How to fix a hole in drywall
Illustrated steps below!
But first, I’m going to make assumptions in my answer:
You have hole that is not SO big as to require that you take out sheetrock from stud to stud.
You have enough ability to understand how to use a sheetrock trowel and sheetrock joint compound, along with sanding and applying a texture.
So, let’s get started with a method taught to me by our sheetrock contractor.
The yellow color in the pictures below is the face paper of the sheetrock with exaggerated thickness for clarity. The white is the gypsum core, and the grey is the backing paper.
Before you read the following instructions, what is important to remember is that a cracks or seams in sheetrock cannot be simply filled with putty and sanded. As any joint compound dries, the crack WILL appear again. Regardless of whether that is the next day or the next year… it will be back. So, to prevent this, all seams and cracks must be covered by some kind of “tape,” or paper strip to act like a bandage that keeps the wound from opening back up.
In the method below, you do not need sheetrock tape (paper strips) to cover the crack/seam of the patch, because you will be using the face paper of the sheetrock to create an “integrated tape” that will automatically cover the seams when you insert the new piece.
Now read the points below carefully to find out how to fix a hole in drywall
1. You have a jagged hole in your sheetrock.
2. Using a utility knife, carefully cut the hole just big enough so that it is a nice, even rectangular hole rather than a jagged, uneven hole. Make the rectangle just big enough to make the jagged hole rectangular. Keep it as small as possible.
3. Cut another piece of sheetrock that is 4″ taller and 4″ wider than the new rectangular hole in your sheetrock.
4. Now comes the tricky part: Cut the backing paper 2″ in from the outside edge all the way around the outside so that it makes a rectangular shape that matches the one in your wall. Also score the gypsum enough that you can carefully “snap” it. Finally, carefully peal the backing paper and gypsum off the face paper so you are left with a piece of gypsum that fits into the hole with a 2″ face paper trim all the way around.
5. Your patch piece should look like this when you’ve finished pealing off the backing paper and gypsum. Now cut the face paper on the wall sheetrock to match the size of the face paper on your patch, and peel the face paper. You now have a “negative” piece that matches the hole in your wall exactly.
5. Apply a thin layer of sheetrock joint compound to the back side of the 2″ face paper trim, and then insert gypsum and backing paper into the hole. Use a sheetrock trowel to rub the facing paper flat against the sheetrock wall and to push out any excess joint compound.
6. You should now have a piece of sheetrock that fills the hole and has a built in trim “tape” that covers the crack so it can’t “re-open” as it dries. Using your sheetrock trowel, apply sheetrock joint compound around the outside edge of the new patch, trying to “feather” in the compound.
7. Wait to dry completely. Sand. Apply compound. Wait to dry. Sand. Apply compound, etc. until it is as smooth as you’d like it to be.
8. Apply texture. This cannot simply be told in words. You’d have to see a video for that, so look it up on You Tube. If you have “smooth” walls, this will actually be an easier patch. If there is a heavy texture it may be a lot trickier.
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