How to Repair a Large Hole in Drywall

How to Repair a Large Hole in Drywall

January 8, 2020 Off By George

Fixing a large hole in drywall is not a difficult task, but it does require some time to do it right. I recommend stretching this job over 3 or 4 days so that you don’t rush things.

At this point, you have to decide what type of repair that you want to make. Is this a place where a piano went through or just a spot where someone kicked a hole? Large is such a relative term. If it is a human sized hole, you may want to call in a professional to do this job. If the hole is less than 10 inches across, you need to cut out enough extra drywall to make the hole square or rectangular.

Beginning with your hole that now has straight lines for edges and right angles at the corners, cut a piece of drywall the size of the hole. You will need a piece of either 1×2 or 2×4 approximately 4 inches longer than the vertical length of the hole.

Slip the board into the opening until it is centered with about 2 inches above the hole and 2 inches below the hole. If it’s longer, it’s not a problem. But, try not to make it much shorter. Using drywall screws, screw through the existing drywall and into the board while holding it tightly to the inside of the wall. For 5/8 drywall, use 1 1/4 inch screws. Put 2 screws in the top and in the bottom.

Now, take a pencil and mark the wall at the center of the board at the top and at the bottom. Place your new piece of drywall over the hole and against the board. Using your marks for a guide, attach the drywall to the board with 2 to 4 screws depending on the size of the hole. The screws should be spaced about 3 inches apart.

You are now ready to begin the job of taping the drywall. Do this one line at a time. Put a thin layer of joint cement about 3 inches wide down one of the cracks to be filled. Now, place a piece of drywall tape over the crack. Let it extend about one inch beyond the ends of the opening. Coat it with a thin layer of cement.

Repeat this procedure until all 4 sides have been taped. The layer of cement should hide the tape completely. Let this dry completely.

Using fine grained sandpaper, sand over the edges of the dried cement until you have feathered them to a smooth texture. Using a damp cloth wipe over the place to remove all of the excess dust. If the joints surrounding the hole feel raised as you run your hand across the wall, you will need to add more joint cement going out as far as six inches on either side of the cracks. Keep this to thin layers.

When it dries, repeat the sanding. Your are going for smooth here. The idea is to not sand all of the cement from the wall. After going over the area with a damp cloth again, perform the test to see if the wall seems smooth and flat to rub. If not, look at the joints and see if you can remove a little more cement by sanding to fix the area. If not, you may have to add more cement until the new drywall is completely covered and the apron around the opening extends 8 or 10 inches.

Sand it and test again. This time you should be able to lightly sand until the area is matched enough not to leave a visible mark from the hole when it is painted. With the area dry and dust free, you are now ready to paint. If you can’t match the existing paint, you may have to repaint the wall or whole room.

For somewhat larger openings, you may want to add in a second board behind the new drywall. Another option is to open up the hole enough to expose the studs on each side and attach the new drywall to the existing studding. The taping procedure is the same.

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