Use Aluminum Mesh for Fast Drywall Repair

Updated: Jan. 02, 2020

An aluminum screen simplifies hole repair in walls

FH07JAU_ALUREP_01-2Family Handyman
Aluminum screen wall patches simplify and speed up repairs to holes in walls. Stick it on and mud it smooth.

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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 2: Cover with drywall compound

Spread the first coat of joint compound over the patch with a wide, 12-in. taping knife. Let it dry overnight.

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 4: Sand and repaint

Sand the patched area with a 120-grit sanding sponge until it feels smooth and even.

The traditional method on how to repair drywall 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
  • Taping knife
  • 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
  • Paint
  • Primer