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Drywall Repair Shortcut For The Inexperienced


drywall plugA drywall patch for an inexperienced homeowner can leave your knees knocking. There is a trick though that can shave a little time and apprehension off of your job. When I say small, I mean about 4 inches or less, so a hole caused by a doorknob is perfect. They sell screens that go right over the hole, but I prefer to use a drywall plug.

First off you want to clean up the hole. Cut the drywall hole larger ( I know it sounds counterproductive)in the shape of a square. Now you will need a piece of drywall (the same thickness as the piece you're working on, either ½ inch or 5/8 inch) 3 inches larger than the size of the hole you are patching. That means if your hole is 4 inches square, use a piece 7 inches square. We are going to make this 7 inch piece of drywall fit into this 4 inch hole...sort of.

Normally, you would screw a couple of wood boards behind the hole so the drywall patch has something to screw into. Then you would use tape (either paper or fiberglass) to cover the edges and float out the drywall compound (aka mud). However, with the plug method, you can bypass the wood and the tape.

Here's how you do it. Lets assume the hole is 4 inches. With your 7 inch piece of drywall you will remove everything but a 4 inch square in the middle, that means we will take off 1 ½ inches from each side of the piece. Use a utility knife and score the back side of the drywall piece. Then snap the drywall and pull it away from the paper face. You will do this on all 4 sides and when done you will have a flap of paper that is connected to the patch. This flap will act as the tape.

Butter up the flaps and smoosh it the hole. Once you push it in, the drywall compound will squeeze out around the perimeter of the patch. Use a drywall knife or putty knife and float it out. After it dries you can clean up the perimeter, texture and paint. Here are some details on how to texture drywall.


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