drywall repair > patching large hole in drywall

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Patching a Large Hole in Drywall

The method of mounting backers for large hole patch treatments is done with the usual collection of drywall patching tools (drywall, compound, T square, a pencil, method of mixing, tape and taping knives) along with a saw, and 1" x 3" wood strips.

a) Measure the dimensions surrounding the damaged area of the hole with a tape measure, both the width and the length, in the shape of a square or rectangle. Take note of the bracing behind the patch -- and either center the patch 1.5" away from the joist or cut to expose the stud. Transfer these dimensions onto a spare piece of wallboard, and laying a straight edge or with a T-square as a guide, mark and cut the patch piece. Straighten any gypsum at the edges with the rasp.

b) Hold the wallboard replacement over the hole damage and trace its outline with a pencil. Then cut the new patch opening with a drywall saw, or electric gypsum cutter (set at the depth of the drywall - an advantage of the cutters is that they are less apt to hit wiring and other objects when properly handled). Note that the new opening is to be oversized by only a minor amount. If not, the patch won't fit in the opening.

Mount 1 x 3's with Drywall Screws
c) Saw the strips of 1 x 3's and mount from the backside. They should extend at 1" to 1.5" beyond the open endings. Drive screws through the drywall, located at least 1/2" from the cut edge, to cinch the flush backers into place. The backers should now surround the border at all sides.

d) Place the cut piece into the backed opening, covering it closed. Screws should then be driven through the corresponding sides of the cut-out. If a stud has been exposed, secure the patch here at the stud and at the original studded wallboard line(s).

Insert Patch, Screw Fasten & Apply Tape
e) With the cut-out now screwed in place, tape the perimeter with either mesh tape, overlapping at the corners and extending about 1 1/2" at the corners, and then continue with mudding [or apply the compound first onto the seam with a 6" drywall knife before applying the paper tape, smoothing with the knife, and yet still overlapping the tape at the corners].

For details on the two taping types, bedding paper & mesh tape, describes each of the processes.

Apply compound with 6 inch taping knife
f) If mesh tape is applied, skim with mudd as you normally would, cautious of any mesh fibers with the knife blade, gently pushing around the seam areas for a solid bond.

g) Once dry, sand gently to eliminate high spots. Then re-apply mudd. As a tip, it often helps to apply denser mixes of mudd for bedding the taping, than for topping off. Based on wall levels and patch sizes, floating off the layers of mudd a half-a-foot plus beyond the replacement is basic to making the broader patches invisible after completion.

Upon drying, finish sand with a pad to evenly blend with the wall. Of course any multiple holes should be addressed in stages.

Repair Finishing Sequence

Float Mud over Patch, Sand to Smoothen Skim with 10 inch Knife, Final Sand
1 the wet mudd naturally rises over the seams before
compound seams dry with a tendency to pucker inward

The backing establishes a support level and is firm to apply pressure against when mudding and taping, which is done with paper or mesh tape, or when sanding. Not much skill level is required.

The sawing and locating of wood backers to fit.

See Also
Mudding / Taping Tips Finishing

Other Patching and Repair


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