Drywall Repair – Drywall Damage From Towel Rack

I have written previously about the right way to install towel racks; that being with at least one side anchored into the vertical wood stud behind the drywall.

Too often even professional contractors install them using drywall anchor plugs on both sides.

When that occurs, sooner or later, one side or the other of the towel rack will start to become loose from the wall and eventually cause damage.

That was the situation we had in one of our daughter’s bathrooms.

This is a simple but multi-step home bathroom renovation project even you can do and do well.

When I simply removed the towel rack from the wall and reinstalled it properly just a little to the left so one side could be anchored directly into a vertical wooded stud behind the drywall, this was the result:

Repositioned Towel Rack Drywall Repair   Drywall Damage From Towel Rack

So, what to do with the two pairs of holes caused by removing the drywall anchors?

Well, yes, one could simply use drywall compound to fill in the holes, followed by a bit of sanding and painting. That repair approach could work for one pair of these holes, yet if not done properly the result could be a very rough and not attractive finished.

There is a certain technique to do the job right.

Additionally, take a closer look at the  pair of holes on the right, as shown below:

Damaged Drywall Membrane Drywall Repair   Drywall Damage From Towel Rack

Do you notice the damaged drywall paper membrane in the above picture? Look closely at the above picture where you should be able to make out what looks like circles around each of the holes in the drywall. If I simply tried to apply drywall compound, the mark of the damaged drywall paper membrane would still come through.

So, the first step is to actually use a utility knife to make the holes larger; sufficiently large to remove the damaged drywall paper membrane.

Damaged Drywall Paper1 Drywall Repair   Drywall Damage From Towel Rack

Yes, this will make the holes larger; however, that’s OK.

The next step is then to apply the drywall compound into each pair of holes.

Drywall Compound Drywall Repair   Drywall Damage From Towel Rack

Now, remember, drywall compound will shrink when it dries. So, as you can see in the picture below even when the drywall compound is only partially dry it will shrink back a little into the drywall hoes.

Drywall Compound Drys Drywall Repair   Drywall Damage From Towel Rack

Therefore, simply applying drywall compound once will not do. You need to apply a second layer of drywall compound after, and only after, the first application dries.

Second Layer of Drywall Compound Applied and Dried Drywall Repair   Drywall Damage From Towel Rack

Once the second layer of drywall compound fully dries, check it out and if there is no longer any depression in the drywall holes proceed to sand the excess comp0und so there is a smooth finish before the next step. Notice the difference between the last two pictures? The last one is after the second drywall compound application and sanding has been completed.

Select this link to the follow up article describing the next step in this small drywall hole repair project.

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  1. dennis j kucharzak says:

    thanks for an easy fix and monies saved, previous tenants left 20+ holes !!

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