One of the most common drywall repairs is the standard doorknob patch-up. Heck, most of us might even be guilty of it. Oops! Well, it’s not very hard to fix, as long as it’s just a small dent or hole.

If the dent is very slight, you probably can patch right over it.

If the dent is deeper or goes all the way through the wall, use a sharp utility knife to cut away the broken paper and drywall.

For small holes like these, you don’t really need to cut out a drywall patch. As long as you have a sturdy backer to spread the drywall compound, that’s all you need.

For small holes, you can use a piece of self-sticking fiberglass mesh tape to cover the hole.

For larger holes, we like to use a piece of screen wire. The screen should be a little larger than the hole. You need to thread a piece of string through the screen wire in the center, and then pull it back through a nearby hole so that both ends are on the same side. Place the screen wire inside the wall, and use the string to pull it back up against the hole. Tie it to a pencil or scrap of dowel that is wider than the hole to keep it in place against the back of the wall.

Spread drywall compound over these patches in thin layers, letting it dry completely between each coat. Before applying that last coat of drywall compound, cut off the string. The final coat can be feathered out onto the surrounding wall a little bit to conceal your handiwork. You can try to match the wall texture by dabbing it with a sponge a little bit.

After it has dried, you can use sandpaper to smooth the surface before repainting.

Before you call it a day, install a door stop or wall bumper to prevent this from happening again!


Q: Our home needs a makeover. Can we paint vinyl siding? What kind of paint will work best? – N.W.

A: Yes, you can paint vinyl siding. The key is to clean it thoroughly first. Then you need to prime it and paint with a paint that is formulated to go over vinyl. It’s best to use a color that is close to what you already have, not a lot darker, or you may get warping or buckling because the vinyl will expand and contract with weather changes. Sherwin-Williams has VinylSafe Color Technology formulas in a couple of its paints, as do many other good-quality paint dealers. Just follow the directions to the letter, and make sure you do all of your prep work.


We love Goo Gone for cleaning up latex paint drips and spills. But the Goo Gone Paint Clean-up Wipes are even better. These ready-to-use wipes are just great for cleaning up paint messes, and you can just toss them out when you are finished using them. They come with just the right amount of product already on them, and you can use them on porcelain and ceramic tiles, glass, wood, metal, plastic, stone, fiberglass, fabric and even carpet. You can find these wipes, along with the rest of the Goo Gone line, at most hardware stores and home centers. If you want to learn more about this product, visit

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