How to Patch a Hole in Drywall – Fix It Don’t Hide It

Drywall-holeAt some point in time every homeowner, from Vinings and Smyrna to Roswell and Alpharetta, will experience one of life’s little annoyances that takes the form of a hole in an otherwise perfectly fine wall or ceiling. The hole won’t be very big as it likely has been caused by a doorknob slamming into the wall or a golf fanatic practicing his or her swing indoors or a kid performing his “kung foo fighter” moves. Never the less, you will need to know how to properly patch drywall.

Fortunately patching a hole in wallboard isn’t all that difficult.

Every “big box” home improvement store carries a wallboard patch kit that will include some variant of flimsy material with an adhesive backing. The idea is to slap it on, prep the surface and paint. Voila the hole has disappeared…but it hasn’t. The hole is simply covered up, not gone.

Patching Drywall Like a Pro

When we take on an interior paint job it’s not all that uncommon to find damage to a wall or a ceiling. We don’t slap on a patch. We believe in restoring the wall to its original condition and that means patching the hole with a piece of wallboard that is the same depth as the wall, usually 1/2″.

If you want to make a permanent patch for your drywall this is what you are going to need:

  1. A piece of scrap drywall (home improvement stores often sell small sheets if you do not have scraps).
  2. A piece of scrap lumber about 6 inches longer than the hole, 1 t0 2 inches wide and an inch deep.
  3. Drywall tape and compound (mud)
  4. A few drywall screws.
  5. A power drill
  6. A skill knife or wallboard knife
  7. A keyhole saw or electric saw.
  8. A putty knife, sandpaper, primer and paint for finishing.

The strategy here is that it is easier to fit the hole to the size of the patch than it is to fit the patch to the size of the hole.

  1. Measure the hole and then use a skill knife to score and snap a patch that is about 4″ longer and 2″ wider than the hole.
  2. Place the patch over the hole and use a pencil to outline it.
  3. Using a power saw or keyhole saw, cut four lines from the center of the hole to each corner of the outline.
  4. Use the skill knife to score the sides of the outline and then snap the pieces inward and trim with the knife. The “hole” is now the size of the patch.
  5. You’re going to need a “stud” to hold the patch in place and that’s where the scrap lumber comes in. If starting a drywall screw with a power drill is a two handed operation for you, you’ll want to start a screw about ¾” above the top of the hole and ¾” below. Insert the lumber, line it up with the screws and make sure that the lumber extends at least 2″ above and below the hole. Use the drill to drive the screws into the “stud”. Drive additional screws above and below the hole to firmly secure the stud.
  6. Place the “patch” in the hole and secure with two screws.
  7. Apply drywall tape to all four sides of the patch.
  8. Slather on the compound and work it into any cracks between the patch and the wall. Use the putty knife to spread the compound out and away from the patch leaving a smooth surface. You may need a second application of mud.
  9. When the compound is dry, sand the area smooth and wipe away any dust.
  10. Apply a primer and let dry.
  11. Apply the finish paint and let dry. For best results you will want to add a second coat.

You have now restored your wall to its original condition and will not have to worry about a glued on patch coming loose and cracking your paint job.

At our Douglasville shop we believe that quality equals value. Taking the time to do it right, be it a patch for drywall or painting an entire interior will result in a longer service life and a professional appearance.