Earlier in the year, I bought several Angie’s List Big Deals that matched up with some small home improvements I needed to make. One, cleaning my chimney, turned into a much bigger project, but most were neatly handled in a couple of hours. One in particular, however, left me with a hole in my wall that I fully intended to handle on my own within a week or two. Many months later, I am finally tackling it.
It started out with installing light fixtures in my bathroom when we renovated prior to having the cabinets and sinks installed. I ended up with sconces over my sink that didn’t align with the sink. I used a Big Deal coupon to hire an electrician for a few hours. He fixed several other small problems, like replacing a broken ceiling fan and re-wiring an under-cabinet fixture.
The sconce posed a possible problem…the sconce needed to be aligned with a stud and that might not be where I needed it to be. I told him to go ahead and get started, fingers-crossed. Fortunately, he was able to move it from the right side of a stud to the left side of the same stud and the alignment was perfect. That just left me with a round hole in my wall. He left behind the circle of drywall that he had cut out of the wall for the new placement, telling me I could use it to repair the hole left behind.
The next time my husband went to the hardware store, I asked him to buy me a wall patch, one without a metal plate in it. He came home with the patch, but it had a steel plate in it. Months later, we repeated the same scenario. Months after that, I bought my own patch, careful to find one without a metal plate. I discovered that you can buy patches with the fill-circle already attached…but since I had my drywall circle, I passed them over. I also bought a small container of patching compound. When I got home, I could not find the tools I needed for the job. Months after that, I asked my husband where they might be and he told me…the same, hidden spot where he hides, I mean stores, the flashlights.
This past weekend, I finally ventured to the basement and found the tools. I got the drywall circle and tried to stick a bunch of drywall compound around it like so much frosting…it didn’t stick. Next I tried glopping the compound around the inside of the hole…this worked better. I carefully stuck the circle into the hole, trying to keep it flat to the wall and filling in any open spaces. Once it was in place, I got out the patch…it not only had a steel plate, it was expanded metal. I decided that although that made it moderately thicker even than a plate, at least it had holes in it that the compound could ooze through.I pressed the whole thing onto the mess I’d made of filling the hole. I pushed the expanded metal into the wall until compound started oozing out and the whole thing was relatively flat to the wall. The exposed mesh edges weren’t sticking very well to the wall, but I figured I’d fix that when I went over the whole thing with more compound. A few hours later I returned to find that the patch had fallen off. Adhesive, unfortunately, does not stick to wet plaster.
Knowing I had two back-up patches, I gave up on the first. Instead I spread more compound over the hole in the wall and went off to work hoping it would dry enough by evening to continue the project. In the evening, I saw that the compound had dried and sunk a bit in the center, so I added a bit more. At that point, I realized I didn’t actually need the patch and I could probably do a better job without it.
So, after all this time, I have finally patched up the hole…just in time to keep out the winter drafts. If I’d only known how easily I could do it, I would have done it a long time ago.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and don’t make things more complicated than they need to be!