Home Improvement How-To's: Patch Large Holes in Wallboard

Wallboard repairs are necessary for a number of reasons. Whether it's careless movers wielding appliances, kids hustling through the house, or just natural settling of the house, wallboard cracks can appear. But these simple projects can come to the rescue!


Patching a large hole should take you from one to two hours.

Framing square
Wallboard knife
Wallboard screw gun

Wallboard screws
Plywood or furring strips
Wallboard or joint tape
Wallboard compound

Step 1 Outline the damaged area with a framing or carpenter's square. Then use a wallboard knife, jigsaw or utility knife to cut away the damaged section of wallboard.

Step 2
Cut wallboard backer strips from 3/4-inch plywood or furring strips to a length and width greater than the area you want to patch. Then install them using a wallboard screw gun and 1 1/4-inch wallboard screws to secure your strips in position.

Measure the repair area then cut a piece of wallboard to size and affix it by screwing it to the backer strips. Apply adhesive-backed fiberglass wallboard tape to the cracks, then apply a thin coat of wallboard compound to the joints. Finish by sanding the area and applying additional coats of compound, if necessary, until you have a smooth finish.

For holes no bigger than 3 or 4 inches, you can make a patch from wallboard without using the backer strips. Just cut the patch from the backside of the wallboard to fit your repair area. Take care not to cut all the way through the facing paper.