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My children managed to pull on the curtains hard enough to yank the bracket which attached the curtain rod to the wall out. What is the best way to repair this?

Here's what it looks like: here's

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In my family this happens over & over. Our landlord put in really long curtains, which makes them an easy target. –  Jay Bazuzi Nov 19 '10 at 3:17
    
See also - diy.stackexchange.com/questions/2376/… - which covers the same subject but for brick walls. Some of the answers might be applicable in this case too. –  ChrisF Nov 19 '10 at 12:22
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Looks like this was a problem waiting to happen. Using two of those drywall anchors so close together means that there was not much material left between them, causing a weak point for failure. –  Tester101 Nov 19 '10 at 13:20
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5 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

There's several ways to fix this, depending on a few things.

The best thing to do is avoid drywall anchors, and screw directly into a stud. If there's one close enough that it looks okay, you should do that. You'll have to patch up these holes, which may be a bit of a pain to do with the textured walls, but it's doable.


The next best option is probably to use a toggle bolt anchor. These are bolts that expand when you put them in the wall:

alt text

This site has some good info on them, including a sizing chart:

Toggle Size  Drill Bit Needed

1/8" toggle   3/8" drill
3/16" toggle  1/2" drill
1/4" toggle   5/8" drill
5/16" toggle  7/8" drill
3/8" toggle   7/8 drill
1/2" toggle   1 1/4" drill

This option has the advantage that you can probably use the existing holes (just use a large enough toggle bolt), and bolts are reasonably strong so hopefully this won't happen again.

It's hard to tell from the picture, but if the curtain hardware doesn't totally cover the holes you'll need to do some cosmetic work. Keep in mind though that if you patch these holes with compound, they still won't be as strong as regular drywall, so you won't be able to put the same size anchor back in and expect it to hold.

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I'd recommend spray texture for the walls when you patch, just practice a little practice first until you get close to the texture you need. –  Niall C. Nov 19 '10 at 2:05
    
I might give the toggle bolts a try. I'm a bit worried about it ripping out again, if I just stick it in the same hole since it's been weakened now. I'm wondering if I might be able to stick a piece of wood through the hole to bridge the behind the drywall and screw directly into it...then patch the dry wall with some joint compound. Thoughts? –  Shane Nov 19 '10 at 2:34
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If you can open the wall up more to put in the wood, sure, that would work, though you'd have a lot more drywall patching to do. Since this is an outside wall, you'll also have the vapor barrier to worry about. This is why I suggested toggle bolts - it's effectively the same result, so long as you use a large enough toggle bolt. Most of the pressure will actually be away from the hole, at the edge of where the toggles sit. –  gregmac Nov 19 '10 at 4:50
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The toggle bolts worked out perfectly! Here's the result: imgur.com/NBKUr.jpg –  Shane Nov 21 '10 at 20:51
    
Another alternative to the standard toggle bolt is the Snaptoggle bolt. It will stay in place if you remove the bolt. The only disadvantage is it should not be used if the area behind the wall is uneven. –  RSMoser Jun 23 '11 at 19:51
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We once used 1x2 wood across the length of the window trim to attach blinds to. It might be a bit excess, but with added surface area being screwed into the wall, much stronger.

You could paint it the color of the window trim (or stain) before hand so its less noticeable.

It worked for the blinds because the blind ran the entire span of the window. Depending on how your drapes are made, you may notice it.

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I like this idea too. You can secure the wood directly into the studs, and then you have a nice solid surface to mount to. –  gregmac Nov 20 '10 at 5:46
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Another alternative to the standard toggle bolt is Snaptoggle bolt. It will stay in place if you remove the bolt. The only disadvantage is it should not be used if the area behind the wall is uneven.

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I agree that toggle bolts are the best solution in this case. In other cases, where a wood screw is stripped in wood, I just jam toothpick or other small pieces of wood in and glue them. Then I redrill the hole. This works well for loose door hinges.

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I had the exact same problem. The screw holes were ~0.5" in diameter and about 4.5" deep (may be ending at insulation). My curtain was installed on drywall and did not have any stud behind. I wanted to hang the curtain back in the same location, so I did internet search, tried Crackshot Spackling paste, but it did not hold. I realized that toggle bolts won't work in my case. So finally I came up with an idea. I went to Home Depot and bought dowel, not the small packaged one but long stick that I can cut to the size I desire. I cut those 4.5" in length and filled the hole with it. You may put additional packing around it, if needed. Now I had wood in the hole. I screwed the curtain holder back and everything was back to how it was! It was able to hold the curtain just fine.

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What were the dowels secured to? From your answer, it sounds like they were just resting on the drywall. –  Niall C. May 11 at 13:48
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