How to Patch a Large Hole in Drywall
There are only a few projects that you are putting off. They tell themselves it would be the perfect project for a rainy day. A decade later there were many rainy days, but the project has not yet started. Then a loved one points out the unfinished project and you honestly can’t remember that it ever had to be done. Invisibility often leads to ignorance. Of course, this is all hypothetical. For example, let’s say this project is repairing a hole in drywall and you’re not sure how to fix it. So that all “hypothetical” drywall holes can be repaired, here is a pro tip for mending a large hole in drywall.
In this example, removing a vent for an old air conditioner left a large hole. The same repair principles apply to damage caused by a doorknob, water leak, or accidental tantrum.
The scope of the work.
Mend a large hole in the drywall step by step
In our example, the cutout had the additional advantage that an electrical cable ran behind it. It won’t really get in the way of the work, but we still have to be careful not to damage it.
Step 1. Line up your drywall hole
For a doorknob repair, you’ll want to square the hole with a keyhole saw or your favorite multitool. Larger holes work the same way. You will need a neat rectangle or square to cut a spare part that will easily fit in the space. For this we use our utility knife and clean the edges as necessary.
Also, check out our article 6 Ways To Cut Drywall.
Step 2. Add a backing board … or two
Before you even think about adding new drywall, you need to secure a piece of wood behind the drywall. Depending on the size of the hole, you’ll want to make sure you have enough spots to attach the plaster and make sure the drywall won’t crack later. For large drywall repairs, we recommend widening the hole in the center of your studs. This makes it a lot easier to secure the new piece when you’re ready. If this is not possible, adding a board to one of the sides and / or the center can help.
Adding wood in the form of a wide strip of fur will give you a nice attachment point to hold the patched piece of drywall in place. We added one in the middle and one on the right as well. The left side already had an exposed bolt.
Just hold the boards in place, then screw them through the drywall to firmly secure them to the inside of your drywall.
Attach a piece or two of wood to the back of the drywall. You may also want to cut the drywall back halfway above the side studs so that the entire perimeter of the drywall patch can be properly secured.
3. Drywall The drywall patch
We really want to make sure the patch fits before we proceed. You will find it much easier to cut the drywall when it is away from the wall. If you have to hammer it in, you’ll likely crush or dent the corners – making it difficult to finish.
4. Attach your large drywall patch to the wood
Once you know you’ve cut the patch to the right size, place it in the hole. Use coarse-thread drywall screws to attach your large drywall patch to the wood and / or the studs. It should be snug and you want to make sure that you have stability around the patch. This will prevent it from moving and tearing later.
5. Use tape or display material to cover the patch
You want to reinforce all of the drywall seams for stability. We recommend using screen material or just plain drywall. This will prevent the grout from cracking as it dries. It’s also important to apply the compound in thin layers. You can use a full screen mode for a small patch or use mesh tape to cover the scope of a large patch.
The sieve prevents the grout from tearing.
6. Apply grout with a drywall knife
Apply the first layer of grout in a thin layer with a wide putty or drywall knife. We recommend 10 inches unless the patch size is small. Make it as smooth as possible. Once dry, you will likely need to sand any rough spots and apply another thin layer. Repeat this process until it merges with the wall. Avoid trying all of this in one go unless you really know what you are doing. In that case, after reading this, be sure to add your wisdom below!
Wrap it up
We hope you can get started with the hypothetical projects that you have postponed. If knowing how to mend a large hole in drywall helps, then we consider it a “win.” If you are a professional reading this and have tips on drywall construction, please add them in the comments below.