Drywall damage can happen any of a thousand ways; a rambunctious child kicking open a door, a replaced wall sconce or light fixture, or possibly you tripped and put your hand through the wall while grasping for balance… We’ve all dealt with it, but now the time has come to repair that eyesore with the second installment of our Handyman How To: Patch Holes in Drywall.
Before we begin, let's first go over the tools and supplies needed to tackle this Handyman How To:
Always cut the wall to match the patch, this makes the job run so much more smoothly. Take a piece of drywall that is slightly larger than the hole to be repaired. Hold the patch up to the hole and with a pencil outline the patch over the damage. Before removing the patch I like to mark the drywall patch’s top edge to help with alignment later, a simple up arrow will work. Just remember it’s an up arrow not a down or east/west.
Using your drywall saw cut from the edges of the hole to the corners of your outline. Once you’ve completed this, use your utility knife to score your patch outline, and pull out the pieces. Sawing off any leftover remnants.
If there is no stud directly behind the drywall hole, you will need to cut a piece of 1”x 3” wood strapping about 6 inches longer than the height of the hole. Squeeze some adhesive onto the strapping and insert the strapping behind the drywall ensuring the adhesive is facing out/towards you and pull to tightly seat the wood strapping to the backside of the wall. Next screw the strapping to the wall using 4 screws (2 top and 2 bottom) in a staggered formation. Ensure you don’t sink the screws too deep into the drywall, stop just after the screw head is barely sunk below the surface of the existing drywall.
Using your arrow mark from Step 1, align the patch and sink 2 crews (again staggered) through the patch into the wood strapping.
Using your 6 or 12 inch taping knife, apply a layer of joint compound (found in your patch kit) over the entire work-site; patch, seams and screws. Then remove the excess and even out your edges.
While your first layer of joint compound is still wet, apply the window screening cut to be a few inches wider and longer than the patched area and press it into the compound. The screening prevents cracks and seams from forming in your completed patch.
Apply another coat of the joint compound working from the center of the patch out to avoid wrinkling the screening. Ensuring you cover up all edges, and removing the excess material. Make sure no screen material is visible and then allow the area to dry for 24 hours.
After waiting 24 hours, give your work site a lite sanding and with a damp cloth wipe up the leftover dust. Next apply another layer of joint compound, extending at least 6 inches beyond the border of the first application. Again using your taping knife to remove any excess. Allow this new layer to dry for another 24hrs and sand the area smooth, careful not to expose the screening.
Now apply a layer of primer (allow time to dry) and Paint!