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Guest Post: A DIY guide to repairing your drywall

by on June 22, 2015

The following is a guest blog written by active ecobee community member Aaron Daberkow. Let us know if you would like to write for the blog!

If you are a homeowner and bought your ecobee3 to improve the look and functionality of your home, the last thing you want is to be left with an ugly hole or unpainted imperfections on your wall after the installation. ecobee3 comes with a decorative wall plate to cover extra area, but if that is not enough or for those of you who like the look of the isolated ecobee, there is hope. Patching drywall is cheap and can be easily accomplished by any DIY rookie.

The first ecobee I installed had a separate control unit for the temperature and a humidifier. ecobee3 unit has built in terminals for an accessory unit, so while it can control both, I was left with some eyesores on my wall. I decided to patch the wall, so I went to my local home improvement store to pick up the following items:

  • Drywall Spackling
  • Extra Thin Drywall Joint Tape
  • Taping Knife (Putty Knife)
  • Fine Grit Sanding Block

The first step is to tape over any large holes with the drywall joint tape. Most screw or nail holes can be ignored as they will fill in with putty easily. Next, you want to apply a generous amount of drywall spackle and start to smooth it out. Remember that you can always sand the spackle down later, but adding more will take a lot longer. I like to get the spackle that starts pink and turns white when it is dry. Keep smoothing the spackle and pushing it into the holes until things look relatively flat and then take a break and wait for things to dry.
Your spackle should be dry in a few hours. It is better to be patient and wait for things to be completely dry than to try to sand wet spackle. When you are confident that everything is dry, you can begin to sand the wall. Try to use broad strokes and don’t be afraid to sand down some paint. You may have to add additional spackle to certain areas and repeat the sanding. Once you are done you can run your hands over the edges to make sure everything is smooth and you are ready to paint up the area. I have included some pictures of the progress in my own job.


When the paint dries, you can re-mount your ecobee and enjoy its stylish elegance on a clean, uniform wall. I think that the time this project takes is worth the effort, even if it is to only remove the need for the added plate cover. When you are done with the project, you can show your friends your handy work and start enjoying the energy savings of your new ecobee!