PATCHING PROGRESS: A New Technique Saves Time
The first blowout patches I made were slow going, mostly because it was taking me a long time to measure and re-measure each patch before cutting. So, in true Betsy fashion, I worked out a way to make it all go faster. This is especially important on this project because, while our new insulation is already saving us money on our heating bills, it still feels like a big step backwards to me. Rooms that had finished walls and were perfectly useable have now turned back into construction zones. See what I mean? …backwards and anyone that knows me knows that I always like to move forward!
The New Approach
Since most of my patches are the same size, 7″ x 7″ on the outside, Brad and I measured out 7″ increments on a new sheet of drywall and snap chalk lines to mark the increments. Then we cut the drywall in to 7″ strips that ran perpendicular to the chalk lines. That left me with 7″ inch strips with chalk lines marking each of the cuts I had to make.
I had a nice stack of 7″ squares cut in no time at all. Progress, Yes!
I was using a 5″ square template to mark the squares to be cut into the walls, so I decided to trace the same template onto the backs of the 7″ squares, thus quickly marking the areas I need to peel off of the patch without measuring. Click here to see how I was doing this before. This approach resulted in one problem, my patches were too tight, so I had to spend time adjusting each piece to fit. My solution? When I cut the holes in the wall, I cut just slightly to the outside of the line I had drawn. Then when I trimmed out the blowout patch, I cut about 1/16th of an inch inside of each line I had traced.
I have found that if I cut about a dozen holes in the wall, my upper body is ready for a rest. So I move on to cutting a dozen 7″ squares and then trim a dozen into blow out patches. When I get really bored, I cut out some of the odd sized patches – being sure to measure and re-measure before cutting. Then I start cutting holes in the wall again. Exciting, huh?
My new approach is much faster, which makes me very happy! Where do we stand now? Only about 25 of 100 patches to cut and plug into the wall. Then a boatload of spackling and sanding before I can prime and paint.
Before and After
Before I started:
Still not pretty, but definitely progress.