Time: 2-5 hours
Maybe your walls are full of itty-bitty holes from nails since removed or maybe there's a gargantuan hole from that time you moved the TV across the living room to fix the feng shui. Either way, it doesn't look good. Fear not — you can use a drywall patch to repair large wall holes or spackle to repair smaller ones.
Depending on how big the holes are, patching your walls could take anywhere from a few hours to the whole weekend — but you'll have plenty of time to binge-watch your favorite show while you're waiting for the joint compound to dry.
What's in it for you?
- Smooth, like-new walls
- Better base for painting
- Prevention of further damage
Repair Large Wall Holes with a Drywall Patch
Get some supplies. Hop over to your local hardware store and get enough drywall to cover the holes you want to patch plus a little extra. Make sure it’s the same thickness as the drywall you’re trying to patch. While you’re there pick up a drywall saw, joint compound, and some wood.
Make a drywall patch. Cut a piece of drywall into a rectangle large enough to cover the hole with a few inches to spare. Do this for each hole you want to patch.
Mark the wall so you know where to cut. Hold the patch over the hole and trace around it. This is where you’re going to cut the wall.
Cut the wall around the hole so it fits the patch. PSA: Check the hole for electrical wires before you start cutting and don't cut these. Grab your drywall saw or drywall knife and cut from the edge of the hole to the edge of the outline creating an X shape. Finish the job by cutting along the line you drew on the wall. You should have an even, rectangular hole in your wall.
Add strapping or furring strips. Your new piece of drywall is going to need something to hold on to. Make some strapping by sawing a piece of 1x3 wood so it’s 6 inches longer than the height of the hole. Squeeze some adhesive on one side of the strapping. Carefully put it in the hole with the adhesive facing toward you. Pull it against the back of the drywall until it sticks and then screw it into place.
Alternatively, make two furring strips by sawing two small, thin pieces of wood so they’re the same height as the hole. Coat two adjacent sides of each strip with adhesive and place the strips vertically on the outside edges of the hole. Secure the furring strips with screws on the top and bottom.
Attach the drywall patch. Press the patch into place. It should have no trouble sticking thanks to the adhesive on the wood but add screws at the corners just to be sure.
Seal the drywall. Cover the patch completely with joint compound, paying special attention to the edges. Don’t be afraid to lay it on thick. Grab your handy-dandy towel and remove excess compound so the wall is even. Prevent future cracks by pressing a piece of window screen into the compound before letting it dry. Add another coat of joint compound and let that dry overnight.
Make it look nice. Sand the joint compound until the wall is smooth. Paint the patch so it matches the rest of your wall. Better yet, take this opportunity to paint your entire wall a brand new color.
Pro Tip: When you’re tracing the outline of the patch, draw an X on the wall above the hole and an arrow on the patch that points to the X. It’ll make the patch easier to orient later.