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How to Fix a Drywall Crack

If you find a crack in your drywall, don’t panic. Your house isn’t falling apart.

In fact, small drywall cracks are normal, often appearing as a result of the house settling. And they’re easy to fix.

Instead of spending a bunch of money on a professional, take a look at this complete guide that’ll show you how to easily repair a drywall crack.

The Tools You’ll Need

Before you get started, make sure you have the right tools for the job.

If you try to use other tools you have lying around the house as “supplement tools,” you won’t make it very far into the project before you have to stop and buy the right tools anyway.

So, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Utility knife
  • 6-inch Taping knife
  • Mud pan (you don’t necessarily need a mud pan, but it will make it easier to apply drywall compound to the taping knife.)
  • Drywall compound
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Paper drywall tape (fiberglass drywall tape is thicker and harder to repair visually. So for this guide, we will focus on paper drywall tape.)

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is clean out the crack. Take your utility knife and cut off any rough edges and to scrape away any loose material from inside the crack.

Step 2

Put some of the drywall compound into the mud pan and get a small amount on your taping knife. Apply a thin coat of compound over the crack.

Step 3

Cut a piece of tape long enough to cover the crack. If the drywall crack is an odd shape, you can cut small pieces of tape to follow the zigzaggy pattern.

Then place the tape immediately onto the drywall compound. You should put the tape on as quickly after you apply the compound as possible.

If you have a long or oddly shaped crack, it may be a good idea to cut the tape before you apply the compound.

Step 4

With the taping knife, push the drywall tape into the compound.

Make sure there aren’t any bubbles. If there is air under the drywall tape, it will stay there forever, creating a little bump on your wall. Make sure there aren’t any bubbles. If there is 

Apply another layer of compound over the top of the tape and wait for it to dry. (Drying may take several hours or even overnight.)

Step 5

Apply a second coat over the top. Make sure the edges of the compound blend with the rest of the wall. Don’t layer the compound too thickly or it will bump out from the wall.

Step 6

After the second coat is dry, apply a third and final coat. Again, wait for it to dry.

Step 7

Sand the patch of drywall compound with your fine-grit sandpaper until it is smooth. But be careful not to sand down to the drywall tape.

When you’re done sanding, you can repaint the patch the same color as the rest of your wall. Don’t forget to use a primer though.

If you don’t, the color won’t match your wall completely.

That’s All It Takes to Fix a Drywall Crack

The hardest part of this project is waiting for all those layers to dry. Everything else doesn’t take a lot of work and can be done quickly and easily.

Have bigger problems with your drywall you can’t fix on your own?

Head over to our drywall repair page and take a look at our services!