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How to Patch a large hole in Masonite/Fiberboard walls?


My house was built by the Army in 1957 and has many quirks. One of the main quirks is that I have 1/4" thick fiberboard(masonite?) interior walls connected by a channel system. My question is two-fold.

1) I have removed a heater fan from a bath wall and intend on patching the 10" x 11" hole left behind. I had originally planned to patch using traditional drywall patching methods. But after finding out the actual thickness of the wall I wonder is there a more preferred and secure method to patch this?

2) How do I get ANYTHING to stay nailed or screwed into these walls? looking behind the face of the wall I see several different attempts at using plastic anchors, screwing straight into the wall, nailing, etc. Short of attaching straight into the stud, everything seems to fall out. Is there a product I can use in between studs to keep things like towel racks and picture frames firmly planted in those walls?

If you've dealt with these walls before, do you have any general suggestions about working with or around them?


A. Spruce
Re: How to Patch a large hole in Masonite/Fiberboard walls?

You should be able to repair problem areas using standard drywall techniques, and that would be to cut out the damaged section, surround the patch with reinforcement material, and cut a new patch to fit. From there you can tape and float out the patch to match the rest of the wall. The reinforcement material is little more than 1x2 or larger scraps of wood that are screwed around the perimeter of the patch that not only support all sided of the existing hole, but also support all sides of the patch filler.

Use hollow wall anchors when hanging light items. Attach directly to studs if hanging heavy items. Hollow wall anchors collapse on themselves (acting similar to a toggle bolt, only better ), providing a firm attachment to the wall material. Your only limitation will be the strength of the wall material to resist the weight of the item you're hanging.

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