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I have a large hole where a TV wall mount once was (I believe the hole was used to run power and coax cable to the TV). I have since moved the TV and would like to patch the hole. What is the best way to do this?

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Hmm... this is just the size of a fist ;) –  txwikinger Jul 21 '10 at 20:56
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I don't know what you're talking about, that is a small hole. –  Brad Gilbert Jul 24 '10 at 4:38
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5 Answers 5

They sell dry-wall patches for this purpose.

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Correct way to do it as instructed on 'Canada's worst Handyman':

  • cut a piece of strapping (wood) that will be a couple inches longer than the hole on each side.
  • put the strapping inside the hole and attach it using a couple of drywall screws so that it is across the hole.
  • cut a piece of drywall that is the same size as the hole, as close as you can get
  • attach the patch to the strapping with a drywall screw
  • mud, sand, paint.

Same process works for larger holes and also on the ceiling which can be tricky.

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+1 - exactly what I was going to suggest. Also, even though it seems counter-intuitive, it might be easier if you actually cut the hole a bit bigger in this case. –  Eric Petroelje Jul 21 '10 at 20:51
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The only time I would cut it larger is to square the hole up, to make the patch easier to make it exactly the same size. That would allow you to use less mud. –  dilbert789 Jul 21 '10 at 20:57
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@dilbert - yup, was thinking more if it's too small to easily get that piece of strapping in (and hold it while you screw it to the drywall) –  Eric Petroelje Jul 21 '10 at 21:37
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When you're trying to get the strapping in, temporarily put a long screw into the center of the strapping. Once you get the strapping through the hole, use the screw as a handle to pull the strapping towards you while screwing in the two ends of it. Then remove the "handle" screw, and attach the drywall "patch" –  Steve Armstrong Jul 29 '10 at 18:43
    
I'm considering using this technique to close a hole left from an old heating vent register. I'm curious though -- after the process is done, how strong is the new wall section? Does it feel different if pressed upon? –  Mike B Oct 21 '10 at 7:24
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Use a drywall repair patch. They are cheap and easy to find at the big box stores.

And here's a video on how to do it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvtoikKG318

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For a 2x3" hole I would think the patch would be starting to push it. There isn't much structure to it for a larger area. –  dilbert789 Jul 21 '10 at 21:03
    
Those things are basically useless. –  Brad Gilbert Jul 24 '10 at 4:41
    
Instead of using it on the finished side of the wall, place the patch on the back side of your hole - tie a string (anything to hold the patch against the backside of the sheetrock) to the center of one of those mesh patches and pull it tight to the inside of the wall and then fill in the gap with mud. Yeah it's still a pretty ghetto fix but still better than just mudding over one of those patches applied to the outside of the wall. –  kkeilman Aug 31 '10 at 16:10
    
I actually found a case where I had to use one of those patches, for a much larger hole -- the main bathroom had been redone before I bought my house. Right above the toilet started developing a little bubble, an slowly got worse; when I went to cut it away to repair, I found that they had cut away the back to drywall to fit around a connection in the (cast iron) soil stack. I used a large patch, so I could get some air gap between the wall and the pipe, so it didn't happen again. (I assume it was condensation on the pipe) –  Joe Feb 5 '11 at 20:19
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There's an alternative to @dilbert789's solution when you're dealing with holes this small:

  • cut a rectangle of drywall about three inches larger than your damaged area in both dimensions.
  • score the back of the drywall one inch in from each edge.
  • break the drywall at the score line, and then remove the drywall from the paper.
  • trace the drywall portion of the patch onto the wall, over the damaged area. (the part that's still solid, not the paper that's 2" larger on each side)
  • cut out along that line.
  • test plug for fit, and if necessary, clean up the edge some
  • put down some drywall mud on the inside of the lip of paper.
  • insert the patch into the hole
  • mud over the edges
  • let dry, sand, and paint.

I would still use @dilbert789's answer for larger holes, though, or anything in the ceiling, but I had a few incidents of wrestling with strapping when repairing similarly sized holes (fists, doorknobs, etc.), as you need to hold the new reinforcement, the screwdriver, a screw, etc, which gets difficult to juggle for one person.

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My brother refers to that as a "hot" patch. –  Brad Gilbert Jul 24 '10 at 4:40
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Do you have a stir stick for paint handy? Slap some thick glue on the ends and glue that in as your backer. No need for screws on such a small hole.

If you're daring you can just mud the inside lip of the hole and squeeze a plug cut to shape in there, too. But then you run the risk of it tilting all funny.

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Remove the question (reword the statement, which is correct without it), remove the section about no backer (it's not worth it), and I'll change my down-vote to an up-vote. :) –  ShoeMaker Mar 17 '13 at 11:10
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