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I am working on repairing a water damaged portion of the wall in my bathroom. This spot has taken years and years of water splashes from people getting in and out of the shower and has become very damaged.

I ordered a basic drywall repair kit but am worried because the damaged drywall butts right up to the shower wall but wanted to get any tips or suggestions here because of its unique location. It's also important to know that I'm looking for a quick fix, something to repair the wall cosmetically on a short term basis before getting a professional to do repairs. I know it's bad, but we have guests coming soon and want to get rid of the eyesore!

Do I need to take any special precautions here? Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated before I break out the utility knife and joint compound, haha!

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  • If it's going to be a short term repair, then I'd imagine just about anything will do. If it falls apart 14.294 minutes after the guests leave, then it did its job, right? OTOH, if "short term" means "until it's ready to collapse again" (as so many "short term" house fix projects are), then you'd better do this right. No need to call a pro, drywall repair isn't that hard...
    – FreeMan
    Dec 8, 2023 at 18:02
  • A little skeptical that that's just from water splashing on that spot when you get out. Could be a leak from inside the stall. Absolutely simplest thing you could do if that rotted bit has any strength is knock off the loose bits, slap on some spackle to fill burrs and recesses, sand flat(ish), and paint. Dec 8, 2023 at 22:53

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I'd want to use setting type joint compound here. It'll be much more resistant to future water damage, and it's tougher, so it'll fill the voids you're about to create better.

  1. Slice the paint just outside the loose area to prevent undue peeling.

  2. Optionally, carefully remove the base trim with a painter's bar or similar tool. This would allow a more thorough repair, though it isn't strictly necessary.

  3. Scrape away all loose material, including crumbling drywall. Clean everything up to solid material and flat, smooth surfaces on things like the shower.

  4. Mix a small amount of joint compound, following the manufacturer's directions. You want the consistency correct. It should be something like stiff peanut butter, so that it holds shape as you work with it.

  5. Using a 4" or 6" putty knife, press compound firmly into the voids. Scrape it off level with the wall surface. Let that cure until hard.

  6. Skim again as needed to get a fully flat, smooth finish. Don't leave the mud proud of the wall surface. You shouldn't have to grind or sand anything back down if you've done it right.

  7. Sand lightly to smoothen the surface, then prime and paint. Apply a small bead of paintable caulk against the tub if you like.

  8. Reinstall the trim if it was removed. Caulk it (small beads!) and paint.

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  • 9. Skip calling in a pro later.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 8, 2023 at 19:45
  • I'd yank those rusty nails, add a screw in the adjacent sound drywall, and add another screw at the rusty nail location (to eliminate the potential for squishiness).
    – popham
    Dec 8, 2023 at 22:39
  • I can't imagine new screws doing much besides breaking things up worse in a case like this. I don't think that' drywall's going anywhere.
    – isherwood
    Dec 11, 2023 at 14:09

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