Repairing Long Drywall Holes
Repairing long drywall holes depends on the source. Smaller cracks or holes in drywall can be easily and inexpensively fixed. On the other hand, repairing long drywall holes can test the skill level and patience of even the most experienced drywaller.
Long holes in the wall can be fixed with minimal equipment. First, for repairing long drywall holes use a carpenter’s square and a pencil or marker to draw a line at least an inch or more above and below the damaged area. Next, draw lines along the left and right sides to center over the studs on either side of the drywall hole. Cut out the sides with a keyhole saw or utility knife for carpenters. Just be careful to avoid wiring and pipes that may be hidden behind the walls. Use a sharp utility knife to trim away any loose or protruding paper facing or loose pieces of gypsum.
When you run into the stud, mark and measure over the stud (3/4 inches, which is the center of the stud). The edge of the patch should be directly over the stud so that the existing drywall and patch have support. Proceed to cutting along the line with a utility knife, making several passes with each cut slightly deeper than the previous cut. Remove the damaged piece of drywall.
Next, continue repairing long drywall holes by cutting the patch to size. Cut a 1- x 3-inch piece of scrap lumber or ¾-inch plywood approximately 2-4 inches longer than the height of the patch. Screw these supports vertically behind the opening to keep the patch from cracking. Hold the support in place, and then secure it with drywall screws. Don’t drive the screws through the drywall. Secure the anchor board to the wall. Using wallboard screws and a screw gun, screw through the existing wall and into one end of the anchor board. Maintain pressure on the center of the board to keep it tight. Hold onto the center of the board and fasten the other end of the anchor board to the wall. To help secure the anchor board, you can add a handle to the patch, which will help set it into the drywall hole and butt it up against the anchor board.
To make a handle, you can insert a screw about halfway into the center of the drywall patch with screwdriver. Leave enough of the screw exposed to form the handle and secure the patch into the hole. After inserting it in the hole, remove the screw handle.
Holding the center screw if necessary to keep the patch in place, use the screw gun to insert a screw all the way through the drywall patch and into the anchor board. Repeat this step three more times until the drywall patch is firmly attached to the anchor board.
Next, apply drywall tape to the edges of the patch and smooth the drywall tape around all edges of the patch. Apply the drywall compound over the tape. After you tape the drywall, add a thin coating of compound to all four sides of the patch and let it dry completely. After it dries, add a second thin coat.
Sand the patch until it is smooth. Use a fine-grit paper to smooth out the surface. Finish the process of repairing deep drywall holes by adding some primer over the drywall patch.