How to Repair Drywall That Has Been Cut Out

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Sometimes accidental holes appear in drywall, a section will become damaged by moisture, or it becomes necessary to remove a piece to get access to some plumbing or wiring behind it. Whatever the cause, it is not a reason to panic. Repairing a section of drywall is not difficult, and seams are almost invisible if done correctly.

Things You'll Need

  • Drywall knife or saw
  • Tape measure
  • New drywall
  • Two-by-four studs
  • Drywall screws
  • Light grit or drywall sandpaper
  • Drywall compound
  • Seam tape
  • Putty knife
  • Primer

Trim the opening up to the studs on both sides of the hole. Use a small saw or drywall knife to make it as clean and square as possible. This allows a newly cut patch piece to fit exactly. Measure the opening carefully.

Cut two-by-four pieces slightly longer than the opening, feed them through the hole and place them against the existing studs. Screw them into the studs to create new supports for the drywall. The extra length allows the new studs to extend behind the existing drywall.

Draw an outline of the patch on a new piece of drywall. Cut the piece neatly, and test fit it into place to ensure a good fit. Trim any areas necessary to make a good fit.

Place the new drywall piece into the opening, and mount it to the new stud pieces with drywall screws. The finished piece should lay flat and in line with the old drywall as much as possible.

Sand around the cut lightly and extend out a few inches. This will make it easier to fill the seam and blend the pieces closely.

Spread a thin layer of drywall compound over the seam with a putty knife, and press and smooth seam tape into it. Make sure the edges are pressed fully into the compound, and smooth out any raised material with the putty knife. Let it dry for at least 12 hours.

Add a thick layer of drywall compound over the seam with a wide putty knife and feather it out over the old drywall. Sand lightly between each coat until the seams and tape are not noticeable and the wall is smooth. Each coat should be completely dry before sanding.

With a damp sponge, wipe off any drywall dust from the sanding, and then paint the area with primer to protect it. Finish with any paint or wall treatment desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Force drywall compound into the seams prior to taping to fill the void partially and give it more solidity.
  • Be patient when layering drywall compound. Numerous thin layers will be smoother than one thick layer.
  • If the patched area is more tall than wide, you may need to place a horizontal brace stud in at the top and bottom to give more stability to the repaired section.

References

  • "Dare to Repair, Replace & Renovate: Do-It-Herself Projects to Make Your Home More Comfortable, More Beautiful & More Valuable!"; Julie Sussman and Stephanie Glakas-Tenet; 2009
  • "Drywall: Professional Techniques for Great Results"; Myron R. Ferguson; 2008
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