9. If needed, apply a second coat only after the spackle is fully dry.
  10. Make the spackle as flush as possible, but remember that spackle shrinks. Do not be afraid to leave a slight mound (perhaps an eighth of a inch) above the hole.
  11. Smooth the spackle down with very fine grade sandpaper or use a damp sponge to smooth out the surface until it is flush with the wall.

Small holes do not need primer, but larger holes should be primed to seal the spackle and prevent it from absorbing too much of your top coat paint

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