How to Repair a Large Hole in a Sheetrock Wall

Repairing a large hole in your sheetrock wall is not as intimidating as one might think. Following is a quick and easy way to do the repair without a big headache.

First, you’ll want to make the hole square if it isn’t already. It only needs to be big enough to cover the damaged area.The best method to do this is to use a two-foot level and make the two vertical lines and two horizontal lines with a pencil to form the square; no measuring is necessary. If you don’t have a level, then simply measure with a ruler or measuring tape equal distances to form the square.

The next step is to cut out along the lines to remove the damaged piece. An inexpensive keyhole saw is the best tool for this job. A utility knife can also be used by making frequent passes until you have cut through the sheetrock. If you find yourself cutting over a stud, continue the cut until you have cut out the entire square. Watch out for each wiring that may be on the wall, especially along studs. With the hole now cut, place a piece of scrap wood, preferably one inch thick material such as a 1×3 or 1×4 in the hole on the back side of the sheetrock and long enough to go beyond each edge about four inches.

So if I made an 8 inch by the 8-inch hole the piece would be 16 inches long. It can be placed vertically or horizontally in the hole. If the cut passed over a stud, the stud could be used as an anchor point and the scrap placed on the opposite side. If the stud is in the middle, place two scraps on either side. Screw the wood pieces in place with a cordless screwdriver from the face of the sheetrock until the screw head is slightly below the surface. One on each end of the scrap should do.

Next cut a piece of sheetrock to fit the hole. Making the piece one-eighth of an inch smaller overall will aid in setting it in. Screw this in place as well with drywall screws. The next step is to apply joint compound to the joints to receive joint tape. Put enough to cover the width of the tape and slightly over. Press the tape in the plaster with a six-inch plaster knife. Be sure the tape is in full contact with the plaster or else the tape could bubble. Wherever the tape overlaps, place a small amount of joint compound over the underlying tape. Once this is dry, place the second coat of compound. It’s always best to use an eight-inch plaster knife, but a six inch will do.