Having a large number of holes in your living room wall or in the bedroom is no extraordinary scenario. Whether it is the constant banging of the door knob into the wall behind it, moving an outlet board from one location in the wall to the other, or a picture frame that has left holes in the wall, you need to patch up the hole before the cracks before a messier and more expensive problem. The best part about drywall is that any sized hole can be fixed with a patch and leaves behind no mark of repair. If you are tired of the unattractive holes left behind on your wall, here’s your guide to patch a hole in your wall, no matter what size it is.
Step 1: Cutting Out The Patch
The first step is to find the right size of the patch that will go in the place of the hole in your wall. Find a piece of scrap drywall, which has the thickness similar to the damaged wall, and cut it into a square that is big enough to cover the hole completely. Once you have cut up the drywall patch into a square, place it on the hole in the wall and outline it with a pencil. With a pencil, mark the top of the damaged wall with an X sign and draw an arrow over the patch which points towards this X sign. This will help you to understand how to orient the patch into the wall later on.
Step 2: Preparing The Hole In The Wall
Once you have cut up the patch that will go into the damaged wall, set it aside and work on the hole in the wall. With the help of a drywall saw, start cutting up the damaged drywall in the shape of a square hole. Insert the drywall saw into the hole in the wall and start sawing the wall towards the edges of the wall. With the utility knife, saw along the outline that you had marked with a pencil. Cut off each of the pieces free from the inside once you have snapped the pieces of drywall that are inside the marked outline. Make sure hat you do not cut up the dry wall that falls outside the outline you have marked earlier.
Step 3: Removing The Damaged Drywall
Once you have prepared the wall for the removal of the damaged part, it is time to start finishing the hole in the wall so that it resembles the shape of a square. Once you have cut up the damaged part of the drywall with a utility knife, start snapping away the broken bits of the drywall. Cut the damaged part of the wall into multiple triangles, and starting breaking them away from the sides of the wall one by one. Do not apply strong pressure while snapping off the bits of drywall, as it could damage the part of the drywall that isn’t inside the outline you have marked. Once you have broken off the bits, start sawing each of the triangles of dry wall free from the undamaged part of the wall.
Step 4: Adding The Strapping Behind The Wall
Once the square has been cut into the wall, you need to add a wood strapping behind the wall so that your patch does not fall through the hole in the wall. Cut up a 1x3 piece of wood strapping and make sure that it is at least six inches longer than the size of the hole in the wall. Take some construction adhesive and squeeze it on the two ends of the wood strapping. Now insert the wood strapping into the wall, with the construction paste facing outwards so that it sticks to the inner side of the wall. Pull the wood strapping inwards so that it firmly sticks to the inside of the drywall and then drill two screws into both the ends of the wood strapping. Use a staggered pattern to drill two screws on each end of the strapping. Make sure that you drill through the drywall just enough to fit firmly to the surface of the wall, and does not tear through the paper.
Step 5: Attaching The Patch
Use the arrow on the patch that you had marked earlier to place the patch correctly into the hole in the wall. Squeeze some construction grade adhesive on the end of the patch, and press it firmly against the wood strapping for a few minutes. Once the patch is perfectly in place, drill two screws into the patch in a staggered pattern into the wood strapping, so that the patch is firmly in its place.
Step 6: Covering The Seams
With the help of a 6 inch taping knife, use some joint compound to trowel the wall over the seams, the patch and the screw heads. Use a large piece of window screen and cut it into a large square which is wider and longer than the patch. Press it against the layer of joint compound with a trowel. This sheet of window screen makes sure that the layer of compound does not start to crack over time. Trowel off the excess of joint compound from over the window screen to make it fit flat into the drywall. Start working from the center of the window screen and work outwards so that there are no wrinkles on the window screen. Make sure that the layer does not appear outwards from the sides or the center of the patch.
Step 7: Applying The Final Coat
Leave the wall to dry for a day and start working on the final coat only after the fixed wall is completely dry. Use a 12 inch taping knife to put a thin layer of compound over the entire area of the wall that you have worked on. Once this thin layer is dry enough, use some sand paper to make the wall surface smooth. Use silicon carbide sandpaper for best results, but make sure that you don’t rub it too hard so that the window screen is exposed. Once you have sanded the wall, wipe off the dust and the wall e ready to be coated with paint.