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Repairing Drywall and Painting After Water Damage

Drywall repair and painting after water damage

Water damage can occur in a variety of different ways. Whether it’s from a burst pipe, leaking drywall basement ceiling, or condensation, water is not drywall’s best friend. It doesn’t take much for you to require drywall water damage repair. While it can be incredibly stressful to be in this situation, especially if you’re a new homeowner or haven’t had to deal with it. It’s actually a bit easier than you may think. It does take some work, but drywall repair can be done with some care and patience.

Things to Know About Drywall

Drywall is made of calcium sulphate dihydrate, or gypsum, between two types of paper. Typically, interior drywall sheets are ½ an inch thick when used for walls and ceilings. Commonly, ceiling drywall can also be ¾ inch thick. Gypsum is incredibly porous and starts to dissolve in water, so water damage can lead to some major headaches.

Drywall has a bound edge, or long edge, and a butt edge. The bound edge is significantly thinner than the rest of the sheet, so it’s easier to hide when the seams are taped under the joint compound. The butt edge is as thick as the rest of the sheet, so you want to ensure you’re not putting bound edges to butt edges if you want a professional, even look.

Studs are vertical, so you want to attach the drywall with the long side running perpendicular to the studs to help it become strongly reinforced. Doing it this way will help it become less noticeable when the job is finished by breaking up the vertical seams.


Determining the Damage

First things first, you will want to assess the damage. When drywall becomes wet, it can become heavy due to the nature of the material, causing damage to any nails that are holding it in place. If you’re lucky and there’s not too much damage, you may be able to just push it back into place with some fresh screws and repaint with some stain-resistant, high-quality paint, and be good as new.

If the drywall has become soft, you’re going to have to do a bit more work. Wet drywall is the perfect place for mold to grow, so you won’t be able to deal with it with a quick fix, and you’ll want to take care of it as soon as possible.

drywall repair output

Repairing Water Damaged Drywall

The first step to starting this project is to cut out the damaged sections of drywall and remove them. You will want to ensure you’re disposing of the drywall properly, especially if you’re dealing with a significant amount of water damage or you’ve waited long enough that mold is starting to appear.

When cutting out the damaged drywall, try to cut in square or rectangle shapes and keep it as uniform as possible. Doing this makes it easier to replace pieces and fit the new patches together. It also helps to make mudding and taping a bit easier. If you’re working on a ceiling, damaged spots under twelve square inches will need drywall clips to be held in place.

Otherwise, ceiling joists will be required. You can use a drywall saw, or keyhole saw to cut the patches.

Be careful and patient when completing this step, and watch for plumbing and electrical as well.

Once all your damaged drywall is removed, you can measure the replacement pieces and get them ready for installation. Drywall clips will be extremely helpful during this step. For each hole, place four clips around it. You can secure them with a drywall screw, but be sure not to overdrive the screw. Cut out the replacement patch from your new drywall and insert it, securing it with the clips and drywall screws. If the wall that has been water damaged has an outlet, make sure you cut out the space for that before you insert it into the open patch.

Painter repairing drywall

Painting Your Newly Repaired Walls

Now that your new drywall is installed, you’ll want to blend the seams and give your room a fresh coat of paint—tape over the drywall seams with paper or mesh tape. The paper tape will give you a more professional look, but mesh tape can be easier to use because it’s self-adhesive. 

  • • Once everything is taped, you can apply your joint compound.
  • • Cover any joints and use a scraper, so it becomes flush with the wall. Spreading the compound a good four to six inches beyond the repair spot is ideal for ensuring a good job.
  • • While you’re done mudding the wall, you want to let the coat of joint compound dry entirely for up to twenty-four hours.
  • • When it’s completely dry, you can sand away any rough patches. When doing this kind of work, always wear safety gear, like a dust mask and goggles.
  • • Now that everything is sanded, you can clean up any lingering dust and do a second coat and repeat the process.
  • • It can take a few days for the entire process to be completed.


drywall repair before and after

Since your wall now has a lot of joint compound on it, you’ll want to ensure you prime the walls before you paint, just to avoid it retaining moisture. Spending the extra money to get a high-quality primer and paint will pay off in spades over time.

Once your primer is applied to the product’s specifications, you’re good to paint your room whichever colour you want. If you need a second coat, make sure you let the first coat dry entirely before starting round two.

If you’re looking to skip the DIY and hire a team of professionals to take care of your repair project, Home Painters Toronto should be your first call. Home Painters Toronto is the leading commercial painting company in Toronto, but we also specialize in drywall water damage repair. Our team members excel in making every house look perfect, from the ceiling to the floor. If you’re thinking about enlisting the help of a professional for your drywall and painting job, give us a call and let’s settle the details together.

Call 416.494.9095 or email brian@HomePaintersToronto.com 

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From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.



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