My wife and I just bought our first home four months ago and despite
the fact that it's a brand new home, we're getting a real crash-course
in home repair. The house is withstanding a great deal of the abuse
inflicted on it by my 2- and 8-year-old, but just recently, my son took
a small chunk out of the corner of one of our walls with one of his
Better to show than tell:
As you can see from the pic, he knocked the paint and material
completely off the corner in question, exposing the steel surface
underneath. Now, if this were just a spot of chipped paint, it would be
a no-brainer, but what should a newbie home owner like me do here? I
assume I need to put something in there first to fill it in before
repainting, but I have no clue as to what that would be.
Any pointer or web sites with tutorials would be greatly appreciated.
1. Slap the crap out of the little shit so it doesn't happen again.
2. Buy a small container of "spackle", a 1" & a 4" putty knife, a couple of
sanding sponges and a high quality 2" paint brush. (All of this stuff will
be used repeatedly in the next 20 years)
3. Apply the spackle with the putty knife, let it dry, sand with sponge
(first with rougher one, then less rough one), dust off and retouch with
matching paint. (You do have matching paint left by the builder, don't
you?) If not, H-D or Lowe's can mix quart if you provide them a sample
LOL! Well, he's 2, so for now we'll hold off on that, but if this
happens when he gets older I'll take your advice into consideration.
This is sort of what I suspected would be the first step but I wasn't
sure and I didn't know if there were other things I had to do prior to
spackling since this went right down to the metal surface under the
After spackling and smoothing look closely to see if texture is
required. Big box stores carry it in spray can, though pricey. If
he's only two chances are great you'll need texture spray for several
If you want reproduce the texture, you can buy two part silicone based
molding putty at hobby stores and make a mold from it by spreading a thick
layer on an undamaged area of the wall. Buy the kind that says easy
release, which most silicones are. Then use a thicker application of the
spackle and while it's still soft press the mold into it.
I used this method on a wall where the gouge was big and very visible. You
might be able to get away with using a damp, coarse sponge on the corner.
OK, slapping the crap out of him may not be a PC thing to do these days, but
if you wait until he's older to discipline him when he does something he
shouldn't.... good luck! There's a whole branch of the government that
deals with people that weren't properly taught right from wrong at an early
age - it's called the Department of Correction in most states!
This is off-topic, and as much as I appreciate the help with the wall,
I have to respectfully disagree. As someone who was raised with that
kind of discipline, I can assure you that it does not work. I still got
into trouble even though I was physically disciplined, and I just ended
up resenting my parents. Lose-lose situation. It creates an atmosphere
of fear not respect which is the key to making a child *want* to
behave. Which is more effective? A child who behaves because he
respects you and wants to live up to your expectations, or a child who
behaves because he's fearful and doesn't want to be spanked? The former
will behave when you're not around, the latter won't.
My wife and I have had extraordinarily good results with taking away
privileges from our older child (i.e., no TV, no video games, no park,
no friends overs, etc.) and there's no intimidation going on with that
approach. For the 2-year-old, simple but stern explanations appear to
go a long way. We've managed to put an end to him hitting his older
sister as well as biting and scratching. The ding in the wall was the
accidental result of him running through the house with a toy in his
hand. There's little sense in disciplining in that case.
You'll find that, statistically, children raised with inattentive
parents (and so, by extension, the single-parent households that
conservatives love to focus on so intently) are the ones who end up in
that system most often. By that fact alone, any parent who disciplines,
physically or otherwise, is doing the right thing. However, I think
some forms of discipline can yield bad side-effects while not being
One other thing (and this will bring things back around to being
on-topic somewhat) I've also found that expecting a child to correct
their own mistakes can be very effective too. If it were my 8-year-old
who had dinged the wall, I would expect her to help with the repair.
Not only does that represent a form of discipline (what kid wants to
sit there doing that kind of thing when the neighbor kids are outside
playing?) but it's a great learning experience to boot. As a result of
that, I can stop my daughter from misbehaving most of the time by
asking her, "What's wrong with what you're doing right now?" She'll
come back with an explanation and will stop immediately.
Wow... didn't mean to carry on like this, but it's a topic that really
gets me going. There are lots of ways to handle discipline that don't
Actually, since the wall is textured, you're in luck (assuming you can match
the paint.) Basically, just get a small tub of drywall joint compound, or
"Spackle", and spoon it on there. The good thing is you can do a sloppy job
because the wall's not flat. Use your fingers to put it on if you like, and
just get it to look rough like the surrounding wall. If you have a can of
the paint left over, obviously use that. If not, bring in another little
chunk of the wall to a store for them to match. Worst case scenario you'll
have to repaint the walls (up to a corner) if you can't get an exact match.
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