Drywall Repair: How to Patch a Hole in Drywall

After cutting large chunks of drywall out in search of a mystery leak in my home, I was left with the need to learn how to patch a very big hole in drywall firmly and seamlessly. The worst holes were beside and behind the toilet, as well as under the sink. To repair such big holes in drywall it was necessary to go through steps that normally aren’t involved in drywall repair. Here’s what you need to know so as to patch a very big hole in drywall in a manner that will eliminate it from sight and return the drywall to its former strength.

These Are the Items You’ll Need to Patch a Hole In Drywall

  • Saw (preferably electric)
  • Ruler
  • Hammer and nails or nail gun
  • Fiberglass mesh tape
  • Spackle
  • Texture spray (if the wall is textured)
  • Paint to match the wall
  • Paintbrush
  • Sharp utility knife
  • Small mirror
  • Flashlight
  • Pencil
  • Protective mask

Follow These Steps to Patch a Hole in Drywall

1
Find a Support Beam

When a hole in drywall is very big, you need to offer it extra support when you patch it. Since a very big hole requires you to add a large section of the drywall, it makes no difference if you need to make the hole a little bigger to add strength to the repaired drywall. If the hole in the drywall already exposes a beam in the wall, then your problem is solved. However, if not, slip a small mirror and flashlight through the hole to find the closest beam. Then mark on the wall with a pencil the position of the beam.

2
Prepare the Hole

To repair a very large hole in drywall, you’ll need to make the repair area as symmetrical and even as possible. Use the ruler to mark a square around the hole to form a straight-edged repair. If you need to expand the hole to encompass the closest beam, draw the square to reflect that, making sure the beam is more or less center with the hole (or that you’ll have a beam on either side, top or bottom). Use the sharp utility knife to slice the drywall down to the square you pencil on the wall.

3
Cut Replacement Drywall

Now the task of repairing a very large hole in drywall is made easier by the fact that you can cut a square to match the one missing in the wall. Take careful measurements with the ruler or a measuring tape and mark the drywall sheeting with a pencil before you start cutting. Wear a protective mask so as not to inhale the drywall dust and keep a window open if one is available.

4
Make Adjustments

Fit the drywall repair in the large hole in the wall and make sure that it fits snuggly. Trim off any edges with the utility knife, until you can slip the drywall repair section firmly into the hole, with the beam or beams preventing the drywall repair from slipping in.

5
Fix the Drywall Repair

Because you are repairing a very big hole in drywall, use a nail gun or hammer and nails to affix the drywall repair section to the beams. Next, stick fiberglass mesh tape around the repair area to tape it to the rest of the wall. Use spackle to cover the tape and smooth away the repair area into the wall. Wait for the spackle to dry, then sand and repeat again for a smooth, invisible edge around the drywall repair.

6
Paint or Texture the Drywall Repair

Make sure the repair area is smooth to the touch, otherwise flaws that you do not notice now will suddenly appear quite clearly once you texture or paint the wall. Once the wall is dry, use a matching paint to the wall to make the drywall repair disappear. Because you are repairing a very large hole in drywall, it’s advisable to prime the area first with water-based primer before painting, as this will truly make the repair disappear.

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