Gypsum wallboard repair does not have to require the time, expense, or inconvenience of a professional. You can do this job yourself. Fixing dents, popped nails, large and small holes, and even replacing a wallboard panel can be accomplished fairly easily with the right tools and know-how.
Typically sold in four-by-eight-foot panels, gypsum board is attached with nails or adhesive. The edges, or joints, are then covered with wallboard tape and smoothed with joint compound.
For a large hole repair in wallboard, the damaged section must first be cut out using a keyhole or reciprocating saw and a utility knife. Center the cuts along the sides with wall studs. Ensure safety from electrical shock that could occur from wires hidden behind the wall by cutting off the applicable circuit breaker. Remove damaged piece and replace with a new piece that has had edges smoothed with a rasp, nailing it to the studs.
Small hole repair, dents, and popped nails can be taken care of even more simply. For popped nails, hammer the nail into the gypsum board, dimpling it, and then another right next to it. Fill the depressed dimpled area with spackling filling the areas with spackling compound and then allowing to dry thoroughly before sanding and priming.
To replace a wallboard, you will first need to remove the old one. Cut through the taped joints with a utility knife and punch through the middle of the panel using a hammer. Pulling pieces from the center outward, when you get to the edges, use a pry bar to get remaining pieces loose from wall studs. Pull any nails out with a claw hammer.
Prop the new gypsum board panel over the opening with a one-by-four while nailing the edges to studs. Hammer nails six inches apart and one inch from the edge of the panel.
For all wall finishes except paneling (tile, wallpaper, or paint), tape joints and cover nail heads with joint compound. Go back over taped joints with compound and tape again.
Apply a second (thin) layer of joint compound and allow to dry overnight. With a damp sponge and sandpaper wrapped around a block, smooth out imperfections and feather out edges. Allow to dry thoroughly and wipe off sanding residue.
Thats it. You are now an (un)official gypsum board repair pro. Remember to prime first if finishing with paint and then hey, you are done.