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jweiner 01-26-2009 06:16 PM

Repairing a small hole in drywall
After watching drywall guys repair various drywall damage, I thought I'd give it a try on a small hole that was left in a wall when we relocated a thermostat. The hole is about 1/2" - 3/4" in diameter.

I first placed a piece of mesh tape (about 3" long) over the hole. Then I put on the first coat of mud and flattened it out with a putty knife so I could see the tape. Then (today) I put on a second coat of mud. When I smoothed it out again with my 5" putty knife, I could still see the mesh tape. I plan on applying one more coat of mud tomorrow, but am wondering if I am supposed to still be able to still see the tape? If so, won't the tape peel when I sand things smooth after the third coat?

What am I doing wrong if anything? Do I need to apply a thicker coat of mud? If so, won't it be harder to sand smooth (or) won't I end up with a bump on the wall if I don't sand it smooth?

ponch37300 01-27-2009 11:07 AM

You should put the mud on just thick enough so you can't see the tape. Then scrap and high spots with your putty knife and then feather it out using an 8 or 10 inch drywall knife. Then do a 3rd coat which should be very thin with a 12" knife. A good drywall job won't require much sanding.

jweiner 01-27-2009 12:42 PM

I fully understand what you are saying. I hate to sound dense, but if I apply the mud so that I no longer can see the tape, then aren't I creating a "bump" in the wall, which when sanded back down to be flush with the wall, will expose the tape again???

ponch37300 01-27-2009 12:51 PM

You will have a little bump in the wall to cover the tape. The key is to feather the edges out about 12" so the bump is less noticeable. And you should need very little sanding if done correctly. You do not want to sand it completely flat because the tape will show and that's no good.

Here is a link a just searches on youtube to show you kinda what I'm talking about.

beerdog 01-27-2009 03:42 PM

Couldn't a hole this small just be "plugged" with the mud? I do not think you would want to use spakle, but a standard mud should be OK. Just mix it a little thick or use premixed and don't thin it out?

You could also cut the whole bigger and patch it with a piece of drywall cut to fit and a backer board. Then tape it like a standard but joint.

skipjack 01-27-2009 04:23 PM


Couldn't a hole this small just be "plugged" with the mud?
That's what I thought... I once removed a plant hook from a ceiling that left a decent hole from the toggle bolt used to hold it.

Smear some mud in there and over fill it a bit. It'll shrink.. and, if need be, do a second thin coat over it to fill it and once dry, rub smooth with a wet cloth. Prime and paint.. done.

ponch37300 01-27-2009 06:14 PM


Originally Posted by beerdog (Post 220210)
Couldn't a hole this small just be "plugged" with the mud?

Would have worked but the original poster stated he already taped the hole and put 2 coats of mud on and can still see the tape. So the issue isn't how to patch a hole, it's how to cover the tape.

wrangler 01-27-2009 07:25 PM

And if the surrounding area has a texture, while the mud is still wet, you can dab it with a wet sponge to try and match the existing texture to make it less noticeable. If the surrounding area is flat, then the 'bump' should not be too noticeable if a flat paint is used.

4just1don 01-28-2009 08:36 PM

Probably NOT the right way,,but I have peeled the outer layer of paper so tape lays down flat. OR in this case some foam or other glued backer so there is something to fill against. Even something the shape of a poker chip,,,make a small line to push it thru and a string or something to pull it back,then apply glue and tie it fast. makes the hole fill faster.

concretemasonry 01-28-2009 08:53 PM

I was moving out of a rental and the owner did not like the hole from the toggle bolt in the textured ceiling. - I did the obvious in the spirit that landlords do by using flour and water to fill the hole. Three days later, he could not see it, but I could see the other earlier patches he missed.

It is all a matter of what you will accept.

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