How to Hire the Best Painting and Drywall Repair Service Near You
When searching for “painting and drywall repair near me,” it’s important to choose a qualified professional to repair the damage so the wall is returned to its original state, or better.
Walls aren’t something most people think about too often, unless they’re considering updating the colors or adding wallpaper. But walls provide the frame of what a home looks like, and when they’re in shoddy condition, they can make the whole home look shabby and unkept. Damage can happen quickly: someone trips over a bag, a pet, a child, or their own feet and throws out an arm to catch themselves, plunging an elbow through the drywall in the hallway. Even worse, damage can occur silently as water from a small leak drips down behind the wall, soaking the wallboard from behind until suddenly a bubble appears in the paint or the paint gives way and sends water coursing down the surface. Once the sore elbow and leaky pipe have been addressed, it’s time to figure out how to repair the drywall, because a slapdash coat of spackle and paint isn’t going to blend with the rest of the surface and will always look like a patch.
The first decision for homeowners to make is whether the damage is a candidate for a DIY fix. Repairing very small holes or scratches could be as simple as a quick daub of hole filler, then some sandpaper, primer, and paint. Anything larger than that may require sheets of drywall, drywall tape, and drywall mud, and probably a professional, so it’s time to look for references for professional help. This is one repair where the quality of the professional’s workmanship really matters, so it’s important to choose someone who can provide references and photos of work they’ve done in the past. It’s also a good idea to cast a wide net while looking for the right person for the job. Searching for “painting contractors near me” or “drywall contractors near me” will likely turn up a large number of businesses and contractors who provide this service, though it may be useful for homeowners to limit the search to the specific need by searching for “residential drywall contractors near me” or “painting and drywall repair near me” to weed out those contractors who focus on commercial applications or who only provide drywall work if the repair will also demand paint. Once some likely candidates are identified, it will be helpful for homeowners to know what work needs to be done before seeking estimates so the terms and service requests can be made from an educated standpoint.
The Cost to Hire a Painting and Drywall Repair Service
Fixing drywall and painting the repair will vary in cost depending on several factors. First, the cost of the repair and the painting will likely be separate charges, and if the homeowner ishiring a drywall painter and a drywall repair pro separately, the total cost of the job may be a bit higher than it would be to hire a professional who can handle both aspects of the job. Nationally, drywall repair costs between $294 and $876, with the average customer paying around $573. According to Angi, the cost to paint a home’s interior ranges between $948 and $2,950, averaging about $1,949 per job—but painting a single room can cost as little as $200. What affects the cost of a drywall repair? There are a number of components that affect the cost, including the following.
- Size of the repair: Larger areas will require more material, time, and texture matching, and will therefore cost more than smaller repairs. Large or whole-wall repairs may mean a drywall specialist is required, rather than a handyperson, at greater expense.
- Type of damage: Cracks or chips are pretty easy and inexpensive to repair, while water or mold damage requires more extensive (and expensive) repair.
- Location of damage: Localized repairs such as midsize holes or punctures are simpler repairs than stress cracks that spread across a whole sheet of drywall.
- Type of repair: Patching and sanding a repair in drywall is a simple, everyday repair. Damage that requires replacement of a panel will involve taping and mudding as well. If there’s a plaster wall involved in the repair, the fix will require specialty work that will be more expensive.
- Type and finish of paint: Believe it or not, the finish or sheen of the paint selected to cover the repair affects the cost of the painting job. Flat latex paints are affordable and forgiving; the absence of shine camouflages imperfections in the walls and makes roller or brush marks less obvious, so it costs less to apply. Glossier latex paints require more finesse to apply well, and high-glass enamel paint is exceptionally difficult to apply well and to touch up, so it costs more to apply.
- Number of rooms involved: Small drywall patches in a room where the paint can be feathered into existing paint won’t be a costly fix. However, if the existing paint is old or faded, it will likely be necessary to paint the entire wall, or possibly the entire room. In an open-plan home or a home where all of the walls are painted the same color, this could lead to multiple rooms being repainted. More rooms equal more time and materials, and therefore more cost.
Common Painting and Drywall Repair Services
What, exactly, does a drywall repair service do? There are many different types of damage that happen to walls and ceilings, and each kind requires a different kind of repair. A drywall specialist may be needed for some repairs, while others may only require a handyperson with some experience using the repair materials.
Chip or Crack Repair
Chips can happen whenever something sharp impacts the drywall, and these can usually be easily repaired with a drywall repair kit that costs between $10 and $30. The kits come with all the materials needed to do the repair: some drywall mud or medium, a small scraper or putty knife, sandpaper, and a brush or touch-up paint. Hiring a professional to fix a chip or fill a crack will cost between $60 and $90 per hour. Cracks are a slightly different situation; if a crack forms after an impact or is branching away from a chip or hole, it’s OK to go the DIY route to fill and smooth the crack, just as one would with a chip. If the crack exists for no particular reason, or if there are several traveling in the same direction, consult a professional to make sure that the house isn’t shifting and that there’s no problem with the foundation before filling the cracks. Repairing a hairline crack can cost around $60, while a large crack or a crack that goes around a corner can run up to $400.
Dents are a reasonably easy repair as well and can often be completed by a handy homeowner. A bucket of joint compound (about $8) and a trowel (about $15) are necessary: Homeowners will want to smooth the compound into the dent in thin layers, allowing the layers to dry before adding more compound, until the dent is full, then sand it flush with the surrounding wall. Then they will need to prime and paint the patch to match the walls to complete the repair. If there are several dents, a professional may be able to do a better job matching the texture of the walls and matching and blending the paint at a cost of $60 to $90 an hour.
Pinholes can be repaired with a small smudge of joint compound. Larger holes, however, require patching. Fixing small holes may be a DIY job, but holes larger than 1 inch will look cleaner and more finished if they’re repaired by someone with more experience. Larger holes require a patch, which is an actual piece of mesh or drywall tape stretched over the hole and secured with drywall mud that is feathered into the surrounding surface. Larger holes may require other materials to fill the hole, or a patch cut from a spare piece of drywall that is taped and mudded in. Sanding down drywall tape and mud to a smooth finish can be very challenging (and frustrating), so it’s worth hiring a professional to handle larger holes, which will cost between $50 and $75 per square foot.
Repairing a drywall ceiling has several additional layers of complexity beyond the process of vertical drywall repairs closer to the ground. On a wall, the repair will adhere to the rest of the vertical surface and be kept in place by the tape and mud and the support of the surrounding wall. A ceiling repair must be secured or fastened to the surrounding ceiling or the ceiling supports firmly enough that gravity won’t bring it down. Also, there’s a fair amount of other structures above most ceilings, so the repair can’t just be screwed into whatever material is above the damage. Ceiling damage is often caused by water leakage or pooling, so it’s a good idea to call in a professional to check the ceiling—there’s no point in repairing a damaged spot if the rest of the ceiling is compromised and could collapse at any minute. Materials for a ceiling repair cost around $30 (more if whole sheets of drywall need to be replaced), and the labor will cost the standard $60 to $90 per hour, averaging a total cost of $320 to $1,300, but it’s worth it. These repairs involve ladders, odd neck angles, and overhead sanding, none of which are ideal for less-experienced homeowners or renters. Search for “ceiling drywall repair near me” to find ceiling specialists.
When water damage occurs, a contractor can cut out the damaged part of the drywall, including a margin of undamaged drywall so that the border is sound, and replace it with new drywall, taping and using a drywall knife and mud to seal the patch in place. Mold damage requires more diligence, as the spores can spread beyond the water-damaged area if the mold itself is not remediated. A small patch of spores might be abated with some bleach or a mold-killing product, at which time the drywall can be cut out and replaced, but a larger mold problem will require professional remediation at a cost of approximately $2,300, depending on the size of the issue. It will also be important to find the source of the moisture that allowed the mold to flourish, which means that prior to the actual repair, a plumber might be necessary, which will add between $170 and $450 to the bill, depending on the source of the problem. The cost of repairing the drywall itself will depend on the size of the replacement drywall and how long it takes to make the repair, plus supplies.
The average cost to paint a room is between $2 and $6 per square foot. Luckily, it’s much easier to calculate the area of a room that needs to be repainted than it is to calculate the cost of exterior painting, which requires much more math. There may be some variation depending on how many coats of the best drywall primer and paint are needed, and if there are special textures to be matched or if the paint needs to be a higher-gloss sheen. A good painter will work to feather the new paint into the old, but be aware that if the room hasn’t been repainted in some time, it may be impossible to match the paint on the repair, and it may become necessary to paint the whole wall—or the whole room. If that’s likely, based on the age of the paint or the size of the repair, it may be a great time to consider changing up the paint color in the whole room!
Unless the wallpaper in the room was quite recently applied, it will be exceptionally difficult to create a seamless patch over a drywall repair. It’s certainly an option to have the whole space re-wallpapered, but many people will opt to have the wallpaper removed instead. This can certainly be a DIY job, but if the wallpaper has been in place for a long time, the removal may be more easily done by someone who has the appropriate equipment. Wallpaper removal costs around $3 per square foot, or about $535 for a 12-by-12-foot room. If the room will then be repainted, the sanding and patching that will be necessary to remove residual glue and fill small tears in the drywall where bits came away with the paper will cost an additional $0.50 to $0.75 per square foot to make it paint-ready.
Do I Need a Painting and Drywall Repair Service?
Drywall isn’t a structural element in a home; it’s a covering that divides homes into discrete spaces and contains and conceals plumbing, wiring, and other home systems from view. Because of this, most minor damage doesn’t need to be repaired the moment it occurs. What kind of drywall damage needs to be repaired immediately? What can wait? Sometimes damage is small and mostly cosmetic, but more significant damage can create a safety hazard
Some drywall damage needs to be addressed immediately for health and safety reasons. This kind of damage is usually significant enough that it’s a good plan to call a professional to handle the work—or to handle the underlying problem.
- Presence of mold. There’s been water damage, and visible signs of mold are present. Mold can spread through the core of the drywall and into framing, and it can travel through the HVAC system. Mold requires immediate attention to stop its spread throughout the home.
- Damage to wiring. A large hole or break through the drywall has tangled into electrical wiring. If there’s any possibility that the wiring has been pulled loose or broken away, turn off the breaker and check with an electrician, then contact a drywall professional to have the wall repaired to prevent further damage.
- Sudden cracks. Multiple cracks have appeared suddenly in the drywall with no apparent cause. In this case, a structural issue may have developed and will need prompt evaluation.
- Dangerous nail pops. A nail or screw has popped through the drywall in an area that will snag on clothing, people, or pets as they walk past.
- Large hole or crack. A hole or crack is large enough to allow pets or small children to reach or climb into the wall space. This is a safety hazard on a number of levels, and the damage should be papered or gated over until a prompt repair can take place.
Most drywall damage is more cosmetic in nature than dangerous, and the following kinds of damage can be addressed when it’s convenient to do so.
- Small holes. Nail holes and small gouges that are visible after rearranging the wall decor.
- Dents. A piece of furniture (or a child chasing after a pet or another child) has impacted the wall, creating a dent or hole that doesn’t involve other wall structures.
- Holes. A door was flung open, crashing into the wall behind it and causing a hole.
It’s important for a homeowner to take a close look at the drywall in all of the rooms when a home is being prepared for sale. Most people stop seeing small imperfections in their homes because they see them every day, but a potential buyer will be looking for things they’ll have to fix once they move in, and dents, cracks, and holes in the drywall will draw their eyes immediately. Unless there’s a large hole (which will need to be repaired anyway), most small drywall repairs won’t cost much to fix but will go a long way toward making the home look better to buyers. It’s advisable for homeowners to walk through the home and look closely at the walls. Then they’ll want to fill, smooth, and repaint small chips, cracks, dents, and holes. With these details addressed, the home will show well, and any negotiations with the buyers won’t be about small, nitpicky issues that could have been easily fixed beforehand.
‘Painting and Drywall Repair Near Me’: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Many small drywall holes, chips, and cracks are easily and inexpensively fixed by a homeowner who knows how to patch drywall (or a renter trying to save their security deposit) with a kit or supplies from a home improvement store. If these small repairs are done carefully and meticulously, they’ll likely be invisible. As the repairs get larger, however, the cost savings is less significant, especially if the DIY fix is obviously visible even after multiple attempts at sanding and painting and a professional has to be called in anyway. Cutting and taping drywall is a skill that is honed; almost anyone can probably do it, but only someone skilled can do it well enough that it blends properly with the rest of the wall. Painted drywall isn’t flat—but a perfectly sanded patch of joint compound is, so when it’s painted it will shine like a beacon in the middle of the wall.
Sometimes a local handyperson has a lot of experience with drywall repair and can do a great job for less than the cost of a drywall specialist, and a handyperson is also more likely to do the painting and finishing as well. Larger repairs, especially for ceilings or those that require replacement of large swaths of drywall, are best left to someone from a reputable company whose daily work is drywall installation and repair.
Painting is a job many homeowners and renters are willing to take on themselves—after all, how hard could it be? First-time painters are often shocked to find out how difficult painting can be. Television renovation shows make it look quick and simple, leaving out the hours of preparation that happens before a brush touches a wall. In real homes, walls aren’t perfectly smooth, corners and edges are rarely square, and it takes a lot of practice to cut in from trim and ceilings (and to avoid sloshing paint on other surfaces). It can absolutely be a DIY project with some patience, practice, and good tools—and if a homeowner follows some professional painting tips. The best house painters will get the job done faster and more precisely, however, and the home’s residents can be spared the years of catching their eyes on that one spot above the window where their brush grazed the ceiling that they couldn’t quite hide.
How to Find a Reputable Painting and Drywall Repair Service
Drywall repair services aren’t something that everyone has in their standard contact list. Unlike the type of damage requiring the services of electricians and plumbers, drywall damage doesn’t seem like much of an emergency until it is. Since a fair amount of minor damage can be repaired by a home’s residents or by a handyperson, some people may never have cause to look for a drywall repair company. Choosing a reputable drywall repair service is similar to hiring any other kind of contractor.
- Ask for recommendations. Ask friends, family, neighbors, and local construction contractors for referrals; you’ll likely find there are more referrals for painters than for drywall pros. Ask the contractors if you can actually see some of the walls they’ve painted to get a sense of how precise their work is.
- Look for local contractors. Search for “licensed drywall contractors near me,” “drywall repairman near me,” or “drywall finishers near me,” along with “interior painters near me” or “residential painting contractors near me.” These searches will turn up a combination of local and national companies and individual contractors.
- Consult the professionals. Contact the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI) for references if there aren’t a lot of companies or contractors in the area.
- Ask for references. Check the references, and ask to see photos or samples of the work that a company or contractor has done.
How to Save Money on Hiring a Painting and Drywall Repair Service
Professional drywall repair isn’t terribly expensive—especially considering the aesthetic value and increase in a home’s value when repairs are done well—but there are ways to save a few extra dollars when hiring a contractor to do the work.
- Handle small repairs yourself. For tiny chips or nail holes, it’s easy to get a good finish and less expensive than hiring a pro.
- Do some of the finishing work yourself. Have the professional do the repair and sand and texture the wall, then handle the painting and cleanup.
- Group repairs together. Generally, contractors charge by the hour. If there are a number of small repairs that need to be done, use up the hour by asking the contractor to take care of this collection of small repairs.
- Do prep work yourself. When hiring painting contractors, ask if you can do the preparation work yourself. This usually entails washing and lightly sanding the walls, taping off trim, and laying down protection over carpets and floors. That kind of work takes a lot of time, and time is money!
- Pay for the higher quality paint and brushes. Investing the extra money initially will pay off when the job requires fewer coats of paint and results in a finer finish.
- If you’re doing the painting, slow down. There’s no reason to rush—rushing means more specks and spots where the paint doesn’t fully cover or adhere, more accidental brushstrokes, and uneven coats. This results in more time and more coats of paint needed to cover the walls.
Questions to Ask Your Local Painting and Drywall Repair Service
There are many questions to ask before hiring painting and drywall contractors. Some of them will be job specific, while others are general questions that should be asked of any contractor. Before signing anything or paying, make sure that all relevant questions are answered and that pertinent details are spelled out in a written contract.
- How long have you been in business in this area?
- What licenses and insurance do you carry?
- Who will be in charge of the work on-site?
- Are there specialists in your company—ceiling specialists, water damage specialists, drywall generalists, tapers and mudders—or is everyone trained on all elements of repair?
- What repair method would you suggest for my project? Why?
- Is the cost determined by the job or by the hour?
- Does the cost include prep work and cleanup?
- What is the payment schedule?
- How should I prepare the house for the work?
- Will the painters take care of prep work and cleanup?
- Is there an extra charge for painting the molding as well?
- What kind of guarantee or warranty do you provide for your work?
Well-done drywall repair and interior painting can make a surprising difference in a home’s ambience. Smooth walls with careful painting look precise, warm, and well cared for, and even texture and sheen reflect the light in a way that flatters both the home and its residents. For those who have never hired contractors for this work before, there are a lot of questions to ask. The following are some of the most common questions homeowners have about drywall repair and painting, as well as their answers, to guide homeowners’ early steps.
Q. Do painters also fix drywall?
Some do, some don’t. Most painters are skilled at completing small repairs, filling nail holes and small cracks, and generally smoothing out the wall surface. Some painters can also take care of larger repairs that involve larger-scale patching or drywall replacement. If a homeowner needs both types of work done at the same time, they’ll want to ask contractors and companies if they have workers who are expert in both services available.
Q. How can I tell if my drywall should be repaired?
Nails popping through the drywall and other surface damage, such as dents, holes, scrapes, and cracks, will be visible, and it’s up to the resident’s discretion as to when the small damage becomes annoying enough to repair. Large holes should be repaired, and a series of new cracks with no obvious cause should be checked out to make sure there isn’t a structural problem with the home. Water damage is more insidious, because often it’s happening on the back side of the drywall for a long time before it reveals itself, so you’ll have to look for more subtle clues. A musty smell in the room, some mild discoloration or streaks in the paint, or an overall damp feeling in the room means it’s a good idea for a resident to have someone come take a look at the walls and ceiling.
Q. Is sanding necessary before painting drywall?
Residents can paint drywall without sanding, but the texture of the walls and the smoothness of the paint will never be quite what they hoped for. Bare drywall that is newly installed needs to be sanded and primed, then sanded again before painting. Otherwise, the drywall itself and the drywall mud will absorb the paint differently, resulting in a shiny-smooth grid of paint where the paint sits atop the smooth mud and dull squares where the drywall absorbed it. For an even coat of paint, sanding is a necessary step prior to painting (even if there’s already paint on most of the wall). Homeowners who know how to sand drywall may be able to handle this themselves, but others will want to have a professional tackle the project.
Q. Is it better to patch or replace drywall?
If the drywall is in good shape and generally sound except for the immediate area that requires repair, it’s fine to patch it. If the drywall is riddled with cracks, sags, feels damp, or has experienced significant water damage (indicated by discoloration, swelling, or a slightly soft feeling), it’s better to replace the piece. Otherwise, the resident is running the risk of undertaking a repair and repaint job and having the wall sag or collapse soon after. It’s wise for a homeowner to consider investing in the cost of new drywall if the current drywall is beyond repair.
Q. What’s involved in drywall repair?
For a small repair, the process involves cleaning out the area of damage, filling it with joint compound or drywall mud, smoothing, sanding, priming, and painting. It’s possible that this may take some time if the damage is moderate, as it may require several layers of compound rather than one big glob for it to dry properly. Larger repairs involve patching with drywall tape and mud, or cutting out a section of damaged drywall, then installing a support for the new piece of drywall, screwing the replacement piece into place, taping and mudding, then sanding and painting. It’s a doable job for some homeowners, but the larger the repair is, the more ideal it is to hire a professional, because taping, mudding, and sanding is work that requires experience to do well.
Q. Do painters fix drywall before painting?
If wall preparation is included in the estimate of the painting job, most painters will fill small nail holes, patch imperfections, and fill cracks. Wall preparation may be an additional cost—it’s important for customers to check on that when signing the contract. Some painters may also be able to provide larger drywall repairs as well, but not all painters are highly skilled with larger drywall repair, so again, it’s important to ask that question before hiring the contractor. Large repairs really need to be completed by someone who is very experienced with drywall taping and mudding to achieve a strong and successful result and a smooth surface.