Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to patch a big drywall hole in about 1 hour

Whether it is a stain, a rogue child, or an inebriated adult (you know who you are)... a drywall hole can be a daunting fix. Here is how I go about tackling it. In this case there was a 10" stain and hole on the nail from a roof leak... thankfully the water found a spot to come out... otherwise it can be a much bigger patch. Here are the tools you need:

A water bucket with hot water, a mud pan, a 6" flexible blade, a 1" stiff blade, Sheetrock Easy Sand '5' a drill, some 1 5/8 drywall screws, some lengths of 1x2 pine boards, a scrap of drywall and some spray bin if mold or a water stain is involved.

Cut out a squarish hole bigger than the area you want to patch. Cut carefully, especially if you are unsure of wires or pipes hidden beneath. Use the drywall saw, and take your time... feeling for framing, or pipes. Cut shallow around obstacles you don't want to cut through (pipes or framing).

In this case I inspected the insulation for mold, or degradation of the insulation from water exposure (there was none) and I sprayed the area with bin holding the can about 10 inches away and putting 3 thin coats about 10" bigger than the area effected, allowing about 10 minutes of dry time between coats.

Take that piece out and put it on top of a scrap piece of new drywall. Trace it with a pencil, and cut it out with a knife just a hair smaller than the piece you cut out.

Trim the edges of the drywall hole with the razor knife so the sawed edges are smooth. Insert 1x2's into either side of the hole flush with the back of the drywall hole about 12" bigger than the hole. If you put a drywall screw into the 1x2 you can use it as a handle to hold it in place as you screw it in. The goal is to get the new piece of drywall to be held in place.

Screw the drywall in place. Here is the most important part. The tape! ALL TAPES ARE NOT MADE EQUAL! For holes, it is appropriate to use self adhesive PAPER tape. NEVER NEVER use fiber tape for anything ever. Maybe tile backing... NEVER for drywall.

Drywall makes one continuous plane, and papertape allows the full sheet of drywall and the seams be strong. Adding fiber tape (or this Hyde adhesive tape) anywhere else besides a hole patch creates a weak spot. If your house moves... guess where it gives? This is the only adhesive tape I use is this one. I could not find it on Home Depots website, but they do have it there.

Everywhere else... use regular adhesive mud and papertape. NO FIBER TAPE.
Make sure that the Bin primer is dry, and as cleanly and tightly as you can, hang about 1/2 inch of the tape on the outside of the existing drywall, and the rest in the middle.

The goal is to have the patch fool your eye into not knowing that there is a bulge in the middle of the wall. That is the entire premise of taping a room as well... filling in the bevels, and building out the butt ends of the drywall. Fool the eye. And the more your build it out, and the smoother you sand the outside edge, the better you will fool your eye. Finish taping, and mix up a small amount of the Easysand '5.' It is 2 parts powder to 1 part hot water. The hot water sets faster, and you can put more coats on in less time, but you have less time to work with it. Make about 2 golfballs worth.

It is about the consistency of pudding when mixed well... Not too thick as not spreadable, and not too thin as drip off the wall. Spread it evenly, and not to thickly. Usually I will do 4-5 thin coats to build up a patch like this.

Don't worry if it is lumpy at this point. The goal is to fill it in with this coat. 

Clean your pan and tools, wait about 5 minutes for the first coat to set and and make another 2 golf balls of the mix.

If you hold the right side of the blade against the wall, and hold the other end up about a 16th of an inch, it makes a nice smooth transition.

With coats 2, 3 and 4 go out another few inches with each coat, making sure the outside edge is as smooth as you can get it. Keep the middle as smooth as you can. Don't over work it. The smoother you get it, the less sanding. Ideally, the sanding is very minimal, and only at the end when it is dry.

Ok Go make a sammitch and wait for it to completely dry. Get a hair dryer and, moving it frequently you can get it to dry faster.

Sand the entire patch lightly... paying close attention to the edges. Don't over sand. Prime it with PVA primer, or just give it an extra coat of paint before you repaint the entire area. If it is a big patch, you defiantly want to prime it, as the primer seals in the joint compound and the paper part of the drywall.

Call for a free estimate to have your hole patched if you live in Oak Brook, Tinley Park, Willowbrook, Hometown, Oaklawn or in the Chicago area. Call 708-479-4570 or visit for more information!  If this was helpful, Like us on facebook at the right!


  1. I really like to read.Hope to learn a lot and have a nice experience here! my best regards guys!
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