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I bought a property for relatively cheep, the one bedroom has about 8 holes or so ranging from about 2-3 inches and others 4-8 inches most of which are in a 4 foot square area. I don't know the exact paint but it's white so that shouldn't be hard to match.

I just want a relatively seamless patch. Advice or walk thru?

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there are dozens of shades of white, and over time the paint will fade in the light so even the original paint won't match anymore. also show us a pic –  ratchet freak Mar 15 '12 at 20:15
    
How do I upload a photo on this site? –  Nate D. Mar 15 '12 at 20:45
    
Send us a link and we'll put it into your post. Adding pictures isn't available to new users. –  BMitch Mar 15 '12 at 21:06
    
there are several image upload sites (stackexchange will upload it to imgur.com when someone puts in the image in your post) –  ratchet freak Mar 15 '12 at 23:22
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1 Answer 1

You'll want to cut back the drywall to the middle of a stud on each side. If the drywall was installed horizontally, there will likely be a joint near 4' from the ceiling. It's a good idea to use this joint as one of your sides for a patch of this size. To make the replacement easier, get all the edges clean and square. If you used any existing joint for a side, knock down any of the joint compound to get close to the paper.

Get a replacement piece of drywall. Cut it to fit the opening. Drywall is cut by cutting the paper on one face with a utility knife, snapping it back, and cutting the paper on the back. Use a rasp to smooth the edge. Count on 1/8" - 1/4" gap all the way around, so reduce your measurements slightly or rasp the edges back until the piece fits. Note, tapered edges go on top and bottom when installing drywall horizontally and tapered edges should always be met against another tapered edge.

Install it with drywall screws about every 12" on the stud and 8" on the side joints. To screw it in, a "mushroom bit" can be purchased that's designed to stop after the screw is slightly countersunk. You don't want to tear the paper, if you do so, you'll need to put another screw in slightly above/below to ensure the load is carried. And you don't want the screws above the surface of the drywall, otherwise the joint compound (aka drywall mud) will not be smooth. Make sure to put a few extra screws on the adjacent drywall if it wasn't already a joint.

Next, get some premixed joint compound and a few joint knives, perhaps 6" and 12" wide. Use the narrow knife to make your first pass over all the joints. Cover the joints with a paper or mesh drywall tape, and then put another layer of compound on top and cover all the screw heads with a little joint compound, too. Allow to dry, smooth out any rough edges with a screen sander, and then cover the joints with a second layer of compound with your wide knife. You want to fan out the joint as far as possible (e.g. 12" from the joint to each side) to make the seam disappear. Allow to dry and lightly sand with a mesh screen once more.

Prime the patch with a good primer and find a matching paint (take a paint chip to have it color matched). I'd also paint the whole wall, but if you really need to save on effort, feather out your painting so that you can't see the contrast from new to old paint.

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+++ Great answer B. Thanks for taking the time to give him a good process. @ Nate: Follow BMitch's instructions, can't go wrong. –  shirlock homes Mar 16 '12 at 0:15
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Just a tip: If you don't need a full piece of drywall. Ask your hardware store if they have any "cull pieces" (will probably be damaged on one side). They will sell them for cheap and often cut them down to a manageable size that will fit in your car. –  JohnFx Mar 16 '12 at 0:19
    
@JohnFx, great point. You can also pickup 2'x2' pieces for making small patches. Once you go up to a 4'x4' piece, you may as well get a full 4x8 sheet and have some leftover for future patches. –  BMitch Mar 16 '12 at 0:25
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