Challenges of Repainting Small Drywall Patches

Challenge With Painting Small Drywall Repairs

There are a couple of challenges to painting over small drywall repairs. If you are repairing a wall or ceiling in a high profile location with a lot of light, extra care is needed during painting to ensure that the patch blends with the rest of the wall.

The most common problem that occurs when painting over drywall repairs is what is known as flashing. Even if the color of the paint matches perfectly and the repair is floated smooth with the surrounding wall area, you may still be able to see where the repair was done due to the way light is reflected off of the surface of the repair. The following tips can help you to avoid some of these pitfalls when painting drywall repairs.

Match the existing paint sheen

Paint is sold in different levels of sheen depending on how much “shine” you are looking for. Satin paints leave a dull finish with very little reflected shine, whereas gloss and high gloss paints reflect the most amount of light and appear to create a very shiny surface.

As paint dries and subsequently cures, it develops a sheen that affects the way light is reflected off its surface. A well painted wall has a consistent sheen along the entire plane. When you add new paint over top of paint that has already dried, it is almost impossible not to notice a slight difference of sheen. Even if the same exact paint is used for the repair, the final sheen of the repair can be slightly different than the sheen on the rest of the wall. In critical areas, especially where lots of light shines across the surface, you may need to repaint the entire wall or ceiling from corner to corner so as to blend any differences of sheen.

Different eggshell textures in the paint finish

Paint dries with a very slight texture distinct to the method of application. Even level five smooth walls have a little bit of texture in the paint. Paint brushes leave small straight lines following the direction of the brush. Paint rollers leave a texture resembling the texture found on the exterior of an egg. Thicker paint rollers leave a texture resembling the texture found on orange peels.

It is usually recommended to use a fine nap 1/4” or 1/3” roller for finish coating paint. Applying paint with this type of roller leaves a very slight eggshell finish. The smaller the nap the less of a texture but there is still going to be a slight texture.

One of the challenges of painting over drywall repairs is the difference of texture left in the paint. Drywall mud that has been sanded lightly is perfectly smooth with no texture. Even if you use a light nap roller to apply paint over the repair, you may notice a slight difference of texture between the repair and the area that was painted previously.

One way to help alleviate this problem is by first applying a high quality primer to the repair using a 3/8” nap paint roller. Before applying the finish coat of paint, check to see if the eggshell texture matches with the surrounding wall. If not, try adding a second coat of primer or even a first coat of paint just on the area of the repair. Once you are convinced that the two textures will match, you can go ahead and apply a finish coat of paint. As mentioned above in the section about sheen, you may want to repaint the entire plane from corner to corner to ensure the repair blends well.

Conclusion

The methods used to paint drywall repairs can affect how well the finish product blends in with the surrounding area. Many times, these things won’t make a huge difference since the patch is in an area with average light on a flat or satin finish wall or ceiling. However, in critical areas where a lot of light is present, the tips above can make the difference between a repair that flashes and one that is indiscernible