Drywall has become my specialty when it came to fixing up and repairing interiors of Foreclosures that my wife and I had purchased. I have repaired big and small holes; skim coated entire walls, installed it in complete rooms and finished it. I am a firm believer in tackling something that I haven’t done before and then ‘get ‘er done!”.
Most homes have at least depression damage where the door handles banged against a wall without a door stop. But most of the time the husband or kids got mad and it punched right through. Or someone lost their temper and tried to break their hand against the wall. Now if it was an older home, he probably did break his hand as lathe and plaster is almost as tough as cement. But it too can be repaired with drywall many times and come out looking very good.
But Most of you may be daunted by the thought of having to repair wholes and damage in the walls. But don’t fear. It can be accomplished.
Let’s go through some basics that can be of help. Remember we talked about door handles? Well, tough as it is, these surfaces can withstand only limited abuse. A door flung open with too much force can produce a doorknob-size hole in the wall. This kind of damage looks bad, but even large holes are easy to fix. The easiest way is to purchase a drywall repair kit. Measure the hole, and visit your local hardware store or home improvement center for a kit. There are various sizes and types for different applications.
For example, a drywall patch for a ceiling is thicker than one for a wall. Before you use the kit, remove any loose paper or plaster around the edges of the hole. Then apply drywall patch, following the manufacturer's instructions.
On this page, we'll tell you how to fix both a small and a large drywall hole. We'll start with a small hole.
Cut slits from the sides of the hole, then thread a wire through a tin can lid and slide it in. Pull the lid flat on the inside of the wall, and hold it in place with a stick.
Fixing a Small Drywall Hole
To make a repair to a small Damage hole without a kit, follow these directions:
Prepare tin can lid that is at least 11/2 inches more in diameter than the hole for backing piece. Use keyhole saw to cut out narrow horizontal slit in wall on each side of hole. Measurement of hole plus both narrow slits should equal diameter of lid so you can insert lid sideways into hole.
Use awl to punch two holes in center of lid. Thread 12-inch piece of wire or string through holes.
Holding ends of wire, slide lid through slit. Still holding wire, pull the lid toward you until its flat against inside of wall. To hold in place, set stick of scrap wood over hole on outside of wall and twist wire tightly over stick. Can lid should be held firmly against inside of wall.
Use putty knife to apply premixed patching compound over patch following manufacturer's instructions. (Don't use spackling compound because it shrinks as it dries.) You can also mix plaster of paris with water to make thick paste. Pack compound or plaster into hole against backing and behind stick. Keep compound inside hole, cover backing, and fill slits, but don't spread it on wall surface. Leave patch slightly low, and don't try to level it. Let patch dry until it turns bright white, typically at least 24 hours. When dry, cut string or wire and remove stick.
To finish patch, fill it completely with more plaster of paris or drywall patching compound to make patch level with wall surface. Let dry, lightly sand area, prime, and paint. In the next section, we'll get more ambitious and find out how to fix a large hole.
What You'll Need
Here's what you'll want to have on hand when fixing a small hole:
• Clean tin can lid
• Tape measure
• Keyhole saw
• Thin wire or string
• Scissors or wire cutters
• Scrap wood
• Putty knife
• Patching compound
• Primer and paint
Fixing a Large Drywall Hole
Steps 1& 2:
Secure a backing board on the inside of the wall to brace the patch; then coat the edges of the patch with spackling compound and set it into place in the hole.
Use spackling compound or wallboard joint compound as glue to hold patch in place. Spread compound on back of patching material and around edges. Set patch into hole and adjust it so it's exactly even with surrounding wall. Hold it in place until compound starts to set. Let compound dry at least overnight.
Once compound is dry, fill patch outline and cover exposed screw heads with spackling or joint compound. Let dry, lightly sand area, prime, and paint. Now you should be ready to tackle those unsightly holes.
What You'll Need
Here's what it will take to fix a large drywall hole: