Simple Tips for Patching Drywall

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Simple Tips for Patching Drywall

Staff Writer · Aug 10, 2010

Patching drywall is one of those basic home improvement projects that everyone will have to do at some point. Walls can take some abuse around the home. Larger objects hung on the wall can create a hole big enough to need patching as well. A hole in the wall may seem like a big problem but there are some simple patching tips that can make this a quick and easy project. You will need spackle, a putty knife, sandpaper and possibly a patch depending on the size of the hole.

Fixing a Small Hole

Small holes in the drywall are the most common and are created from large nails or screws in the wall or window hardware that has been removed. It is especially important to fix holes like these if you are going to be repainting the wall. Small holes can be fixed using spackle or drywall compound and a putty knife. Sand the area first to create a flat surface to start with. Apply the spackle with a small putty knife until the hole is filled. After the compound has dried, sand again to ensure the surface is flat against the wall. This technique can also be used to fill small cracks. If after the spackle has dried you find that the hole is still not filled to the right level, apply again.

Using Screening to Patch Bigger Holes

Bigger holes, up to three inches in diameter can be patched fairly easily as well but you need a backing to hold the compound. Home improvement stores sell mesh repair patches that you will need in addition to the spackle, putty knife and sandpaper. Cut out the area to make an even rectangular shaped hole. Place the mesh repair patch over the hole completely and then apply the compound or spackle over the patch. This gives you the backing that is needed to hold the spackle in place where there is no drywall. If the patch is bigger than the hole you are covering, it can be cut before using. Let each layer of compound dry completely before applying another layer or cracking can occur. Sand until smooth once you are done.

Using Drywall to Patch

For holes larger than three inches, an actual piece of drywall is needed in order to patch the hole. Home improvement stores carry smaller pieces of drywall that have broken in shipment for fairly cheap. Cut the hole in the wall to an even rectangular shape and then measure the hole and cut the extra drywall piece to the same size. Two pieces of scrap wood are also needed. Place one of the pieces of wood inside the hole at the top so that the bottom half of the piece is in the opening and the top half is under the remaining drywall. Place the other piece of wood inside the opening on the bottom the same way. Fasten the wood in place using drywall screws. Screw the extra piece of drywall in to these supports. Use spackle to fill in around the edges between the patch and the actual wall.

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