How to Repair Holes in Drywall

How to Repair Holes in Drywall

There are a number of reasons why you need to repair holes in Drywall. Sometimes it's because of scheduled plumbing or electrical work that left a hole in the drywall. Othertimes, holes need to be repaired because of unexpeced damage. Regardless the reason, the techniques discussed below can be used to repair holes in drywall. Different techniques work better than others depending on the size of the hole and whether it is in the ceiling or the wall.

This article outliines a few methods for repairing holes in drywall. The separate articles linked below describe in detail how to use these methods to patch drywall. Any of these techniques can be used for holes up to 13 inches. If a hole is larger than 13 inches it is best to cut the surrounding drywall back to the nearest available stud, and install a piece of drywall to fit. Repairing holes over 13 inches in size require adequate backing that is attached to the underlying structure, rather than the surrounding drywall. The methods outlined below depend on the stability of the surrounding drywall to provide support.

Strapped backing drywall patch without drywall

Strapped backing patch

The first method may be referred to as a strapped backing patch. It is the strongest method for patching medium to large holes. For drywall to be truly strong it needs to have a solid backing. This method involves using a short length of metal or wooden stud. The backing strap is placed behind the hole extending past either edge and then secured to the existing drywall. The patch is then screwed onto the newly placed backing-strap. This is the best type of drywall patch for holes in ceilings.

California drywall patch bedded in

California drywall patch

The second method is popularly known as a California Drywall Patch. Some refer to this method as a Butterfly Patch. A California patch works well for small holes. If the hole is larger than 8" x 8" you may consider using the strapped backing method above. A California patch is not well suited for holes in ceilings. This type of patch is best suited for covering up small square holes such as where an old outlet box was removed.

Hammock patch mesh tape stripping

Hammock Patch or Ohio Drywall Patch

The third method is a versatile technique of patching drywall that works best with small to medium size holes of up to 13 inches in size. The hole does not need to be square to use an Ohio patch. If the drywall that was removed is still available, it can oftentimes be reused with this method. There are challenges to using an Ohio patch to repair holes in ceilings; however if certain precautions are taken when placing the patch it can even be used on small holes in the ceilings.