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If you live in a house, dents are bound to happen. They just can’t be avoided no matter how careful you are. All it takes is one heavy piece of furniture moved at a slightly wrong and wham! your wall now has as much character as The Godfather movie series.
Aside from catching too much attention, dents in the wall are often sites that enjoy attracting germs. Some holes in the wall can be an inlet for insects, and that’s especially true for older buildings. If you see a dent in your wall, it’s best you fix it as soon as possible.’
Use an Easy Fix Applicator
A quick fix with a handheld applicator bottle. It makes it easy for you walk around your home, filling in any visible holes and dents in the wall. This will also help with drywall cracks and cracks in plaster. Just grab it and fill in all the small dents.
For more step by step guides to larger dents, check out the section below.
Now, if you’re concerned that it’s too large a project to undertake on your own, it couldn’t further from the truth. In fact, patching up dents is definitely one of the easier home fixes you could be doing.
Nonetheless, if you happen to want to know how to fix a dent in the wall, you’re exactly where you need to be. Read on for a quick set of tips and best practices when working towards drywall fixes for your dents.
How To Fix A Dent In The Wall – 7 Steps
As you’re probably aware now, fixing the dents in your wall is beyond just aesthetic ventures. However, that doesn’t mean you want a shoddy, patchwork job when you do get to fixing them. Fixing a dent in the wall might not be incredibly difficult, but there is some detail to it — particularly when you want a clean finish.
Here is a basic, but extremely effective, protocol that will definitely get you through your project smoothly, especially if you’re a novice:
1. Make Sure You’ve Got a Dent
This might sound silly. Surely you made sure you had a dent before you Googled something along the lines of “how to fix a dent in the wall”? But the point of this step is not to question your eyesight, but rather your capacity to identify the different types of blemishes you might come across in your own home. Whether you have a scratch, a hole, or an actual dent makes a whole lot of difference in what needs to be done and how long it will take.
A neat trick to figuring out if you have a dent or not is the “Goldilocks” rule. Essentially, if the blemish is highly superficial and you don’t see a major depth difference between the damaged and non-damaged areas, you’re working with a scratch. On the other hand, if you can see through your wall, you’ve got a hole to be worrying about.
A dent is when you have a non-hollow cavity that is of medium width and depth. Again, this might feel silly, relearning basic concepts like ‘scratches,’ ‘holes,’ and ‘dents,’ but it’s important because the repair procedure changes drastically based on what you’re working with. This particular procedure works best for dents or deep scratches.
2. Prep the Surrounding Area
Now that you’re absolutely sure that you do indeed have a dent to fix, it’s time to get all the furniture out of the way to prevent them from getting dented, and line the floor near the damaged area with a drop cloth or newspaper.
As for the dent itself, get it ready by washing it with a quick round of soap and water, and then let it dry fully before you start any major work on it. This is primarily to get any dust or wall crumble, that would have hindered the patching-up process, entirely out of the way.
3. Sand Down the Damaged Area
To ensure the smoothest finish, score at the dent gently to create a crevice slightly greater than the original damage. Sand the edges of the cut-away sections so as to make a better, smoother surface for the primers and drywall putty to level with.
Make sure you don’t sand away the groves you created from scoring inside the dent as these are what allow the putty to settle into the dent more firmly.
Now it’s time for the actual heavy work. Spread a thin layer of waterproof primer along your scored and sanded dent with a paintbrush to fully seal in that portion of the drywall. A paintbrush is the best means of application as it results in the most even coating, but an old toothbrush can also be substituted if you’ve got a particularly steady hand.
If you chose to do so, just make sure all your strokes are parallel and involve the toothbrush going along a horizontal axis. The moment you chose to get adventurous with your toothbrush strokes, you can rest assured that your primer coat will be uneven.
Once the primer is completely dried, the dent’s ready for the drywall putty (or if you want to use fancy jargon, the joint compound). To start, take a liberal amount of the mixture onto a putty knife and directly apply it to the dent. Even out the putty using the knife until it’s taken up all the space in the dent and extends the surface plane of your non-damaged drywall.
What you want to look out for when spreading the putty is air bubbles getting trapped beneath the surface of a ‘uniform’ spread. Because putty is so thick, if you try to spread it very lightly, only the upper surface will actually spread giving you the illusion that you’ve filled out the dent when in fact you have not.
One way to overcome this is to blob on more putty than the dent can hold so that you can be sure that you’ve filled every nook and cranny of the dent before you’ve even begun the spreading process. If you’re worried about the spillage, any excess can just easily be scraped off during the leveling process.
5. Sand Down Once More
Once you’ve satisfied with the final finish of your putty, wait at least 24 hours for it to fully dry before you come back to do any more work. This is extremely important as you don’t want to disturb the main drywall element while it’s in the middle of settling into place. After the putty is fully dry, and you’ve made sure that it’s firmly settled, sand down over the dried putty to smoothen it into place with the rest of the wall.
6. Make It Pretty
When the putty is in place and smoothed out, all that’s left is to make things like they were before a dent got on your wall. If you have some leftover paint from when you first painted the wall in question, great! You just need to recoat your wall and wait for a day or two before your dent is more or less history.
If you’ve run out or are simply bored of your current color scheme, a dent patch-up is often the perfect opportunity to reconsider your wall color.
In either case, an even coat or two of paint is an essential step to the process of fixing the dent in your wall, and definitely should not be overlooked.
Yes, it does make your project have a neat and presentable finish, but more importantly, it also helps maintain your dent’s patch-up for a longer duration. That’s because, at its core, a coating of paint is still a protective layer over the putty.
7. When Dealing with Larger Dents
If you’re dealing with a dent larger than a couple of inches in width, drywall putty might not be enough to patch it up. You’d instead have to insert a cut piece of ready-made drywall and screw it into place, before using putty to fill in any open seams. Another option would be to use a plaster grid before patching it up with drywall putty. Aside from this one major substitution, the procedure for filling in larger dents is pretty much the same as with small ones.
It is extremely important to note that throughout the project, especially during the sanding procedures, wearing protective goggles and covering your nose is an absolute must. The powdery filings that get suspended in the air when you sand the drywall are highly hazardous to your health and are a definite ticket to respiratory health issues if you aren’t careful enough to avoid inhaling them.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Dent in the Wall?
Oftentimes, knowing how to fix a dent in the wall is not enough to actually get your project started. You also need to have an idea of exactly how much the project will cost before you take it up.
As such, there are several variables that play into how much your project will amount to, including the size of your dent, the quality of tools you invest in, the type of putty and paint you choose to buy, etc.
On average, a joint compound is priced at about $10 a gallon, whereas paint would cost up to $50 a gallon, covering about 350 square feet. Aside from this, another major expense would be buying your putty knife which ranges between $5-15 based on size and make. All in all, as a DIY project, trying to fix your wall dents would need at least a one-time investment of $100.
However, you need to keep in mind that none of the above materials are going to get used up filling only one dent. In fact, between one gallon of putty and one gallon of paint, you have enough material to fill at least 30 dents (assuming they’re about 1-2 inches in diameter). This means that — if you’re looking at costs on a per-dent basis — a project like this for a medium-sized dent should cost you no more than $4.
And there you have it! Now that you know at least the basics of how to fix a dent in the wall, you have better control over how your walls look, furniture clashes, or otherwise.
Oftentimes, these types of hindrances subconsciously prevent us from inviting people over and socializing without inhibitors. Now take this as an opportunity to invite friends over for dinner, and host that party you’ve been thinking about for months; your walls should be the least of your burdens.