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I am doing a small home improvement project by removing the door between the entrance room and the corridor in the apartment. I've managed to remove the door and the bricks around it and am now left with a "scar" across the wall and ceiling.

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I would appreciate advice on what material to use in order to achieve if possible:
A solid result that can be second coated with wall mud, sanded and started to be painted over after 3-4 days

I've researched that overall "best material" to use is cement compounds, however, on most of the begs it says 28 days drying before painting. Please let me know if I am unrealistic in my expectation and advice on the best way to address this problem, I would prefer the harsh truth now rather than cracks in the wall or pealing of paint a few months later :-)

My location
Barcelona, Spain

Weather for next days enter image description here

Humidity levels
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Movie link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1op7epcSh27oUu7abI1DQo-GT5bs32Lox/view?usp=drive_link

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  • 1
    Rather than hyperlink a (private) google drive document, use the stackexchange applet to upload pictures to the post.
    – AdamO
    Aug 1, 2023 at 18:35
  • @AdamO image is done - no idea what can be done wiht an 87Mbyte MOV so I left the link there.
    – Criggie
    Aug 1, 2023 at 22:24

3 Answers 3

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I can understand your timeline and it is possible. In my 5+ decades of home repair and remodeling I have had to do the same type of repairs. Here is the way I do it:

Day 1- Clean away loose debris and fill in the big voids with thin-set mortar leave just about 1/8inch or 3mm. to the surface. The thin-set dries hard in 24 hours.

Day 2- Skim over the remaining void with drywall compound. Be sure to fill all of the void. Filling all the void is imperative to save waiting another day. It will dry in 24 hrs.

Day 3- Sand the drywall compound smooth. If Absolutely necessary skim over any low spots and allow to dry. ( should be just a few hours. ) Prime the area.

Day 4- Paint

Day 5- Admire your well done work.

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  • Why not use hot mud to fill the voids, It dries in 20 minutes... Gives you 2 days for painting
    – Questor
    Aug 1, 2023 at 23:40
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    You may use what you wish, I prefer the big voids be filled with something that won't turn to mush if water gets to it. I can see how it can make things go faster. But to each his own.
    – RMDman
    Aug 2, 2023 at 0:33
  • Hot mud is pretty water resistant. I wouldn't stick it around a tub, but it can survive getting wet pretty well Also, if you are getting enough water in an interior door jam for that to be a problem... It is the least of your problems.
    – Questor
    Aug 2, 2023 at 16:28
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I would like to backfill much of that scar with some cement product, but I think you could use a setting-type joint compound as a finish coat on top or entirely (no cement product). Setting-type joint compound should cure relatively quickly for printability.

That being said, you still have a fairly deep hole. You will need more time than typical to allow whatever you fill with to dry - either a long drying session or multiple coats, depending what you fill with. Otherwise the paint just won't stick. I'm not sure what that time is, but 3-4 days sounds a bit short.

An alternative is to bridge the gap with a thin strip of drywall (with or without backfill), then just do the more typical surface finish work. This you would likely be able to finish and paint in a few days. Depending on what that wall is (exterior?), consider using something that is rated water proof (no paper binding) instead of simple drywall.

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  • Thank you for your advice. I don't mind waiting a bit longer. Do you think it would be a good idea to use quick-drying cement for filling out the deeper gaps, let it try for 2-3 days, then use joint filler and fill out 50-60% of the remaining depth and let it dry 1-2 days and then fill the remaining parts to finally make the surface even?
    – volna
    Aug 1, 2023 at 11:28
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    I think you might consider using a setting-type mud to get the holes 90% filled, and a drying-type mud to do the remaining 10%, to leave you a nice sandable surface.
    – Huesmann
    Aug 1, 2023 at 12:10
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Very much a DIY response here...

I'd probably elect for some amount of cement mortar in the big gaps - but I'd leave plenty of space on top of it for something else. If you don't fancy buying enormous bags of cement and sand, some ready mixed mortar mix would probably be fine (and comes in a variety of different pack sizes).

The professionals would probably just use a plaster mix and put that over the top - but deep plaster fills can take several days to be dry enough to paint (even with the direct-to-plaster paint that says it can go on wet plaster). Also, plaster usually comes in big bags and needs a lot of mixing, makes a mess, etc.

I'd personally probably elect for some "deep gap filler", something like this: https://www.polycell.co.uk/product/polycell-deep-gap-polyfilla/ - I'd maybe put on a maximum depth of about 20-30mm over the top of the mortar previously applied. I'd then top off with some plaster skim (maybe 1-2mm) and sand it smooth (not least because my trowel work leaves a lot to be desired).

The longest to dry thing here is the cement mortar, which is probably dry enough in a day or so. The deep gap filler is sort of "whipped" so dries really fast. The plaster skim is slow to dry, but as long as it's only 1-2mm deep, it'll dry pretty fast too.

I'll also say that my method is in no way the most cost effective - but it's relatively easy, doesn't require any specialist tools and is forgiving of less than perfect skills. It won't leave you with a garage full of enormous half used products either ;-)

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