Large-Hole Repairs

When a hole is larger than about 6 inches in diameter, the best approach is to cut out the damaged area and patch in a new drywall piece. There are many different ways to make this repair; one approach we found simple is using the Sheetrock Drywall Repair Kit ($5.50) from U.S. Gypsum Corp. It comes with all the necessary supplies to make the repair, except the new drywall itself.

The first step of the repair is to draw a square or rectangular outline around the hole. Then, in order to remove the damaged area, cut along the lines with a drywall saw (step 1). Next, press the metal clips onto the edge of the drywall around the opening you just cut. Place one clip near each corner, making sure that the narrow spring tabs face out (step 2). Cut a new piece of drywall to fit into the opening, and then press it tightly against the metal clips. Secure the patch by driving two 1/4-inch drywall screws through each metal clip — one screw through the surrounding wall and another through the patch (step 3). Be sure the screwheads are set slightly below the surface without breaking the paper.

Now, break off the two metal tabs protruding from each clip using needlenose pliers (step 4). Cover the seams around the patch with strips of fiberglass-mesh tape (step 5), then apply a coat of joint compound over the entire area (step 6). Feather out the compound at least 4 inches beyond the tape.

Allow the repair to dry overnight. Lightly sand it smooth, then apply a second, thinner coat of compound the next day. You should sand it once more before priming and painting.

Step By Step

1. Use a drywall saw to carefully cut away the damaged section, after you have marked the cut lines on the wall.

2. Install four metal mounting clips onto the edge of the cutout. Be sure the two spring tabs on each clip face out.

3. Cut a new drywall patch to fit the cutout, then secure it with two screws driven into each of the metal clips.

4. Grab onto the metal spring tabs with needlenose pliers and snap them off below the drywall surface.

5. Cover the seams around the drywall patch with strips of self-adhesive, fiberglass-mesh tape.

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