How to Fix an Oversize Electrical Box Cutout

Fast fix for a common goof

An oversize drywall cutout around an electrical box can ruin the appearance of an otherwise perfect taping job. The best way to fix it is with drywall compound and joint tape.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Permanent repair

We've all done it—cut the electrical box opening too large. Sure, you can cover it with a “jumbo” electrical plate, but that can look pretty stupid, especially if there are other boxes nearby. Instead of squishing joint compound into the gap (it'll always crack), try this fix.

First prepare the gap and fill it with compound (Photo 1). Then apply joint tape and additional mud coats (Photo 2).

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Dust mask
  • Utility knife
  • Taping knife

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Setting-type joint compound
  • Paper joint tape
  • Lightweight joint compound
  • Medium grit sanding sponge