how to patch a hole in drywall

Quick Fix: How To Patch a Hole in Drywall

One of my favorite all time TV shows is Home Improvement. In the show, the main character, Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, played by Tim Allen, is the host of a show called Tool Time. Tim is passionate about tools and fixing things, but is completely inept at it. Each time he tries to fix something, it ends in a disaster with his wife shaking her head. His assistant Al, played by Richard Karn, would eventually fix everything with brilliant expertise. Interestingly, in real life, Tim Allen was a true handy man, while Karn admittedly knew little.

As men, most of us want to be able to take care of our homes. We want to show we are resourceful and reliable when things break or need renovating. It’s something that makes our kids look up to us and our wives feel secure. We are launching a new series to teach you quick fixes around the house. My Uncle Jake is a qualified handy man and has a lot of useful tips. Today, he is going to teach you how to patch a hole in drywall.

Uncle Jake:

There are many methods used to patch sheetrock and different products available.  You can buy a sheetrock patch kit from the home stores or you can do it like the pros.

Say you have a round hole in a wall like one a doorknob would make when hitting the wall. Here are 2 different methods.

1. The Quickest Repair

  • Cut a square piece of sheetrock about 3 inches wider than the hole.
  • On the back of the piece, draw a circle just a bit smaller than the hole.
  • Using a sheetrock knife, cut along the line. You will have to make several passes with the knife to get deep enough, but do not cut through the paper on the front.
  • Gently break away the rock from around the cut, taking care not to tear the paper from the face of the repair piece.
  • Fit the rock to the hole letting the paper on the face cover the wall surface.
  • When you are happy with the fit, glue down the paper to the finish side of the wall. You can use tape to hold it until the glue dries.
  • Take your spackling and spread it over the entire patch feathering the edges until wall is smooth. This may take two steps.
  • If it is a smooth wall, then you are ready for paint.  If you have a textured wall, then duplicate the texture with a roller and paint.

2. Cutting a Larger Hole (Also: How to Repair a Large Hole in Drywall)

  • The first step is to cut away the damaged sheetrock and make a square or rectangular opening.
  • If the broken sheetrock is close to a stud, you can attach a 1×4 piece of wood to the stud inside the wall, allowing you a surface to attach one side of the new sheetrock to.
  • If the hole is in the middle of the wall, cut two 1x4s, 6 inches longer than the hole is tall. Hold one of the 1×4 pieces inside the wall with 3 inches above the hole on top and bottom and 1 ½ inches exposed in the hole on the side.
  • Attach the boards with 1 5/8 drywall screws. Repeat this on the other side.  Don’t worry about the  top or bottom.
  • Then attach the new piece of sheetrock, cut just slightly smaller than the hole, using 1 5/8 drywall screws to the 1x4s .

3. Finishing the Patch

  • Use fiberglass sheetrock tape only, not the paper tape. It has a mesh texture. The tape is self-adhesive and it will stick to the patch side.
  • Center the gaps all around the patch with the tape.
  • Apply spackling to the tape joints, feathering out the edges with a 6 inch drywall knife.
  • Get some drywall taping compound for the next step.  You can buy it ready-mixed in one gallon pails. Use this to apply the finish coat to the patch.
  • Apply two coats and allow drying time between each coat.
  • If necessary, you can lightly sand the last coat to give you the smooth finish you desire.
  • Texture the patch to match the wall texture using the thinned down taping compound with a roller or a broad knife.

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How does it make you feel when you fix something?”