Ken Collier: Hello! My name is Ken Collier and I am an Editor at the Family Handyman Magazine, the leading brand for do-it-yourselfers. If your projects require that you get your walls smooth, one of the problems you may have to grapple with is fixing holes in your walls; holes of the size of a golf ball and up. One of the most common ones is caused by a door handle hitting the wall. There it is, looks familiar.
The product you want to use is one of these aluminum wall patches available at most home centers. You can buy them in a variety of sizes from small, all the way up to fairly large and here is what they look like. They are an aluminum mesh with an adhesive backing. Our first step is to clean up the area around the hole so the patch can adhere well to the wall.
I am sanding with a simple wood block, covered with 100 to 120 grid sandpaper. After wiping off the dust, we are ready to apply the patch. Our next step is to peel the adhesive backing off the patch and apply it to the wall.
Our next step is to apply a thin coat of drywall joint compound, the first of three thin coats. Notice how it fills the spaces in the patch. Our first coat seems to be pretty dry, so it's time to put on the second coat. I will begin by scrapping off any ridges or bumps and then apply a second thin coat of joint compound.
Our second coat is nice and dry now. So I am going to scrape the ridges-and-bumps off and apply third and final coat. With the third and final coat, you should be sure to feather it out well on all sides so it is undetectable onto your final paint.
Our third coat is now dry and it is time to sand and most importantly prime the patch. I am going to sand with a wooden block covered with 100 to 120 grit sandpaper; feathering out the edges of the patch so that it will be undetectable under our final paint. Once we are finished sanding, I am going to wipe off the dust with a damp cloth. Once your patch is clean, flat and sanded, you are ready to prime.
Priming is an essential step that many people forget. If you don't prime, the patch is likely to show through your final paint as an area where the gloss is slightly different, a process called flashing. To prevent that, you need to prime your patch. I am using a latex primer and I will apply it with a disposable brush.
Here we go, our patch is primed and our wall is smooth and ready for that final coat of paint.