Do you know how to patch a drywall hole? In an effort to write a few posts that aren’t of epic proportions, I’ve decided to do a quick tip every Tuesday. But keep in mind “quick” is relative and I’ve been doing some full on remodeling projects around my house, so anything that takes less than a month seems pretty quick to me these days.
Part of my current project – The Guest Bathroom – involved fixing a few drywall holes in the ceiling. To be clear, these weren’t the kind of holes you make with your fist when you’re out of control angry. These particular holes were made by the electrician I hired to move a few things around in the bathroom. Lucky for me the electrician cut nice neat holes in the drywall and I made sure I saved the pieces he took out. Let’s see, I must have saved them for about 3 months and managed not to lose (or break) them. Hot damn! And now I can use the saved pieces as my “patch”. Woohoo!
If your hole is of the angry fist variety, then you have an extra 2 steps.
How to make a patch out of drywall?
- To turn an unexpected hole in your wall (or ceiling) into a neatly shaped rectangle you will need to use a drywall knife and cut a rectangle around your hole.
- Now make the patch by cutting the same size rectangle out of new drywall. And by new, I mean whatever scraps you have lying around.
But how do you get the patch of drywall to stick to the wall?
- Find some scrap wood (1×3, 1×2, paint stirrers, heck popsicle sticks if the hole is small enough) and trim to a length that you can fit the wood inside the hole. This scrap wood is known as “strapping.” I used 1×2 trim pieces I had lying around. Stick one end in first, then slide it down far enough so you can get the other end in the hole. Now slide it around until it’s centered over the hole.
- Stick your hand in the hole behind the strapping and brace it against the drywall surrounding the hole. Drive drywall screws through the drywall surrounding the hole, into the strapping. Use one or two on each side of the hole depending on how wide your wood is. *Tip: drive the drywall screw head only far enough to create a dimple into the drywall; do not tear the surface drywall paper. If your hole is kinda big and your strapping kinda small, then attach another piece of strapping.
- (Optional) Add adhesive to the strapping to help the drywall patch stick to it.
- Fit the drywall patch (either the one you saved or the one you just cut) into the hole and screw that bad boy into the strapping with a few more drywall screws.
How do you make it look pretty?
- Use drywall tape around the perimeter of the patch. (I used mesh tape, but any kind will do.)
- Use a putty knife/ taping knife/ joint knife to spread joint compound (mud) over the taped seems, the patch and all screw heads.
- Sand (the better you get at drywall, the less this part will suck because you’ll have a lot less sanding to do).
- Repeat until your desired level of pretty is achieved.
And now I can finally finish my wall planking. Sheesh!