The Sexiest Before and After. Like Ever.

By Kate Riley March 1, 2011

Ooooh big promises with that title!  I’m gonna bring it!

My friends, as I was installing the board and batten in my boy’s room I realized that the bottom shelf of the two $5 dollar shelves I installed a few months back had to get outta town to make room for the big bad B&B.  

problem shelf

The shelf had to be moved to make room for the wall treatment.  What’s sad was not the removal of the shelf, but the ensuing gaping horrible hole that removing it left in my wall.  Why such a ghastly hole?  Well, I insisted six months ago that those shelves were muy permanente.  Like, they weren’t going to be moved for years baby years so go right ahead darling husband and use some big bad nails to secure it to the wall.  Big! Bad! Nails! Into the Studs!  Do it baby do it !!!!  

I imagined that if ever I needed to move those shelves, I could simply pop them off, no prob, right? 


hole in sheetrock


What’s a girl to to?  Repair it pronto.  It might have made sense to repair the hole before installing the top rail, but since the hole starts right there, I’m rollin’ with it.

Just like the patch job on my kitchen backsplash, the hole needed to be repaired with some drywall mesh tape and patching compound.  When I went searching for the mesh tape, I found this dusty kit in my garage, circa 2005, left over from our house remodel.  Same ingredients found within, woot!

crack repair


Technically this kit is for wall cracks, but the instructions also allow for holes too.  Basically, anything you can cover with the mesh tape counts.  Have you accidentally punched a hole in your wall lately?  Here’s how to fix it my friends. 

First, apply adhesive tape to your wall, allowing for at least an inch around the problem spot. 

mesh tape


Next, prepare your patching compound.  Premixed pouches come in quite handy.

wall patching compound


Apply a small amount to your spreader and start a spreadin.

And yes, that is R2-D2’s leg in the background.  Sexy! 

Good eye you Star Wars fanatics. 

patching compound


A swipe here, a swipe there, and the patching compound will do its job. 

hole repaired

Next comes time to retexture the wall.  Please allow me to step on my soap box for a brief moment.  It should be an infraction punishable by serious fine to spray a sheetrocked wall with orange peel texture.  I am not a fan.  Never have been, never will be.  When we remodeled a few years back, we retextured most of the downstairs walls with a smooth finish, but in two of the upstairs bedrooms the orange peel remains.  However, with no time or dinero to resurface these painted walls (other than the B&B below), we’re rolling with it.

To retexture, I had to purchase this delightful product. 

It was painful, but necessary.

spray texture orange peel


Make sure you test it out first on a piece of stray cardboard or paneling. 

testing texture

Spray it on your patched wall, then repaint. 

Naturally, fixing a hole in my wall had this song running through my mind the entire time.  {Sidenote: what is wrong with these kids on American Idol who have never heard nor sang a Beatles tune in their life?  That should be cause for immediate dismissal IMHO.}

So here’s the dramatic Before and After you’ve all been waiting for!

wall before


hole in wall after

Totally haawwt.  

The sexiest Before and After.  Like ever! 

I told you I would bring it.

winking smiley

Punched any accidental holes in your walls lately?




  1. Nothing like a good patch job to make you feel like you accomplished something on the to-do list. And of course your patch looks perfect! I’m sorry about the oranges in your house. It reminds me of when S and I removed a HUGE fluorescent light fixture in his old FL house only to find it was covering a massive area where the upstairs toiled had flooded before he bought the house. We had to scrape, repair and re-texture (the HORROR) a big patch of the ceiling just so I could have the light I wanted…in his house…it’s a wonder he asked me to marry him after that debacle. Ugh, that stuff sprayed upside down, ugh a total mess.

  2. I had to do that once. I thought, oh this will look great even with that wire mesh. Even though my walls are smooth, that one area is slightly raised. Clearly, I must not have done it right. You did an awesome job!
    Lila Ferraro

  3. Accidental, no. Intentional, perhaps. Anyway when I recently repainted our bedroom there were a bunch of places where old paint was peeling away. The hubs used wall compound and then an old Webster to do the texture and it came out great!

  4. Don’t you just love when you take something off the wall and it leaves a hole the size of Cleveland?? Been there, done that. I love your post today. It really made me chuckle. BTW – if you stop by my blog you will see that I followed your tutorial (totally giving you credit and sending anyone interested your way) and did a board and batten treatment in my mud room. It came out great. Love to hear what you think

  5. oh yeah! the tension baby gate at the top of the steps kept tipping, so i determined myself to tighten it down so nothin would move that sucker an inch! well, as i muscled down, focusing on the rod that twists, i couldnt understand why it was still loose…that is, until i peeked over my shoulder to see that, in my verve, i had sent the other end of the gate clear through the wall! i’ll be using my patch kit, but not until i tear a hole out between the two adjacent studs to insert a 2×4 brace so we can build a wooden gate and hinge it to the wall. now im inspired to do a sex repair of my own!

  6. Looks great! I have a similar situation in my son’s room. I hung 4 PB cork boards then decided I “needed” six. Each board uses two holes so I started with 8 and then because I had to move everything added another 12. Heaven forbid I ever have to move those things as I never repaired the first set!

  7. It is totally hot – because I have always had one helluva time smoothing out that pesky wire mesh hole-hiding stuff! In keeping with your Spanish lingo from this post – Muy Bien!!

  8. haha–when we were renting, our bedroom was in the attic of a 3 story house. Our headboard wouldn’t fit up the attic stairs (narrow and around a corner) so we had to put 2 holes in the wall to get it up. In hindsight, we should have just gotten a different headboard. Oh, well.

  9. I found a small hole in the wall of my little boy’s train themed room – apparently “nobody” did it … but the fact that there was colored pencil all around it suggests that someone, under the age of six, was responsible :o)

  10. We’re transforming our attic into a family room and my husband fell through the attic floor into my closet. There was a HUGE hole in my closet ceiling (not to mention my clothes were all covered in blown insulation!). We had to replace the drywall, but that spray texture stuff was amazing to make it blend in! Your patch job is much more seamless though! Looks amazing! I actually just did board and batten in my living room as well! Congrats on a job well done!

  11. Made me laugh! Especially since I’m on my five minute break from repairing my 6 year old son’s ceiling and walls! Professional painters should know to wipe down/wash the walls after sanding spackling before they apply paint! Ugh! I’m trying out Zinsser Peel Stop. Thanks for the laugh and the sexiest before and afters! I have hope now for my walls!

  12. awesome! I have some pesky holes in my bathroom from some shelves too!! I might have to go purchase this kit. Thank goodness i don’t have textured walls though! But it is indeed..the sexiest b/a EVER!

  13. I had to do the same thing when I replaced the “builder grade” lighting fixture in my guest bathroom. That sucker was hiding a giant hole! I too have the orange peel walls. I lived in Chicago my whole life and never came in contact with such a thing until we moved to Texas 4 years ago. I actually asked the person showing us the model home, “um, is this texture extra, cuz I hate it, and I would rather have smooth walls!”

  14. I tried patching a wall when we took off the 1970’s ugly plywood paneling. I did a terrible job, my husband had to redo it. Of course his was perfect. I guess he can do something better than me LOL.

  15. Beautifully done! We had to use that orange peel stuff in our old house. It’s very expensive and comes out of that can fast! Not a fan either…. :)

  16. It looks perfect! Repairing drywall is not fun at all but necessary! Can’t wait to see the room finished.

  17. You have officially brought sexy back! I will be using that kit to repair a crack on a wall. Hopefully it’s not foundation problems.

  18. i totally thought this was going to be unsexy, but holy crap was i wrong – this is THE sexiest. wow. i shall never doubt you again :)

  19. Great job! My patch repairs never look that good. As I read your post I realized I’ve never lived in a house without orange peel texture. What do you have instead? Any texture at all?


  20. I will never be able to fix a hole again without hearing that song!!!!!! Looks great! VERY SEXY.

  21. I recently stepped on my own soap box to preach the abhorrent evil that is the textured wall. EVERY house here has textured walls. I don’t know why, but every drywaller in the state of Alaska must have had some conference and decided that they would all only do textured walls. After all, texture covers a multitude of drywalling sins. I have stenciled the walls twice and it is a nightmare. You’d think I’d learn not to do it after the first time, but no.

    Beautiful job fixing the hole. My husband is getting quite good with the spray texture himself now.

  22. Great repair job! But I have to ask, how did you get rid of all of the orange peel texture in the other rooms of your house? Maybe a post on that how to?
    Thanks and great posts!

  23. Yeah, baby, yeah! It’s hawt all right. ;) Great repair job. T hates repairing stuff on our drywall…mostly b/c he is a perfectionist and it takes him forever to get everything as smooth as he wants it to be. I’ll have to send him this link. :) I love the wall color in your boy’s room!

  24. We have the same orange peel walls. Our whole house! Which is awful since we have 3 boys and there is always a little ding or smash to fix. Most being my fault because I hang stuff then change my mind but I have kids so I blame them! You did a great job!

  25. Thank you! We have spots in our walls where the sheet rock has been rubbed away by the baby gates. I feel like I can tackle this project now that I’ve seen this. Especially the texture in a can!

  26. Seriously, dude, that was SO SHEXY, I need a cigarette, and I DON’T EVEN SMOKE!

    BTW, all the holes in my walls have been punched intentionally. I admit to having an anger management problem. j/k

    Amazing wall repair! Looks like there was never a hole there at all! Now I know what to do when I take down the crown molding shelves in my apartment when I move! I just love your tutorials, they are SO informative!



  27. Beautiful! I was wondering about that spray texture, as I have a deep dent in a wall due to a toy that went sailing..ugh.

  28. My 3 year old recently fell into our bedroom door? Don’t ask me how — he is clumsy. When he fell the door knob when into the wall. It still hasn’t been fixed, so maybe I’ll tackle it on my next day off!

  29. Five children, winter in upstate NY, boots flying off, four foot wide mud room, and dry wall.
    You do the math. Can I just say bead board? (I think I told you this story). Anyway, when we built our house, it was standard to have those “popcorn” sprayed ceilings, yuck. We opted to have the smooth ones at an additional cost. We visited the site one day, just as they were finishing “spraying”
    the last room, a two story foyer…oops, someone didn’t get the memo. The next day there was a guy on stilts sanding every room in the house, ouch!

  30. Spray texture! Where have you been my whole life?

    I am forever repairing a wall.

    I fell through the ceiling getting sleds out of the attic.

    A friend stuck his butt through the wall jumping over someone else to get a better spot! Yes we had a butt-hole in the wall. LOL

    Good times….hee hee

  31. That before and after was so hot, I had to put my hair up!


    But seriously that’s awesome… well not the nailing, stapling, gluing, cementing and plastering the shelves to the walls but the repair of said hole left behind. I’m really overjoyed that you threw in a picture of some texture spray because me being the ‘dur dur dur’ that I am, had no idea that stuff even existed and all this time I thought how screwed I would be if I needed to repair a hole in our lovely *textured* walls :)

  32. Very funny post! I’m with you with the AI contestants not knowing Beatles tunes….immediate dismissal in order!

  33. Fabulous, Kate! I noticed we have a hole in one of our walls and I have no idea how it got there. I will be patching tomorrow! Thank you!

  34. Very sexy! I have to admit that thanks to my boys (when they were younger), I am all to familiar with drywall mesh tape and patching compound.

  35. I know how hard it is to match existing texture … that stuff sprays out of that can in a hurry! Great job!

  36. I DO have a hole I need to patch! I’ve had the supplies for a while, but I was afraid to make the repair. Thanks!!

  37. ha! well you definitely drew me in! BUT, knowing the pain (and potential marriage therapy required following such a hole incident) I am very proud of you and understand your pain! Great work.

  38. You are kick a– awesome! I made the mistake of putting double sided tape stuff on the walls to hang letters and when I pulled it off, wall to the drywall came down, will be hunting for a kit like yours! Thanks!

  39. That WOULD have come in handy about 10 years ago in high school when my brother really did punch a hole in the wall. He’s a cage fighter now, no lie. I should have known…

  40. excellent before and after. that is a big OH YEAH for you!!! Doesn’t it feel good to look at? I did that to a giant hole in my kitchen wall and after I fixed it i could not stop staring at that blank space on the wall. Pure satisfaction!!!!!

  41. So impressive! Thanks for sharing your secret – you probably saved my marriage. Gonna go patch me some holes!

  42. That IS a sexy b&a! You did an amazing job. If I hadn’t seen it, I would never know there had been BIG nails there that required this amount of work. Indy was sitting next to me while I read through and immediately caught the R2-D2 leg. Boys! BTW, our awesome military housing (oh, I’m sorry, did I drip sarcasm on you there?) has CONCRETE walls. Hanging anything on them is a major undertaking that involves a drill with a special bit that vibrates or hammers or something like that. James Bond gets scared when I pull out the drill. :)
    BTW, we did NOT watch AI for Beatles night because James Bond is such a huge Beatles fan I was afraid we would have to rush to the ER with him in cardiac arrest. I did hear about how many of them had never sung or HEARD of the Beatles though. Really? NEVER HEARD OF THE BEATLES???? Have they been living on Mars, under a rock with their eyes closed, their fingers in their ears and singing la-la-la-la their whole lives? I fear for the future! And what is wrong with their parents that they never played the Beatles around the house????? Indy has about 15-20 Beatles songs on his iPod and he’s 8. BTW, Han Solo’s (due in 8 weeks) real name has “something” to do with the Beatles. James Bond picked it.

  43. Very sexy…need a cold shower for that one! :) Unfortunately, I have that technique down pat! Ugh.

  44. You ARE awesome, and yes, we do happen to have a large hole in our bathroom because my son ripped the towel circle thingy off the wall. It’s stayed there covered by a plastic bag for about a month now, because I had no idea how to fix it! THANK YOU!

  45. You had me crackin’ up this hole time … get it? Ha. You’re such a handy (wo)man, Centsational Girl, and I love it! DIY Girl Power!

  46. I kid you not…repairing a few gaping holes in our home was on my to-do list today! You can imagine how welcome your little post was to my now-confident heart b/c I have never done it before, and was only going to try to do it based on what the guys @ Lowe’s told me to do! thanks, sista!!!

  47. Wow, Kate, that was an amazing fix! I cannot even find it in the after shot. Excellent job!
    We don’t have any holes in our house, but what we do have is even more annoying. Our house was brand new when we purchased it 6 years ago. So, understandably, there are quite bit of settling. Now there are some long stress lines at corners of window or door frames, where they jointed drywalls, and some nails started popping. Guess the builder didn’t do such a good job. =( Do you know whether your kit will fix these types of problems? Thanks,

  48. Great patch job! I was faced with the same dilemma while tackling my fireplace remodel. Removing the tile caused major drywall damage that I had to repair. I couldn’t bring myself to buy the spray on texture because I HATE IT. I ended up troweling on Joint Compound to the whole room. It was inexpensive and worth the effort. It turned out beautiful.

  49. I will definitely be buying a few of these kits to fix some cracks and gaps in our second story. I was at a loss as to how to do it simply. Thanks for the tip!

    Of course. they’ve probably changed the packing since 2005 and I’ll be wandering around the hardware store like a total girl because I don’t see that exact. same. packaging. lol

  50. Where was this post last summer?! We moved into a darling apartment, and hung this shelf in the living room. I was really excited, and put all the stuff on it that I wanted up there. Well, about 20 minutes later, we heard this huge CRRASSHHHH, and ran into the living room to find that it had pulled out of the wall and dropped, landing on the tv. Luckily, nothing was broken except the tv unit (which the store replaced for free actually), but there were some gaping holes in the wall. It was a nightmare! I am going to save this post, it’s a handy thing to know!

  51. Great job! Love your blog! Just thought I’d let you in on a method to prevent wall damage when removing nails from studs/sheet rock over studs. Place a broad (5 inch or so) clean putty knife between your wall and the hammer or pry bar when pullin the nails out. The knife will diffuse the pressure so the wall board wont dent or rip.
    I know, I know….Next time!

  52. I’ll have to find that kind with the adhesive mesh tape. We used one with metal mesh, and could never get it to sand down enough to not look like there was something there. Oh, and I never knew there was such a thing as orange peel texture! What in the world??? And I agree with another post… you always bring it, CG!

  53. Congratulations, you have officially brought sexy back! LOL However, pardon my random and slightly perverted mind, but I just about died when I read this on the crack repair kit package: “for cracks up to 4′ long”! My mind immediately went to a part of the body that we normally associate with cracks… HAHAHA!! :) Immature, I know. But funny!

  54. Your too funny!!!! And might I add Im super jealous of your super fabulous results. Lets just say I patched up a hold in the wall and it looks a bit like abstract art. Currently we have a picture covering it =)

  55. Wow, thanks Kate! I have a couple of enormous wall holes left by Prince Charming’s insistence on surround sound with THE BIGGEST SPEAKERS AVAILABLE. They required super heavy duty anchor-y things, blech. And of course, the mounting bracket broke on one of them, thank you China for another fine product. I will have to get on that patchwork!

  56. Great job! There are also those metal patch covers that can help on really large holes too. Don’t know what I would do without that tape.

  57. Great patch job! thanks for the tute. Question: where is the wainscotting in the first picture with the shelf? totally perplexed. All I see is plain wall under the shelf, but in the repair photos, there is wainscotting? Just wondering? Love, love your blog. Sat here for hours looking at all the revamps. You rock!

  58. OH GOD YES. My daughter accidentally put a hole in the wall upstairs trying to kung-fu kick her brother. Now I can fix it. Yay!

  59. We had some kids over for dinner that almost did last night. I think my hubby almost had a heart attack watching the kid pound the wall with his foot like 6 times before his mom grabbed him.

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