They were EVERYWHERE! I’m talking two-per-room-one-per-bathroom everywhere. Seriously? Couldn’t afford to miss one phone call? Landlines being a thing of the past, I wanted the majority of the things out and assumed their removal would be another job for our fix-it guy…until he showed me the trick behind patching holes in sheetrock. Fifteen successfully patched holes later, I felt like the cleverest gal in the home improvement world.
Then, fifteen months later, the insulation specialists came in and cut six more holes in our walls.
Sigh!!! A homeowner’s work is never finished. Put out with having to add another chore to our already-long list, I deliberately ignored the holes all winter long. “I’ll fix them in the spring,” I growled to myself.
By “spring” I guess I meant “Labor Day” because I woke up on Monday with a fresh determination to finish up old and unfinished projects, starting with those confounded holes!
Grabbing my tools and materials, I got to work and was done in less than an hour. Now, was that so bad? If you, too, need to patch your walls, but are not aware of the “clever trick,” here’s how to do it….
HOW TO PATCH A HOLE IN SHEETROCK
You will need:
- Scraps of sheet rock
- Razor blade
- Object that is roughly the shape/size of the hole (for tracing)
- Joint compound or spackle
- Paint scraper
- Clean rag
(When you live in a constant state of home repair, you tend to have all of the above on hand.)
Step 1: Making the Patch
- Determine the dimensions of the hole to be patched. In my case, I had round holes, and a 4″ ramekin matched perfectly.
- Using a razor blade, cut out a square of sheet rock a little bigger than the hole you are patching.
- Place tracing object in the center of the square of sheet rock, and trace around it with a razor blade. Careful!
- Carefully cut slits around the shape, but do not cut the shape itself!
- These slits will allow you to cleanly break the excess away from your shape:
- Carefully peel away the excess pieces, leaving the paper underneath intact. That paper is part of your patch!
Step 2: Applying the Patch
Mix a small amount of joint compound with just enough water to make it the consistency of loose peanut butter. Smooth out as many lumps as possible.
Joint compound will dry and thicken as it sits so only prepare it right before you need it. If it gets a little stiff while you are working, stir in a little more water.
Spread a thin layer of compound on the paper border around the raised shape:
Insert the raised shape of the patch into the hole until it is flush with the wall and smooth the edges of the paper onto the wall, pressing out any bubbles:
Here’s the tricky part: Smooth over the patch as uniformly as possible with more compound. (Think of it as icing a cake.) Make sure to cover up any signs of paper.
Wait about 10 minutes and then carefully smooth any large ridges with a damp towel, making the perimeter of the patch as smooth with the wall as possible. That way, you don’t have an obvious raised spot on your wall.
I prefer this method to sanding because, let’s face it, sanding sucks! (Not to mention messy.)
3. Paint the Patch
Allow patch to dry completely before painting. Trust me, wait. You will avoid a big, frustrating mess.
There! You just patched a wall. Now kick your feet up, and admire your cleverness.
Happy Home Improving!
For more inspiration on getting the job done, head over to Pancake’s and French Fries for the weekly William Morris Project!