How To Patch A Hole In Drywall

Damage to the interior walls of your home are bound to happen at some point. Depending on the size of the hole, there are a few different methods to repair the surface. Basic tools are needed to complete these repairs. 

The surface surrounding the damaged area should be clean, deglossed, and dust free. Krud Kutter and sand paper work well.

Small holes, such as nail holes can be easily filled with spackle  or joint compound applied with a small putty knife.

Medium & large sized holes will require a patch to fill the hole. In this article, I will illustrate how I patched 3" holes after installing cellulose insulation in a wall.  

The holes were driled into the walls using a 3" drill bit. I used the same bit for making the patches. Patches can any shape, but limit the size to 3"-4" (unless wood backing is added for support). 

I made these patches to repair holes from installing celluose insulation. This wall had six 3" holes to repair. 

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If you have an irregular shaped hole you want to cut that damage out of the wall and create a uniform sized hole. For example, if the hole is 2" wide and 3" high, mark and cut a 4"x4" sqaure around the damaged area. The patch for your hole should be slightly smaller (3 3/4"x3 3/4") than the hole. 

To begin, I cut six 8"x8" pieces of drywall. You will want the drywall 3"-4" larger than the hole. Using the example of a 4"x4" hole, cut the patch 7"x"7. 

 Drywall Repair

Drywall Repair

Flip the drywall over so the front is facing the bench (be careful not to damage the front paper at all). Center and mark the size of the hole on the back paper. Remember to subtract 1/4" before marking. Since I was using a drill bit, I did not need to mark lines to cut. 

 Drywall patch face down on bench

Drywall patch face down on bench

Use a razor knife to score the lines on the paper from edge to edge. It may be hard to see, but the back is scored into eight sections with the desired plug in the center. 

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After you have scored the back of the paper you will need to carefully remove outer pieces, while leaving the center piece fully adhered to the front paper. 

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After removing the sections surrounding, you have a plug that is slightly smaller than the hole and approximately 2" of paper around the perimeter. 

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After doing a test fit, the plug is ready to be installed.

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To begin, apply setting type compound to the outer edge of the plug. I use Durabond for this as it has better  adhesion and strength than most compounds. Use a liberal amount of compound, but there's no need for excess. 

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Apply a thin coat of setting compound to the wall surrounding the hole. You want 100% coverage between the paper and the wall. -I'm sorry, but I forgot the photo of this step.  

Insert the plug into the wall and smooth the surface with a putty knife. As you smooth it, be cautious not to create any wrinkles in the paper. Excess compound that is squeezed out should be applied over the entire surface of the patch. A smooth and thin coat is key.  

 

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After the first coat has fully dried, use the edge of the knife to scrape off any ridges. Sanding should not be needed if a thin, smooth base coat was applied. Apply a second layer of compound to fully embed the patch and feather the edge. A traditional "easy sand" setting compound is best for the second coat. Allow the second coat to fully dry and determine if a third coat is needed to achieve a smooth, seamless finish. If a third coat is needed, traditional premixed compound would be best as it coats nicely and is easiest to sand. 

If your walls as textured (as this wall is) you will need to match the existing finish for a uniform look. -For this home I used a mixture of fine and medium sand  in the second coat of setting compound and textured with a sponge. The texture was applied beyond the patched areas to best blend with the wall. 

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After the patching and texturing is complete, the wall should be primed and and painted. For best results, the entire wall should be painted. Flashing or uneven color may occur if you only paint the repaired are. Be sure to use quality primer and paint. I recommend Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore paints. 

If your home is in need of repair, don't hesitate to contact us. We welcome small jobs in the Scranton area. 

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