How to Fix a Large Hole in the Wall — by Home Repair Tutor

How to Fix a Large Hole in the Wall — by Home Repair Tutor

Hi, everyone! This video’s going to show
you how to fix a large hole in the wall. So if you’ve got a large whole that’s maybe
more than 6”x6”, maybe it’s from an old vanity that you had to remove, or somebody
decided to play Mike Tyson’s “Punch Out” with the wall, this video’s going to help
you out with that specific problem. So hold on tight. I’ve got a lot of great tips for
you. I think you’re going to like them. Let’s get to it.
So here’s the big hole on the wall that I need to fix. I actually created this because
I needed to install a pedestal sink. And I need to put some back-blocking in using plywood.
I’m marking the depth of the plywood on the studs because I need to put some blocking
in that’s set back a little bit so I can put that piece of blocking in the stud bay.
I’m showing you the decking screws I’m going to be using to patch the blocking and
the drill bit. The drill bit is about the same width as the deck screw. So I’m attaching
those pieces of block using my impact driver. And if you need an extension bit, you can
do that, especially if you’re in a tight space like me.
So I needed to put those pieces of blocking back. Set them back about ¾” and also,
because of the tight space, I had to angle—you may have to do this, too—I had to angle
the decking screws so that I could reach them within the stud bay.
So as you can see here, I’ve got my back-block in at ¾” plywood, that is, and just attaching
it to the pieces of scrap wood that I put on the studs using those deck screws.
So for large holes, what you want to do is find the largest opening. So in this case,
it’s right here. It’s about 9” tall. And the opening, it is about 27” wide. So
take that dimension and cut yourself a piece of scrap drywall. And then, place that drywall
on your wall, and trace the outline because what you’re going to do is create a perfect—in
this case—rectangle, and you’re going to place that piece of drywall in that space.
You can use a drywall knife like I’m doing here, or a drywall saw, to saw out the existing
drywall. Or you can score along the studs. So you can use a utility knife to score pieces
of drywall that are directly overtop the studs. And you can take your drywall knife—or saw,
I should say—and cut out the remaining portion of the drywall.
When you score along the studs, it’s pretty cool because all you have to do is snap back
the drywall, and it comes right off, as you can see here. Now it could be a pain if somebody
glued the drywall to the stud. So make sure, too, that you take out any screws or any nails
from the studs because that’s probably going to affect your new drywall piece. And then
mark your studs on the existing drywall, and put an X anywhere where you don’t want to
drill. In this case, there’s a pipe in the wall, and I don’t want to put a screw in
that. So I should’ve done this beforehand, but
you also want to put tape overtop any shutoff valves. So I simply put painter’s tape over
the shutoff valves. The P-trap I’m not so concerned about because I can always remove
that. Put cardboard on the floor. You’re going to protect the floor from any drywall
dust. Then you’re going to be using coarse-threaded drywall screws. In this case, I chose 15/8
drywall screws, and you’re going to use a dimpler to patch the screws through the
new drywall piece and into the studs. I put the dimpler into my standard drill.
Nothing special here. And what I did was attach the screws into the stud locations. And as
you can see here, it creates a perfect dimple. No paper tears, which you don’t want.
So here’s the piece of drywall. The next step is to apply joint compound and tape.
Now I like using setting-type joint compound. This is Easy Sand 20 Lightweight Setting-Type
Compound. It sets up in 20 minutes, so you got to be quick. Then I use a mixing paddle
from the kitchen. Don’t worry, I asked my wife if I could use this extra one, a putty
knife, and a mud pan are all you need. Make sure that mud pan is super clean, though.
The mixing paddle isn’t clean, but it’s hard to get those as clean as possible. So
do your best to clean it if you use it. And then make sure you wear a respirator. You
don’t want to inhale any drywall dust or joint compound dust.
Mix up the joint compound using the mixing paddle in your drill. Don’t mix it up too
quickly; you’ll create air pockets in the mud. That’s not good. I like my mud that
just barely fall off the putty knife or joint compound knife. That’s the right consistency.
Grab a nice, clean 6” joint compound knife. You want it to be clean so that it doesn’t
put any debris in your joint compound. Then apply a 3/16” to ¼” layer of joint compound
over the butt joints, the space between the old drywall and the new drywall. Then embed
the paper tape. The paper tape will make for a nice, clean, smooth finish. So what you
want to do is work out any wrinkles using the 6” joint compound knife. So apply a
nice, healthy layer of joint compound over each horizontal butt joint, embed your tape.
And then what you want to do—when I say smoothen out, I mean smooth out the bottom
section of the joint compound with joint tape, and then the top section of the tape using
your knife. And then run your knife down the center of the tape to smooth out any remaining
wrinkles or pockets underneath it. Allow the horizontal sections to dry. Then
what you can do is measure out the amount of tape that you’re going to be… in this
case, I want to say 6”. Apply a nice, healthy dose of joint compound. Embed your tape. Pretty
much the same way—starting in the center and working your way out through the edges
as you did for the horizontal pieces of tape. So again, nice, healthy 3/16” to ¼” amount
of joint compound over that joint. Apply the tape, and then smooth out the tape using your
joint compound knife. Pretty simple stuff. Let that dry and then you can come back and
do a second coating of joint compound. Here’s the second layer of joint compound.
Again, I like the joint compound to just barely hang off the knife. I’m using a 6” joint
compound knife to apply a layer of joint compound. It’s 6” above and below the piece of tape
that I embedded into the drywall. So for a total amount of about 12” of joint compound.
So 6” on either side of the tape. So you can see here, again, it’s a nice,
healthy layer of joint compound, 3/16” to about ¼”. And I’m going to take a 10”
joint compound knife and smooth out both sections, so the top and the bottom. And then I’m
going to do the same thing for the bottom portion of tape.
Now I want to show you a mistake that I made. I took off too much joint compound; you can
still see the tape on the bottom and a little bit on the top. You don’t want to do that.
This is a tight space, and I was hurting because I was on my knees the whole time. But you’ll
want to taper the edges, feather the edges out using that 10” knife.
And here’s what it looked like. Again, too much joint compound is taken off the tape
itself. You can see the tape; that’s not good. But I needed to apply a third coating
anyway and actually a fourth and fifth because I needed to smooth out the entire wall.
So you can take off any high and low spots using the 6” knife. Just scrape it along
the wall. Then I like using a sanding sponge, a medium grit sanding sponge, to feather out
the edges. So you want a circular motion using that sponge. Take out any high and low spots.
Feel around for them, and then place a level on the wall and check to see if you missed
anything and if you need to feather out even more.
So like I said, I needed to apply a fourth and fifth coat because this wall was in bad
shape. So I’m just applying a nice thin skin coat over the entire wall. Check it out.
This is what the wall looks like. I still need to knock down some high spots and sand
a bit more. But overall, it looks pretty darn good. I think this is a great method you might
want to try out. Well there you go. That’s how you fix a
large whole in the wall. I hope that you liked this video. If you did, go ahead and subscribe
to the Home Repair Tutor YouTube channel. That way you won’t miss any videos that
come out in the future. And guess what, while you’re at it, jump on over to,
sign up for the email newsletter because that way you won’t miss any of my tutorials.
And you know what, we do weekly giveaways. So whether it’s a power tool or maybe a
little tool that you need for electrical work, sometimes I give away these things, and I
wouldn’t want you to miss out on that. So it’s pretty cool
Thanks for watching the video today. Take care, and I’ll talk to you soon.

53 thoughts on “How to Fix a Large Hole in the Wall — by Home Repair Tutor

  1. probably would have been easier to remove the dry wall first before installing the bracing, but i did learn something, i keep trying to make the first round of joint compound application perfect. Takes a few rounds before that happens. Thanks

  2. Thanks Jeff! I appreciate how you narrate your videos, always answering my questions as soon as they pop into my head. Looking forward to more videos.

  3. thank you for the video. Taught me how to fix a 3 foot by 2 foot hole in my garage ceiling for a 1/3 of the price, plus I get to keep the tools.

  4. I have a large hole in my garage wall that has exposed pipes which makes it impossible to patch with drywall I need help

  5. Thank you so much for this video. I got all psyched up to do this but had second thoughts and decided to see what youtube had to offer. This was the best video I watched about this process. Craftsman video didn't have anything on you. They didn't even finish the most important part of the whole process… mudding it, and God forbid they show mistakes, which we all make. Your honesty in your mistakes makes this video perfect for the do it yourselfer. Thanks again. I feel confident now that I can do this!

  6. Im glad you used paper-tape rather than the mesh, though you overlapped it, which will be harder to hide. Meaning you needed to do too many coats. You got the job done though.

  7. Thanks! I've never done this before but the video helps a lot, now it's time to repair this big hole in my wall.. wish me luck.

  8. What do you think about mesh tape? I've found that every job I did in a bathroom ( lot's of moisture ) the paper tape bubbles or you can see wrinkles develop over time, no matter how little or how smooth you make the joint compound.

  9. Thank you for a great video. I've watched it a few times ;–) and I'm ready to fill out cabinet hole. Crossed fingers . M

  10. This is an actual diy video and a great tutorial. I like that you didn’t try and hide your mistakes. I actually want to give it a shot and try it myself after watching this.

  11. Thank you so very, very much! a friend fell and put a hole in my wall and I would like to repair it instead of having the landlord worry about an holes. This has cut down my repair bill from 500+ for a professional to about 50 bucks. but – I don't know about respiration system. Do I need a big one like what is in the video, or can I just get a single use?

  12. I would have gone to the floor with new Sheetrock so that lose shutoff valve could be fixed. A little sloppy tape job but that's why they make joint compound. )))

  13. Hmmm…. is there a difference between sheet rock and drywall? My apartment… the walls are hard. Harder then drywall. I tried putting some pictures up by tacks. Anyways, the walls are really hard. It's a old building too.

  14. Do you mix a separate batch of mud for the top and bottom tape applications? How long should we wait between applying the top tape / bottom and vertical edge tape?

  15. Hey,I liked the video so much because of the music in the background.I found myself doing the jig while repairing my wall!!!

  16. Thanks. Helpful. I'll be installing patch drywall around bathroom pipes. Suggestion for your video…turn down the background music or use none at all. More important to hear you clearly. Thanks.

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