Fix It Yourself and Save
Five projects you can do around the house for a fraction of the cost of a pro.
Repair a Small Crack in Drywall
Time: 30 minutes of active work, plus 25 minutes of drying time.
What you need: Spackle ($4, homedepot.com), a putty knife ($8, lowes.com), a fan or hair dryer, fine-grit sandpaper, interior-latex primer, a small paintbrush or roller, and paint (ideally left over from when you painted the room).
Step 1. Scoop enough Spackle on the putty knife to cover the crack. Spread it over the flaw completely. Do not scrape away the excess.
Step 2. Aim a fan at the spot or blast it with a hair dryer set on low for 10 to 15 minutes to expedite drying.
Step 3. Once it’s dry, sand the surface lightly with sandpaper until the patch is smooth and flush with the wall.
Step 4. To disguise your handiwork, apply a thin coat of primer using a small brush or roller. Run the fan or hair dryer for three minutes to promote faster drying.
Step 5. Apply two coats of matching wall paint. Use the fan or dryer for two to three minutes after each coat.
A pro charges: $75
DIY cost: $0, after the initial $12 for supplies
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