How to Fix Scratches on Drywall

Scratches on drywall can create an eyesore in your home and detract from the overall look of a room. Additionally, scratches can weaken the wall’s structure and allow dirt to collect if not properly sealed. Fortunately, with some simple tools and materials, you can easily fix scratches on drywall.

How to Fix Scratches on Drywall

The main advantage of fixing scratches on drywall is that it can prevent further damage from occurring. Since drywall is a delicate material, small imperfections such as dents or scratches can worsen over time and cause larger holes or extensive damage.

You can protect your walls from further harm by repairing them properly while preserving their aesthetic appeal. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to fix scratches on drywall in this blog article.

Materials You Will Need 

  • Spackle
  • Water
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrush 
  • Primer
  • Latex paint that matches the color of your wall 
  • Drop cloths or newspaper for protection 

Step by step Instructions for How to Fix Scratches on Drywall

Step 1: Inspect Your Area

Inspect the area with a light and determine how deep the scratches are. If they are surface-level and shallow, you can find a color-matched patch kit or joint compound to match your wall color and fill in the scratch. Wipe down the area with a damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt. Allow the area to dry completely before proceeding.

Step 2: Sand the Area

Once you’ve removed any dust or dirt, lightly sand the area with a sanding block. This will help smooth out and blend any rough edges so that your patch looks seamless when applied. 

Make sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies to ensure a good result. Prime the area with a good primer. This will help ensure that the patch adheres correctly and helps prevent it from chipping or coming off. Allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding.

Step 3: Apply Your Patch

Now that you’ve prepped the area, you are ready to apply the patch. Gently press the patch into place, ensuring it completely adheres. Smooth it out and make sure there are no visible bumps or edges.

Once your patch has dried, lightly sand the area again with a sanding block to blend it in with the rest of the wall. Make sure to pay attention to any edges or bumps, and use a light touch so that you don’t wear away too much of the patch.

Step 4: Apply Joint Compound

Using a Putty Knife

Using a putty knife, apply joint compound over the entire patched area. Take care to feather the edges and ensure that the joint compound is evenly spread across. Allow the joint compound to dry completely before proceeding. Using a sanding block, lightly sand the patched area again.

This will help blend in any rough edges and create an even texture for painting. Make sure to use a light touch so that you don’t wear away too much of the joint compound or patch.

Step 5: Apply a Second Coat of Joint Compound

Apply a second coat of joint compound to the patched area, feathering the edges and ensuring that it is evenly spread across. Allow this to dry completely before proceeding.

Tips for How to Fix Scratches on Drywall

  1. Use a putty knife to fill in deep scratches with wall patching compound, and sand down the top layer of the compound until it’s flush with the drywall surface.
  2. To fill small scratches and nicks, use an artist’s brush or a q-tip dipped into the wall patching compound and gently apply it to the scratch.
  3. To fix gouges or holes in drywall, use a wall patch kit that includes a mesh patch and joint compound. Cut the mesh patch to size with scissors, then fill in the hole with the joint compound. Allow the compound to dry before sanding it down until it’s even with the drywall surface.
  4. Touch up any scratches or nicks that are still visible with a matching paint color. Paint over the patched area to help blend it in, and feather out the edges of the new coat of paint to create a seamless transition between colors.

How Long Should You Wait Before Painting Over a Repaired Scratch on Drywall?

When you’re repairing a scratch on drywall, one of the most important steps is to be sure that the repair is fully dry before attempting to paint over it. How long you should wait depends on the specific techniques used in your repairs.

If you’ve used spackle and sandpaper, you may need to wait up to 24 hours for the spackle to dry fully. If you’ve used joint compound, it can take several days or more before it’s dry enough to paint over.

In either case, you should make sure that you check back and test the scratch repair periodically until it is completely dry. You can test the repair by gently pressing on the area with a finger. If it feels cool, it’s still wet; if it feels warm, the repair will likely dry.

 Until It is Completely Dry

Once you’re sure that the scratch repair is fully dry, you can proceed to paint over it as usual. Be sure to use an appropriate primer and high-quality paint for the best results. You should also use a brush, roller, or sprayer to apply even coats and minimize the chances of any blemishes in the finish.

How Can You Cover Up Deeper Scratches on Drywall?

Once the surface scratches have been repaired, deeper scratches may still be visible. If so, you can either fill the scratch with spackling paste or patch it with a piece of drywall.

For filling deeper scratches with spackling paste, apply the paste to the damaged area with a putty knife and allow it to dry completely before sanding it down. If the damaged area is larger than a few millimeters, patching with drywall may be your best option.

To do this, use a utility knife to cut around the edges of the scratch and remove the damaged area. Cut a piece of drywall slightly larger than the removed patch and secure it with screws.

Then, apply the joint drywall compound to the patch and level out the surface. Allow the compound to dry before sanding it down for a smooth finish. Once you have finished fixing any scratches on your drywall, be sure to repaint the area for the best results.

How Can You Prevent Scratches From Occurring on Your Drywall in the Future? 

To prevent scratches from occurring on your drywall in the future, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, avoiding dragging furniture or other heavy objects across the wall is important. Instead, lift them up and move them. 

Second, be sure that any nails or screws you use to hang items onto your walls are of appropriate size and are secured properly. Third, use a stud finder to locate the wall studs when putting in nails or screws. Lastly, use soft padding such as felt pads on furniture legs and hang pictures with framing strips instead of nails or screws. Following these tips can help protect your drywall from damage in the future.

Ultimately, if you do find scratches on your drywall, they can be fixed quickly and easily with the right materials. With a bit of time and effort, you can repair any damage without replacing the entire wall section. And by following these prevention tips, you can help keep your walls in top condition for years to come.

Is It Necessary to Call Any Professional to Fix Scratches on Drywall?

Call a Professional Drywall Contractor

Yes.  Depending on the type and size of the scratch, it may be necessary to call a professional drywall contractor to fix it. A professional will know how to repair the scratch properly if the scratch is deep or wide. The issue with trying to fix large scratches yourself is that you could end up making matters worse by not matching the existing texture or color of the wall. 

Professional drywall contractors will have the right tools and materials to ensure that the repair is done correctly and looks like it never happened in the first place.

When it comes to fixing scratches on drywall, it’s important to be mindful of your home’s safety. 

Improperly repaired walls can lead to structural issues down the road. Large cracks or holes in your drywall can also create a fire hazard. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and call a professional if unsure how to repair the damage properly.

How Much Will It Cost to Fix Scratches on Drywall? 

The most basic repairs can often be completed without professional help and at minimal expense. For shallow scratches, a wall repair patch kit can be purchased at most home improvement stores for around $5-$10. These kits have tools and instructions to make small repairs like smoothing out minor scuffs or filling in larger scratches.

If the scratch is deeper than 1/8th of an inch, it is usually best to hire a professional drywall repair company. The repair cost will depend on the size and depth of the scratch but can range anywhere from $50-150 per hour for labor costs. Drywall materials are relatively inexpensive, with patching compounds ranging from $10-25 depending on size.


Sanding Down the Area

It involves multiple steps, from sanding down the area with fine-grit sandpaper, applying spackling paste or joint compound to fill in any holes or gaps, and ultimately painting over the scratch. Depending on the scratch size, this process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. 

Additionally, if not done correctly and with patience, it is possible to make the scratch look worse or create additional scratches in the wall. In conclusion, fixing scratches on drywall is a relatively straightforward process. With the right supplies and adequate knowledge of the different types of materials used to repair damaged drywall, anyone can easily fix nicks and dents in their walls. 

Before beginning any home improvement project, it’s important to assess whether professional help is necessary. The cost of hiring a professional may be a worthwhile investment if it results in higher-quality repair work. I hope reading this post has helped you learn how to fix scratches on drywall. Make sure the safety precautions are carried out in the order listed.

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