It’s happened to most of us. You’re moving furniture or the kids are playing, and you end up with a hole punched in your drywall. Usually, it’s right in the middle of a sheet of drywall between two studs. To make a proper repair, you’d have to cut out a large section of the drywall to get at the studs and put a new section in its place. Avoid that headache by learning how to patch drywall. By cutting a square hole around the damage and making your own patch, you can save yourself a lot of hassle. Here’s how to patch drywall the easy way.
How To Patch Drywall
1. Use a tape measure and a carpenter pencil to measure and trace out a square-shaped area around the hole. This square should be about 3 inches bigger than the hole in every direction. Use a rafter square to make your lines straight. This is because the damage to the backside of the drywall always covers a larger area than the hole on the front side does.
2. Use your drywall saw to cut the square out. You can get the cut started by touching the tip of the saw where you want to cut and firmly hitting it with the heel of your hand to puncture the drywall.
3. From another piece of drywall, use a rafter square and a utility knife to cut a square patch. The patch should be about 2 inches wider than the square you cut out of the wall on each side, so if you cut a 4″x4″ square out, your patch piece should be 8″x8″. To cut drywall with a utility knife, just score a straight line along the edge of your rafter square and snap the drywall. Then, score the other side to free the piece.
4. On the back of your patch piece, score a square that’s the same size as the piece you cut out of the wall.
5. Snap the outside pieces off of your patch piece, but leave the front paper layer intact. Peel the pieces off of the front paper layer so you have a square of drywall with a 2″ strip of paper around the edge on all sides. Dry fit your patch to make sure it sits nicely in the hole in your wall.
6. Mix up a batch of drywall mud in a mud pan and use a wide putty knife to mud around the hole in the wall. Use a generous amount of mud, and get some on the inside edge of the hole, too. You should cover an area about 2 1/2″ larger than the whole on all sides.
7. Insert your drywall patch into the hole and carefully mud the front paper down even with the wall. Use your putty knife to squeegee any excess mud off the wall. Also, try to press out any air bubbles between the front paper of the patch and the wall. Leave a nice, smooth finish and let it dry before mudding a few more times to smooth and feather out the edges.
8. With a fine grain sandpaper, sand the edges of your mud job smooth with the wall. Once this is dry, you’re ready to paint over your patch.