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We just moved into a ranch house that's well over 100 years. Unfortunately our family made some unusual improvements to it while the last five generations were living there (during various decades).

In the master bedroom it was decided that there was more than enough room to add a bathroom WITHIN the footprint of the master bedroom. They accomplished this by basically framing-out a closet with wood studs and using plywood instead of drywall.

HERE'S THE PROBLEM: I just removed the huge medicine cabinet/mirror/outlet-strip/built-in-vanity-light so I can install a modern mirror and light fixture. Underneath it, I discovered an unwanted surprise. It appears they had used a saw of some sort to cut a huge 6" hexagonal hole on the far left side of the plywood wall, then the exposed wires had been run out of this hole and spanned about 12" behind the "mirror" to it's hard-wiring source at the top.

So now I have a giant hole to patch/fill in a plywood wall that I can't replace.

The hole isn't going to be hidden by the new mirror and is too weird of a spot to hang a picture.

How can I patch this hole? It's going to be painted but I was told that spackle won't stick to the plywood and will crack when it dries. Plus it's way too big a hole to simply spackle.

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If you want drywall, why can't you put the drywall over the plywood? A little extra sound proofing never hurt a bathroom. – lqlarry Feb 5 '12 at 3:45

The process for patching should similar to drywall, but with slightly different materials. I'd suggest using wood filler at the joint.

In more detail: first, get a new piece of plywood of the same thickness as the existing wall board. Then you need to attach your patch piece to structure. For this, you have two options.

  1. Cut away more of the existing plywood until you've exposed some structure you can fasten into.
  2. Cut some lumber to span the opening, and attach it using screws through existing plywood around the opening. Then cut your patch and mount it to the spanning pieces.

If the hole is only 6" wide, a small piece of 2x4 or even 1x2 and a plywood patch will probably cover you.

To seal the seams between your patch and existing plywood, use wood filler. Fill with a putty knife, sand flat, prime and paint. Assuming you can find a 4ft x 2ft plywood panel of the appropriate thickness, total materials cost should be around $20-$30.

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