Repairing a Hole in Your Drywall
When it comes to drywall, holes happen. There’s no way around it. Regardless of how it happened (and every hole has its story), you approach the process of repairing a hole in your drywall the same way. How you repair it depends on the damage done.
Before tackling your project of repairing a hole in your drywall, it’s good to have some background on what you’re facing. Unlike plaster, drywall has a seamless paper covering that rarely cracks or splits. If a crack appears, it typically will appear on a seam where two drywall sheets meet.
The Tools You Need for Repairing a Hole in your Drywall
- Drywall saw
- Reciprocating saw
- Electronic stud finder
- Drywall corner bead
- Fiberglass drywall tape
For small holes, use a piece of mesh tape to hold the joint compound in place. For larger holes, you will need furring strips and a piece of drywall to cover the area before you can apply joint compound and finish the wall work.
If the crack is on a vertical or horizontal seam, carefully widen it with the corner of a paint scraper, utility knife or chisel. This will help you determine if the crack goes through the paper covering the seam or if the tape has pulled loose from the wall surface.
If the tape is intact, the crack might just be from old drywall compound that dried or has shrunk. Hold the knife at a 70-degree angle and fill the crack with the new compound. Makes sure you swipe across the crack.
It is important to allow the joint compound to completely dry, and then lightly sand the area and wipe away the dust.
One of the most common problems is nail pops in the drywall – where the nail head pulls away from the stud and protrudes through the drywall tape or paint.
Situations like these typically are caused by warped wood that was inadequately dry when installed. While drywall is rarely in danger of falling off the wall, you don’t have to look hard to see the bumps.
Use a utility knife to scrap away the drywall until the nail or screw is exposed.
You can fix the pop by using a screwdriver or hammer to drive the nail back into the stud. You can either bracket each nail head with closely spaced drywall screws, or remove the nail and drive a screw in its place. You also can add a second nail nearby to help keep the drywall secured to the stud.
When using drywall screws, make sure you recess the heads slightly and create a dimple in the drywall surface that can be covered with joint compound. Be careful not to tear the paper surface. Where several screws are placed in a row, spot-patch each with compound and cover them with a strip of fiberglass tape as described in the steps above.
If you have a large hole or damaged area, you’ll need to patch the hole. Simply cut a piece of drywall that’s a little bigger than the damaged area. This will be your template so that you can trace it on the wall.
Following the trace markings you made; cut out the wall section with a drywall knife.
Next, cut two furring strips about 6 inches wider than the hole and insert them into the hole.
Secure each furring strip to the outside edges of the hole with screws.
Securing Your Drywall Patch
The furring strip will be used to attach the drywall patch in place. Insert the drywall patch into the hole.
Make sure the drywall patch fits. And just as when you first installed your drywall, check and make sure there are no large gaps around the edges.
Tape It Up
Finally, the last step in the process of repairing a hole in your drywall is to apply some tape along the seams between the drywall patch and the wall, and cover the tape with joint compound.