Remodeling Tips and Reviews

Patching a hole in a wall

Patching a hole in a wall

Aug 20, 2011

As a remodeler I am constantly have to patch holes in walls where old plugs, or damage occurred. There are 2 ways of doing this. The old method is to insert a short piece of wood into the wall and screw it in place. Then cut a small piece of sheetrock to fit in the hole and start your taping and bedding at that point. There is a better way.

Tools you will need:

  • small piece of sheetrock a few inches bigger than the hole on all sides
  • 45 minute hot mud
  • 3″ mud knife or 5″ for larger jobs
  • knife to score and cut sheetrock
  • mud pan or large container
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • straight edge to mark straight lines with


Hot Patching

Hot patching uses hot mud, which can be bought at any hardware store in a bag. I use 45 since it doesn’t dry too fast. They also make 20 and 90 minute versions.  The mud comes as a dry mix so you will want to mix about 2 cups in a mud pan or container to a pudding consistency. Make the mud after the hole and patch are ready.

The first thing to do is to square off the old hole in the wall, if it is not uniform. Once this is done I measure it and then cut a piece of sheetrock approximately 2″ bigger than the hole on both sides.  Now you will want to flip the piece of sheetrock over to the brown back side and measure and mark the size of the hole in the center and you should have a 1″ border all the way around the sheetrock. You will then score the sheetrock with a knife from edge to edge and then carefully break the core without tearing the paper on the front side. Once this is done you will peel the core rock off the backside of the face paper and you will be left with  a paper border around the core. Check to make sure the patch fits in the hole, then apply hot mud all the way around the hole as well as the back side of the paper on the sheetrock that will sit on the wall.

Setting the Patch

Once the mud has been bedded insert the patch into the hole and use your mud knife to press if flat into the wall, making sure you use the old wall as a gauge at each corner to make it flush. Then using your mudding knife start working the hot mud out from under the patch and smooth it all the way around. If the patch is slightly inset don’t worry about it. You will come back again and slap another coat of mud on the wall in a few hours after it all sets up.Once it is pretty smooth let it set up for a couple of hours. Then apply a thin skim coat and make sure to feather out any high spots.

Once the patch is dry you will need to sand it with 120 grit paper. When texturing I like to use Homax spray texture in a can, its fast and easy. Once it sets up you prime and paint.