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Drywall Ceiling RepairThe common predicament of having cut the canned lights and circular shapes in general at an oversize.
Patching Miscut Can Light Hole
The key to repairing the oblong cut is to make it with sufficient hold.There are two main methods for this patch. With either treatment, the power to the fixture must tripped off, no exeptions, with the bulb and the outer spring retained trim pulled.
Most Preferred Method - resulting in the strongest patch1) Create the replacement drywall section by transferring the dimensions from the ceiling. The edges should be no closer to than 3" with the can opening. Figure the square dimension and mark a sheet of loose drywall, by pencil, and then saw the square.
2) Measure the diameter of the can. Then first find the central pivot in the new piece, and with a circle cutter, cut a slightly larger circle out from its corresponding position to render out the opening.
3) Form the square opening on the ceiling by holding and using the replacement patch as a template and mark, then cut, cautious of any wiring.
4) With screws, attach (2) drywall clips at the ends or 1x3 wood strip backers. This assume the can lighting was attached to a ceiling joints which is typical.
5) Mount with screws the patch board at the ends and to the joist. When in place, next:
Less Preferred Method - the quick repair1) Apply a 2" wide strip of mesh along the outsized curve edge
2) Apply joint compound to fill the mesh, and let dry.
3) Gently sand, and apply another coat of compound. After this is dry, sand smooth to completion.
Note: a reliance on fiberglass tape alone for a structure oftern leads to cracking, and exerting too much pressure during sanding could cause cracking on this type of patch. But it is by far the less difficult and time consuming method.
With either patch technique, make an effort to maintain a minimal gap between the outer metal can and the new drywall surface, a comfortable fit without stress.
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