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My laundry room painting project has not been an easy one. It became pretty clear to me early on (say, when I moved in) that this room has seen a lot of damage in a previous life. Poorly patched holes, cracks, and shabbily repaired water damage were everywhere.

Having lived in a number of apartments, I was used to patching small nail holes as part of the move-out process. But when a hole is too big for simple patching, or repairs continue to crack, how does one take care of the mess? I found my answer in drywall tape.

Drywall tape is a material that helps cover uneven surfaces that would be difficult to patch by using joint compound (aka “mud”) alone.. It comes in two versions:  paper (most often used) and fiberglass (which is adhesive-backed and the kind I used). Using and applying dryway tape only requires a small number of steps and materials.
You will need:  drywall tape, a pair of scissors, joint compound, and a putty knife.

1. As always, wipe down the surface you are going to be working on. Things always stick better when there is no dirt in the way!

2. Drywall tape can be easily trimmed to the shape you need using household scissors. Apply the tape to the hole or crack you are patching.

3. Next, cover the tape using joint compound and smooth the surface with a putty knife. If a second or third coat is required, sand in between each application to ensure the smoothest surface possible.

4. Do a final sanding with fine-grit sandpaper, and the wall is ready to paint!

Even though the laundry room has required more preparation (and more patience) in order to paint, it feels pretty good to have learned something new! Each new task I am facing in this house is only making me more confident that this is something I can do. And as an added bonus, I get to pass these tips on to others, so that someone else may be able to benefit from these experiences. Win-win!

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  1. I love drywall tape and mud <3. And once you buy the materials, you can keep using them for everything! It's great. I've been using the same roll of drywall tape and bucket of mud for over a year now – for everything from replacing walls to ripping out kitchen soffits and patching holes. Great stuff, that. Just remember that the dust (when you sand it) gets EVERYWHERE! So, if you have furniture around or what-not, it might be a good idea to invest in some cheap plastic paint dropcloth-type covers. Just in case.

    Great tutorial!
    ~ Chelsea

  2. I really appreciate this post, Sarah. I see lots and lots of this repair work in my future. In some places the walls are so bad we have just removed them for a pro to redo from scratch. I will be doing a bathroom remodel myself and am maybe a month from getting started. Your tips (as well as the links to great design ideas) are very helpful.

  3. @Chelsea Thanks for the tip, and I can certainly relate to having drywall dust everywhere; usually if I'm not washing paint out of my hair, it's dust!

    @jansmith I'm so glad they are helping you! Reading comments like this is so motivating for me to keep going. I'm grinning ear to ear :)