How to fix a large hole in your wall. VIDEO
The most versatile way to fix a hole in your wall is to cut it square, add backing, and install a drywall patch. Watch Ken Collier, Editor at The Family Handyman.
Here are the important points.
Don't try to cut an irregularly shaped patch. Instead, cut a square (or rectangle) around the hole so that your patch will fit perfectly.
If you don't have a drywall knife, you can use a serrated kitchen knife. Watch out for wires, pipes, and framing behind the wall.
You can trace your cutout onto a sheet of drywall to make your patch. That's the easiest way to make sure the two line up. You can also do the reverse: make the patch first, then trace it around the hole for your cutout.
Cutting the patch is a two-step process. For each edge, first score the paper face with a utility knife. Next break the drywall on the line. Finally, cut the paper backing on the reverse side.
Use wood strips as a backer around the cutout to keep the edges flush between the wall and the patch. Paint stir sticks can work in a pinch.
When driving screws into the drywall, you want them to be recessed into the surface so that they can be filled with mud (joint compound). But don't go so far that it breaks the paper surface or you will lose all your holding power.
Tape the edges to prevent cracks from appearing. Don't overlap the tape, because it will create a bigger bump that could be hard to hide.
Plan for 3 coats of mud. Between each coat, let it fully dry and knock off any high spots. Go wider with each coat, feathering the edges flush with the wall.
Lightly sand, feathering the edges, before priming and painting. Don't skip priming or the finish surface will not match the original wall.
Save time on smaller holes.
The reason this technique is so versatile is that it works with holes of all sizes. There are some simpler ways to fix smaller holes.
Milan Rosan from Build.com shows how you can use just fiberglass mesh tape and mud if the repair is small enough.
And my personal favorite is the California patch, where you use excess paper on a drywall plug to keep the plug flush with the wall. Laura Lee Schultz from Lez Renovate has a great video on it.
By the way, if you only need to cover a screw hole, then just use you finger to press some mud into it. Or toothpaste. True story.
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