Home Repair Tips – Glazing

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating    by: ITC

When working with glass, pay attention to what you are doing and be careful. Wear safety glasses when breaking scored glass. Clean up all debris, broken glass, and glass splinters immediately.

Cutting and fitting glass is called glazing Glazing is actually done in three steps:

• Measuring the frame

• Cutting the glass

• Installing the glass

Begin by removing the old glass. Wear heavy work gloves. Spread some newspaper on the floor to catch small pieces of broken glass. Remove all old glass, putty, glazier’s points, and old paint from the frame. Sand the frame if it is wood or paint it if it is metal.

Measuring is the most important step in replacing a pane of glass. If the piece is cut too small, the glass will fall out of the frame. You cannot trim less than 3/16 inch from a piece of glass that is just a little too big. Measure twice, cut once is a good rule.

Start by measuring exactly the inside of the frame into which the glass will fit. Then subtract 1/8 inch from each measurement (length and width). This allows for irregularities in the frame or glass. Lightly mark the edge of the glass with a three-corner file.

Place the glass on a flat table or special cutting board. Use a T-square or straightedge to make the cut. Allow for the distance from the edge of the cutter to the center of the cutting wheel. Kerosene along the cut line will prevent the glass from splintering.

When replacing a piece of glass, cut the glass 1 /8 inch shorter and 1 /8 inch narrower than the frame.

Use a three-cornered file to mark the dimensions on the glass.

Spread putty over the frame and press the glass into place. Then insert glazier’s points and cover with putty.

Press down hard enough for the cutter to dig into the glass. Once you start moving the cutter, don’t stop until the cut is finished. Use kerosene to lubricate the cutter and prevent the glass from splintering.

Score the glass with the cutter. Then slide the glass over to the edge of the table and tap gently on the bottom side while bending gently. This should be done right after glass is scored! Otherwise the glass should be scored again just before it is finally cut.

Install the cut glass in a wood frame window with glazier’s points and putty. Glazier’s putty or glazing compound dries hard. The putty used on wood frames can be softened with linseed oil. If you’ve used too much oil, remove some by rolling the putty on newspaper.

First spread a thin layer of glazier’s putty inside the frame. Place the glass and press firmly into the putty. Small pieces of wood, called shims, can be. inserted below the glass to center it.

Press glazier’s points into the wood along each edge of the glass. Only a few points are needed because the glass is held in place by the hardened putty, not the glazier’s points. Do not use a hammer to set the points. Press them into place with a chisel or piece of wood. Casement windows use spring clips instead of glazier’s points. Place the clips into the holes provided.

Take more putty and roll it into a rope about 1/4-inch thick. Press it into the joint between the glass and frame. Then finish by smoothing and removing the excess putty with a putty knife.

Glazier’s putty takes a week to harden completely. After that it may be painted. You can scrape off paint smears on the glass with a single-edge razor blade. But it is easy to mask the glass with newspaper and tape before painting.

Glazier’s points are usually set by pressing them into place with a chisel or screwdriver.

Metal frame windows use spring clips in place of glazier’s points. Linseed oil is used to soften putty. Excess oil is rolled out on newspaper. Then the putty is pressed down and the excess removed with a putty knife.

Home Repair Tips – Window Frames

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

Many window frames are made of wood. The most common problem with window frames is sticking caused by:

• Paint

• Swelling

• Warping

• Broken sash cords

New paint is a major cause of windows sticking. Sticking of freshly painted windows can be prevented by leaving the window slightly open while painting. As soon as the paint dries, slide the window up and down. Do not wait too long because paint hardens as it ages.

If the window has been painted shut for a while, it will be difficult to open. Use a putty knife to cut through the paint seal. Never pry the window open with a chisel or pry bar.

Even if you use a piece of wood to protect the sill, the window sash will be dented.

Windows that are badly stuck may have to be removed from the frame. The sliding part of the window (sash) is held in place by two strips of wood called stops. Carefully pry up the stops. Remember, you want to use these stops again. A little patience saves buying, cutting, fitting, and painting a new piece of wood. Don’t drive the nails back out through the stop after the stop is off. Use pliers and pull the nails out through the back side of the stop. This will leave a neat little hole.

With the sash out, you may sand or scrape off the excess paint. When the weather is dry, cover any bare wood with a thin coat of paint or fast-drying sealer.

Paint protects wood frames. If moisture soaks the frame, the wood will swell. Never plane a frame that is swollen. Otherwise, when the wood dries, it will be too loose and will rattle in the wind. Instead, rub paraffin, soap, or a stick lubricant on the frame. Warped frames should be planed or sanded. If the wood is warped too much, it must be replaced.

If a sash cord breaks or the weight comes loose, the window will hang crooked, and the window won’t stay up. To fix the cord, pry off the stops. Find the sash weight door and

Usually it is held in place by one or two screws. Reach inside and take out the weight. If the sash cord is still good, the weight probably came untied. Retie it and put everything back together.

If you need a new sash cord, make sure it’s the same thickness as the old one or it won’t run through the pulley. Feed the new cord through and tie one end to the sash and the other end to the weight. The sash cord will stretch, so leave some room under the weight so it won’t hit bottom later and keep the window from opening all the way. Move the window up and down to see if you’ve tied the weight too high or too low. When you’re sure everything works, put it back together again.

When you put the stops back, ignore the old nail holes. Tap the nails in a new place, but, to avoid hammer dents, stop before you hit the frame. Finish driving the nails with a nail set. Cover the nail heads and fill in the old holes with wood putty: After several days, when the putty is dry, touch up with paint.

As a building ages, it settles..Structural settling is another cause for windows jamming. If the windows are being twisted out of line, the entire frame must be removed and reset in the wall.

Wood frame windows are often replaced by aluminum ones. Other new frames are vinyl (plastic) over a wood core.

Casement windows open with a crank that needs a yearly greasing. Because these cranks rust, you will have to keep them clean and painted. Casement windows are usually easier to care for.than wooden frame windows.

Most older houses have wooden window frames. However, most new homes have plastic or aluminum frames.

Remove the window only as a last resort. Carefully remove the stops, then pull the nails out through the back of the stop with pliers.

Painting across the moving parts of a window is a major cause of sticking. Running a putty knife between the stop and the sash will help free the window.

Lubricate all moving surfaces on the window and frame with a hard piece of soap or paraffin to help them slide better.

To repair a sash cord, remove the door in the window frame, reach in, and take out the sash weight.

Tie a knot in one end of the sash cord and fit it into the sash groove. Tie a nail to the other end for weight and feed the cord over the pulley. Raise the window and reach into the opening. Pull out the new cord. Tie it to the sash weight.

Clean casement window cranks at least once a year. Grease the track and oil the crank handle and window hinges.

Home Repair Tips – Floor Coverings

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating    by: ITC

Hardwood floors are usually oak or maple. Softwood floors, usually made of pine, wear better when they are covered with

• Rugs or Carpets

• Linoleum

• Tile

Carpeting is fastened down professionally. A damaged section can be cut out and a new patch sewn, glued, tacked, taped or stapled in place.

Today linoleum is made of vinyl. It is thinner and softer but more durable than the original oil cloth linoleum. If water seeps under linoleum, the edges will come loose and begin to curl. Dry out the area and work cement under the loose edges. Pile on sandbags. Some excess cement will ooze out. Clean it up before it dries.

To lay a patch, cut the new piece the exact size of the hole. Match the pattern and cut the piece with a slight bevel. Remove all of the old cement or the patch will bulge. Set in the new piece and hold it down with sandbags.

Vinyl and asphalt are the materials most often used for floor ’tiles. Vinyl is soft and pliable. Asphalt tile is thicker, harder, and tends to chip. Remove a damaged tile by heating it with a hot pressing iron over a cloth. Scrape up all the old cement while it is warm and soft.

You may have to trim the new tile. Use a knife and straightedge to trim vinyl. Asphalt tile should be placed in a vise between two wood blocks and shaved down with a rasp.

A new tile may have to be trimmed to fit. Trim vinyl tiles with a knife and straightedge. trim asphalt tiles place them in a vice between wood blocks and file them down with a rasp.

Home Repair Tips – Improving The Appearance of Your Home

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating    by: ITC

There are many ways to improve the appearance and value of a home. With the widespread use of drywall two of the most common improvements are:

• Wall trim

• Paneling

Wall trim includes molding and baseboards. Molding comes in various styles and covers the places where wall and floor and where wall and ceiling meet. It is used to cover the rough edges at the ceiling and floor when walls are paneled_ Molding may also cover joints or nails where paneling meets.

Baseboards are high moldings that run along the wall at floor level are often damaged by vacuum cleaners, shoes, toys, and similar objects. Baseboards are usually nailed down lightly so they can be easily removed or replaced.

Paneling comes in 4′ x 8′ sheets and is made of wood, plastic, rock, cork, or some other material. Several years ago paneling was nailed in place. Today much of the new paneling is glued.

Sometimes a panel will come loose. If the loose part is over a stud or joist, it can be nailed down with a colored finishing nail. When the loose section is not over a stud or joist, panel cement can be forced behind the loose panel. Pound the area with a mallet and padded block while the glue is drying to push it tightly against the wall.

The best way to repair a damaged panel is to replace the entire panel. This may be difficult to do if the panel has been glued and nailed. First carefully remove the molding and baseboard. Then use a thin chisel to pry a corner of the panel loose in order to break the panel free from the glue.

Use the old piece as a pattern for cutting the new piece. Remove old glue from the studs or drywall. Apply new panel cement and press the new panel into place. Pound the panel with a mallet and padded block. Drive several small nails into the panel to hold it down while the glue dries. Afterwards, set the nails with a nail set and cover the holes with a putty stick. Large pieces of old paneling may be kept for patchwork.

Baseboards are a type of molding that run along the bottom of a wall next to the floor. They protect the walls and are not difficult to remove or replace.

Adhesives for gluing panels come in tubes and are applied with a calking gun. Move a cloth-covered block over the face of the panel while striking the block with a mallet. This spreads the glue.

Wood trim is used around the ceiling and around the floor especially where wall paneling has been installed.

Modern buildings need continual upkeep and repair. Roofs must withstand harsh weather and keep the inside of the house dry. Doors and windows are subject to frequent use, and they wear out or break. If not kept in good repair, these things can become a nuisance or a more serious problem.

Home Repair Tips – Painting Your Home

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating    by: ITC

For thousands of years, natural fiber or animal hair brushes were the only things you could use to paint with. Now, however, there are several ways to apply paint:

• Brushes

• Rollers

• Pads

• Spray guns or cans

Good brushes are expensive, but they hold and distribute paint more evenly than cheap ones. The end of each bristle in a good brush is split or “flagged”. These “flags” help spread the paint evenly.

Good brushes have bristles with flag ends that hold paint and spread it evenly. Hog bristles make some of the best brushes.

Natural bristle brushes are used for varnish and oil base paint. For water base paint, use nylon (synthetic) bristles.

The right amount of paint brushed on a wall should cover well but not run. Too much paint should be brushed out evenly before it runs. Too little paint will require a second coat.

Brushes come in several sizes and shapes. for different uses. They may be large and rough for whitewashing, or small and angled to paint around the edges of doors and window frames.

Be sure to clean your brush immediately after you use it. Brushes used for vinyl or latex paints can be cleaned with water or detergent and water. Saturate others in the correct thinner. Thinner that’s been used for cleaning is fine for the first rinse. Work the thinner through the entire length of the bristles. Squeeze out the thinner.

Then soak the brush in clean thinner. Work it through again. Repeat the process several times until the brush is clean. Finally, comb the bristles with a steel comb and hang it by the handle so the bristles will dry straight. When the brush is dry, wrap it in foil or heavy paper and hang it up by the handle. Never store a good brush without protecting the bristles.

Just like brushes, rollers also come in different shapes and sizes. The roller should match the type of paint.

If you get too much paint on a roller, it will splatter. So be sure you press out the excess paint in the roller pan. Running the roller too fast will also make a roller in paint, start in a spot a short distance from where you left off and work your way back. This will help prevent heavy spots and runs.

Some rollers are worth cleaning. Others are better used once and thrown away. Clean rollers in water or the proper solvent.

Paint pads are made of the same materials as rollers. They also come in various shapes.

Painting pads also come in several shapes and sizes. Many pads are made of the same material as rollers. The big difference is that the paint is wiped on instead of being rolled on. Clean paint from pads as you would clean rollers.

Spray painting equipment can be simple or complex. Bypass guns need a compressor but not an air tank. Other. types need an air tank as well as a compressor. Some spray outfits have an electromagnetic vibrator in the gun and no hose or compressor. One type, called an airless sprayer, shoots a jet of pure paint without using any air at all. This type covers best and drifts least. Professionals use it for painting just about everything.

Always wear a mask when you spray paint. Experiment first. Test the gun before actually painting anything.

Keep the spray at right angles (90°) to the surface being painted. Start each stroke beyond the edge of the surface being painted, and move the gun with an even, parallel, back-and forth stroke. Keep it moving so paint will not build up in one spot. Too much paint will ripple, blister, or run. Spray corners and edges first.

If you must spray paint in a room, make certain it is ventilated well. Keep a fire extinguisher handy and wear a mask.

Clean spray equipment as soon as you finish. Spray the proper solvent through the gun before you take it apart. Use a tip cleaner or a broom straw to open clogged jets. A wire or nail will ruin the gun.

Spray cans are like small spray guns. A propellent gas forces paint through a spray nozzle.

Use a spray can as you would a spray gun. Never use a fanning motion. Hold the spray straight, 10 to 12 inches from the surface. Move it parallel to the surface and keep moving. If you stop for even a half second, you will get an orange-peel texture or the paint will run. Don’t change direction until you’ve passed the edge of the job and are spraying into air.

Spray can paint is even thinner than paint used in spray guns. It doesn’t cover as well and runs quicker. Two or three thin coats are better than one heavy coat. Give the paint plenty of time to dry between coats. While you’re waiting, turn the spray can upside down and spray until clear air comes out of the nozzle.

This cleans the nozzle so the paint won’t dry and clog it before you want to spray the next coat.

Because spray cans are under great pressure, they can explode, and careless handling can be dangerous. They should never be punctured or thrown into a fire. Store them in a cool place, away from hot water and heating pipes.

Home Repair Tips – Wall Coverings

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating    by: ITC

Not too long ago, the only wall covering available was wallpaper. Today wall coverings are made of many materials other than paper. Fabric and vinyl are good examples. Some types are prepasted or have adhesive on the back. No matter which type you use, the basic procedures are the same. You will have to:


Prepare the wall surface

Prepare and hang wall covering

To find out how much wall area must be covered, measure each wall and multiply its width by its height. Adding the answers will give you the total area of the wall surface. Next measure the doors and windows. Find their total area by multiplying each one’s height by width and adding them together. Now subtract the total area of the openings from the total area of the wall surface. The answer is the wall area to be covered. Since one roll of wallcovering contains about 30 square feet, divide this number by 30. The answer is the number of rolls you will need.

Many do-it-yourself wallpapering kits contain all the tools you will need.

Before you begin, the wall surface should be clean and free from loose plaster and paper. Surfaces painted with enamel should be sanded to remove the gloss and assure good adhesion. Remove any old wallpaper. Use a steamer or wallpaper remover to lift the paper, and then strip it off.
New walls must be primed before covering.

The most difficult job is hanging the wall covering just right. Begin by attaching a plumb bob to the end of a chalk line. Measure the width of one roll (usually 231/2 inches) from the starting point and hang the plumb bob. Snap the chalk line on the wall. This line will serve as a guide for hanging the first piece.

Cover your table or work surface with several layers of newspaper and unroll the first strip of wall covering. Cut the first piece, allowing two inches of overlap at the ceiling and two inches at the floor. Unroll the next piece and place it alongside the first to match the pattern. Cut enough strips to cover one wall and number them on the back.

Spread paste on the back of the first strip. Be sure to leave no dry spots and pay special attention to the edges. Loosely fold up the bottom half, printed side out, for ease in carrying. Position the strip at the ceiling and smooth it with a brush, working from the center out to the edges. Unfold the bottom section and continue smoothing down.

If the old wallpaper is loose, if you are going to hang vinyl wall covering, or if there are several layers of wallpaper on your wall already, it is best to remove all the old paper before you hang the new paper. This can be done most easily by renting a steamer.

Be sure to work out all of the air bubbles. After about 15 minutes the top and bottom overlap can be trimmed with a sharp blade. To prevent getting paste on the next strip, remove the top layer of newspaper from the table before you apply paste to the next strip.

Other types of wall coverings may need to be soaked in water or the paste may have to be applied directly to the wall. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or ask the person who sells the wall covering.

Two types of seams can be used to join wall coverings. The overlap joint is one in which the sheets actually overlap each other. When using overlapped joints, begin alongside a window and work away from it. This will make the joints less conspicuous. Butt joints are preferred by professionals.

The edge of each strip runs along the edge of the previous strip without overlapping. When using butt joints, begin hanging paper on the longest wall space without windows or doors and work around the room. For either type of seam, wait about 15 minutes for the paste to set and then press down with a seam roller. Carefully trim around electrical boxes.

Much valuable information is often printed in the margins of the wall covering, including trim marks, marks to help you match the pattern, mill run number and manufacturer. Be sure to buy enough wall covering at the start because you may have difficulty matching colors or patterns later.

Apply paste to the bottom two- thirds of the sheet and fold up carefully. Do not crease. Finish applying the paste and carry the folded sheet to the wall.

Brush wallpaper from the center out to the edges. Smooth out all air bubbles.

Trim overlap with a straight, even line. Wall covering joints are either overlapped or butt joints. Professionals prefer butt joints.

Home Repair Tips – Mixing Paint

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating    by: ITC

Before you open the paint, gather at least three times as many rags and more thinner than you think you’ll need. There will be spills to wipe up and brushes or rollers to clean.

Painting begins with stirring. All paint is made of tiny grains of solid material suspended in a binder. If a can of paint sits long enough, the solid particles will settle to the bottom.

Paint can be divided into three basic types:

• Paint

• Enamel or varnish

• Lacquer

Paint has a fiat finish. Some types, like vinyl, latex, whitewash and kalsomine, clean up with water. Other paints have an oil base and use other solvents like turpentine or mineral spirits.

Painters used to stir new paint by hand with a wooden paddle. Then they strained it through cheesecloth to remove hard lumps. Now most paint stores will mix the paint for you in a machine. This distributes color evenly.

The only paint you will have to stir is leftover paint. With a stick, lift off the dried paint (the skin) that has formed on top. Wrap it in old newspaper and throw it away.

Most paint stores have paint mixers to shake up the paint. This method is better and quicker than stirring with a stick.

In time paint will separate. It should be thoroughly mixed before being used.

You can make a handy stirrer by bending a piece of steel rod 3). Attach it to an electric drill with a chuck. Place the rod all the way into the paint before starting the drill. Do not remove the rod while it is moving. Use this stirrer in an open area where nothing important will get spattered.

Enamel is paint mixed with varnish. It gives a glossy, easy-to-clean surface. Never shake enamel or varnish. Stir it slowly. Shaking will fill the can with bubbles which will show up on the painted surface. Once enamel or lacquer has been shaken, it will take about a week for the bubbles to disappear.

Lacquer is of a different chemical family. It can’t be mixed with anything. If lacquer is painted over enamel, it will soften the enamel like paint remover. However, enamel can be painted over well-dried lacquer. Lacquer, like enamel and varnish, should not be shaken. Industry is the biggest user of lacquer.

When you have all the necessary materials together, you are ready to apply the paint.

A straight steel rod can be bent into a stirrer that can be used in a hand drill. The drill must be off before placing the stirrer into or removing it from the paint can. Steady the paint can with your feet.

Shaking enamel, varnish or lacquer creates a foam that will show up as bubbles on the finished surface. NEVER SHAKE ENAMEL, VARNISH, OR LACQUER.

Home Repair Tips – Preparing Walls for Paint

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating    by: ITC

Applying the paint is the smallest part of a paint job. The real work is in preparing the surface and cleaning up afterward. Before you begin to paint:

• Wash the surface

• Remove any fixtures

• Fill depressions

• Sand smooth

• Prime the surface

First, protect furniture, floors, or shrubs with drop cloths. Knock loose dirt and paint off exterior walls with a high pressure hose. Remove all flaking paint with a scraper or a wire brush.

Interior walls that are already painted are usually washed with trisodium phosphate (TSP) and a stiff brush. TSP is a caustic powder that must be mixed with water (one tablespoonful to a gallon of water). Be sure to wear rubber gloves. TSP removes skin almost as fast as. it removes dirt and grease from old paint. Then rinse the walls with water and dry completely.

Fixtures are removed to make it easier to paint and to keep from getting paint on the fixtures. Remove switch plates only after the wall has been washed. After the switch plates are removed, you may find dirty rings on the wall. This should be carefully wiped off. Wring your sponge as dry as possible.

Most walls have cracks, nail holes, or dents. Fill them with wood putty,’ spackling compound, or another fill, depending on the material the wall is made of. Before applying spackle, wet the area. Build up the patch slightly above the wall. When it is dry, sand the patch until it is even with the rest of the wall. Old painted wood must be sanded smooth.

The final step, priming, prepares the surface for paint. Prime patches and seal wood knots with shellac or sealer. Use primer over new wood because new wood absorbs paint like a sponge.

Everything must be thoroughly dry before you begin to paint. There is a lot of work in preparing to paint.

Build up patches above the surface. Let them dry, and sand the patch flush with the surface.

Home Repair Tips – Paint Safety

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating    by: ITC

Painting can be dangerous. The careless use and storage of paints and related materials can cause needless injuries. Safe painting has two aspects:

• Safety of the painter and other people

• Safety of property

Most important, of course, is personal safety. This includes using a ladder properly. First inspect the ladder. Never use a ladder that is cracked or broken. A ladder should never be painted because paint may cover a dangerous crack. Place the ladder on a firm base and at the proper slant

Personal safety also includes proper use of chemicals such as:


• Paints

▪ Thinners

Many of the cleansers used to prepare surfaces for painting are caustic. That means they will burn flesh and often ruin clothing. All dangerous cleansers have warning labels. Such labels warn against getting the cleanser on your skin, in your eyes, swallowing it, or using it without adequate ventilation. The labels will tell you what to do if one of these things happens. Read the entire warning label before you use the product.

Once the surface is ready, there are more labels to read. Paints and thinners also have directions and warning labels that must be read.

Use the correct thinner for the paint you are using. The wrong thinner can make your paint and brush as hard as concrete. Paint thinner, mineral spirits, or turpentine is used to thin and clean up oil based paints. Alcohol dissolves shellac. Lacquer thinner will cut lacquer.

All paint thinners have one thing in common: they evaporate fast. This means that thinner gets into the air where it is easy to breathe. Besides being dangerous to your health, thinner mixed with air is explosive. One spark can set it off.

Always ventilate the working area. Open at least two doors or windows, on opposite walls if possible. Leave them open until the paint has dried.

Fire is another threat. Under certain conditions some stored chemicals can explode into flames. This is called spontaneous combustion. All flammable materials should be kept in airtight containers to prevent spontaneous combustion.

Paints can also be dangerous. Lead based paint is poisonous, and most states have outlawed the use of lead in paints. Never use paint with lead in it.

Spraying is one of the best and one of the most dangerous ways to apply paint. Always wear a face mask when spray painting. Be especially careful where you use a spray gun. Sprayed paints can drift a long way, and it doesn’t take much to ruin the paint on a car or nearby house. Spray paint doesn’t just disappear into the air. Sooner or later it lands somewhere.

Whenever you paint indoors be sure to ventilate the room. Openings at opposite sides of the room are better than two openings in the same area.

Keep chemical containers closed tightly when not in use. Store them in fireproof cabinets. Place rags in fireproof metal containers. Dispose of chemical soaked rags as soon as possible.

Property is often damaged because painters forget how far sprayed paint can be carried by the wind.

Home Repair Tips – Wall Repairs

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

Older walls and sometimes even new ones will need some repair before finishing. The most common wall repairs include:

• Dents

• Small holes

• Large holes

• Nail pops

• Split tape

You can repair dents by sanding around them, trowling joint compound (spackle) into the dent, and finally smoothing out the area. This is essentially plastering. Once it is dry, you can sand, seal, paint, or wallpaper the patch to match the rest of the wall.

Small holes are repaired like dents. A wad of newspaper behind the hole will prevent the joint compound from falling between the walls.

For large holes, you will have to patch a piece of drywall into place. Remove all loose material from around the hole with a utility knife. Then cut a piece of drywall to fill the hole. If the patch doesn’t rest on solid wood, set a screw in the patch to use as a handle. After the joint compound hardens, remove the screw and plaster the whole patch with joint cement. Then sand the patch to match the rest of the wall.

When the house framing expands or shrinks, nails pop and become visible under the paint or wallpaper. If the nails are tight, just drive them back below the surface with a claw hammer. Plaster the dent with joint compound. If the nails are loose, pull them if it won’t damage the wall, or drive them so deep they won’t come out again. Then drive new nails nearby. Cover the nails with joint cement. Use only drywall nails. Regular nails will rust when covered with joint cement.

Split tape is caused by the house settling. The tape will bulge like a bubble or blister or actually crack. Cut and pull off the loose tape. Remove all the loose tape or it will split again. Then sand the area and spread a thin coat of joint compound over it. With a wide putty knife work the tape into this compound. Plaster over the tape with compound. When it is dry, sand it.

Bathroom and kitchen walls are sometimes covered with ceramic tile. When a tile is cracked, it should be replaced. Start by removing the tile and old grout. You may have to break the tile with a hammer and chisel.

Repair large holes by cutting a piece of drywall to fit the hole. Cement the patch and hold it in place with a handle made from a screw. When it has dried, remove the screw and plaster, sand and finish the whole area.

Sometimes it is necessary to back a hole with newspaper when filling a hole with spackle or patching plaster. A piece of wire screen or plasterboard works well also.

Most wall repair is essentially plastering. On drywall, use drywall cement or spackle to fill the hole. Wood walls are repaired with wood putty.

Nail pops that are tight can simply be driven back in with a hammer and a nail set. Loose nails should be pulled or driven in. Drive a new nail nearby.

Although the tile is usually set in a special cement, it is much easier to glue the replacement tile with white epoxy cement. The wall must be dry. Use a putty knife or cover your finger with a piece of plastic or cellophane and work the epoxy around the tile to match the old grout. Hold the tile in place until the epoxy begins to set.

Clean all cement off the tiles before it hardens.

Wallpaper is difficult to repair. To replace a greasy or torn spot, carefully tear a piece of matching wallpaper from the front of the patch so the backing will be torn away from the edges. Remove the old piece. Match the pattern and paste down the new patch. The seams will always be slightly visible, but the ragged edges will make them less obvious.

Sometimes wallpaper bulges loose in a bubble. Cut a small slit in the bubble and force paste behind it, in order to work the bubble down. The cut is less visible if it is made along a straight line in the wallpaper pattern.

Remove all tape that is loose. Spread joint compound over the area and work new tape down with a putty knife. Then plaster over.

An uneven piece of wallpaper is less noticeable than one that is cut straight. Tearing the backing off the edges will make it even less obvious.

Gluing tiles with white epoxy cement is easier than using grout. The cement must be spread by hand to look like grout. Protect your finger with a piece of plastic.