Fixing Large Holes in Walls

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 44,271
    Ken Collier, editor at the Family Handyman Magazine, shows you how to repair a large hole in your wall.

    Ken Collier: Hi! My name is Ken Collier and I am an Editor at the Family Handyman Magazine, the number one brand for do-it-yourselfers. Today, I am going to talk about how to repair a large hole in your wall.

    Now to do that we need a large hole, right and since I am on a studio set and not in somebody's home, I am just going to make one. Here it goes. The first step is going to be to draw a square around our hole with a couple of inches to spare in every direction. It doesn't have to be perfectly leveled but it should be good and square.

    The next step is going to be to cut out the hole and for that, I will use a drywall saw. So to start off, you can just pound the point of the drywall saw in and cut a nice square hole. Before you begin cutting across the stud cavity, it is good to reach in and see if there is any electrical, just to make sure you don't cut anything. There we go a perfect hole.

    Now you might want to keep this piece for later. The next step is to install a backer board, a piece of one inch pine or a plywood, couple of inches longer, top and bottom than our hole and to screw the drywall to the backer board. When you are installing a drywall screw, you want it to go below the surface of the drywall, but not so deep that it breaks the paper that's on the surface of the drywall. There, now we are ready to install our patch. What we will do next is to cut a piece of drywall to fit this opening.

    To cut your drywall patch you have two options. The first is to use a tape and a framing square and measure your opening, mark it out on the drywall and cut it. The second and faster way, if you are lucky enough that the piece you cut out is still intact is to simply trace around that and that's what I am going to do.

    Now to cut drywall, it is a two step process. First you want to score the paper on the top surface with a utility knife, snap it and then cut the paper on the back side. Snap it and then cut the paper on the back.

    When you fit your patch, you may find that it is slightly oversize. If that's the case, use a drywall rasp or a surform tool for a perfect fit. It is just a few screws is all you will need to fasten your patch in place.

    Our next step is to apply adhesive fiberglass mesh tape to the joints. It is pretty simple. You just stick it on and cut it. Now we are going to apply mud on top of the tape. Once the first coat is dry, it is time to apply the second coat. First, I would like to scrape off the ridges and bumps with a broad knife. Now it is time to apply the second coat.

    Our second coat is mud is now dry and it is time to apply the third and final coat. Again, I will begin by scrapping off the ridges and bumps with a broad knife. There, now let's apply our third coat of mud. When your third coat is applied, you can let it dry overnight and it is time for sanding.

    Once again, I will begin by scrapping the bumps and ridges off. Now I am going to sand using a sanding block designed for drywall and a mesh sanding screen that is very fast. I am paying particular attention to feathering the edges out on the drywall so it will be undetectable under our final coat of paint.

    Now with a slightly damp rag, does soft the patch and it is ready to prime. Priming is a key step that's often omitted. The reason you have to prime is that if you painted right over your patch, there would be a slightly different level of gloss over the patch that would be quite noticeable; a problem called flashing. So to prevent that, we are going to prime over the patch and then paint.

    Voila! A completed wall patch, primed and ready for your final coat of paint.