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Patching A Large Drywall Hole Quickly

For a simple patch on wallboard done with taping supplies that you likely already have around, with no additional supplies needed (a majority of the time spent for the occasional/random patch is trip time).

Applying the Tape Harness

Although rarely in everyday use, the benefits of the tape harness aren't to be ignored. But this patching method on large holes does take some amount of accrued skill. Any attempts by beginners should be met with a practice sheet of wallboard. If you have not already done so review patching a large hole in drywall.

Cut Large Hole Opening a) Prepare both the new square opening, that surrounds
the prior hole damage, and the matching replacement piece.
Important : check to make sure that the cutout fits before
proceeding. Keep the replacement lying in wait.

b) Measure and cut (4) strips of tape that correspond to both the length and width of the cutout, adding approximately 3" on to each strip of mesh (assumes mesh tape, although paper can be used, mesh more thoroughly embeds the compound with this method, and conforms to the bend of contours). Set this prepared patch & tape cuts aside, keeping the strips in paired order.

Bed Tape Both Directions
c) Back-butter the replacement cuts with a tape knife. Then gently press in the tape strips while holding the tape taut at the ends. This same process is applied to embed fiberglass mesh tape (which further beds the mesh, even though some drywallers would not backbutter the board if mesh is being used). Do this for all four strips of tape, each of the pairs parallel and crosswise.

Tool-on Compound around Hole
Tool on a base cost of the compound that surrounds the
cut opening. This mudd layer must be broad enough to
accept the tape strips (their exposed lengths on the patch
board minus the drywall thickness)

Drywall Patch Insertion

d) Insert the replacement patch section in the hole opening. To do this, reverse the backbuttered piece while maintaining both sets of tape ends. Normally this is best done with one hand.

At this point in the fix, the usable drywall paper is in matching order and the arranged bedded tape strips are ready to act as a pulley for adjusting the level vertically and horizontally.

Caution, before continuing: realize that the patch section must be intially set to a depth below the surrounding surface. The strips will enact a raising of the patch. Which should be done carefully since returning back to a lower-level means disturbing the tape bedding within the compound.

Adjust with Taping e) Arrive at a level with the wall surface. To adjust inwardly push in on the piece gently with the tape ends yet loose (before taping flush). Bring the patch outward by drawing the tape tighter. When level, the cut-out should not extend above the wall surface at any point on its surface.

As always, applying paper tape requires embedding as shown. No bedding is required where using self-adhesive mesh.

Tape Joints, Seams with Mudd f) Next, firm the taping with a knife to adequately cover the butt joint seams on all sides. Notably the tape will overlap roughly a distance of 1 1/2" at the corner sections, extending onto the walls.

g) Skim as you would typically but don't exert excessive pressure on the new section. Thus, be cautious that the compound mix you are applying is sufficiently loose, bor movement and adjusting as well as for penetrating the sieve of the joint mesh, if so used. Allow to dry.

h) Sand off any rough spots, coat with compound once again, and, allocate effort in similar manner to reach a professional grade finish. Refer to finishing a repair patch
for the recommended sequence

The tape harness is a patch that is secure once the level is set, taped and allowed to thoroughly dry. No extra tools and materials are needed aside from those needed for every patch: joint tape, spare drywall, compound and cut tools. Screws or nails are not needed which makes this patching method unique in its own right. This is a preferred method for on-the-spot patching, for right when a hole is discovered to get the drying cycle begun. Which translates to finishing it sooner.

For the inexperienced, when the replacement patch is being set -- the procedure of adjusting the cut level takes the right touch. The idea is to find the right level early on and without too many repeat attempts since this is best for bonding (thereby avoiding overused tape and frayed mesh).

See Also
Mudding / Taping Tips Finishing

Other Patching and Repair


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