Quick wall repair in 4 steps
Photo 1: Apply the aluminum patch
Clean off broken edges and tears around the hole. Then cover the hole entirely with the patch, sticky side toward the wall.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 2: Cover with drywall compound
Spread the first coat of joint compound over the patch with a wide taping knife. Let it dry overnight.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 3: Add a second coat
When it’s dry, recoat the patch and then feather out the compound on all sides to make the patch blend in.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 4: Sand and repaint
Sand the patched area with a sanding sponge until it feels smooth and even.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
The traditional method of repairing holes in walls is to square the hole, put wood backing behind it, cut and screw on a drywall patch, and then tape the edges. Aluminum patches, available at home centers and paint and hardware stores for $2 to $4, give the same results with much less work. The patches, which come in 4-, 6- and 8-in. sizes, are stiff enough to span holes and thin enough to disappear after taping and painting.
Select a patch large enough to overlap the hole on all sides by an inch, then stick the patch on (Photo 1). Patches can be cut or overlapped as needed.
Trowel on the first coat of joint compound over the patch, spreading the compound flat enough to see the outline of the mesh through it (Photo 2).
Allow the compound to dry overnight, then apply a wider second coat (Photo 3), followed by a final, third coat after the second coat dries. Spread the compound in thin coats extending 8 to 12 in. beyond the patch in all directions.
After the final coat has dried overnight, sand it smooth, prime and paint (Photo 4).
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- Mud pan
- Sanding sponge, 120-grit
- Taping knife, 12-in.
- Utility knife
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
- Aluminum patch
- Drywall compound