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As pictured below, I have a 4" x 6" rectangular hole in my drywall, which I cut using a jab saw. I plan to patch with the original drywall piece that I cutout, with a couple of furring strips behind. (They are 0.75" x 1.5".)

Questions:

  1. Do I need to use drywall tape, or could I get away with just using the drywall mud?

  2. Will I need the standard 3 coats of mud? And the wider knives? (I only have a 2" now.)

  3. How do I avoid bumps from the patch (i.e. tape & drywall mud raised on the wall)?

  4. What would happen if I just used the furring strips, and filled the gaps with spackle?

  5. Anything else I should be asking?

drywall hole, cutout, and furring strips

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You are on the right track.

  1. Do I need to use drywall tape, or could I get away with just using the drywall mud? Use tape. It bridges gaps and reduces cracking.
  2. Will I need the standard 3 coats of mud? And the wider knives? (I only have a 2" now.) Maybe. Try 2. See how it looks. I would get at least a 4" knife though.
  3. How do I avoid bumps from the patch (i.e. tape & drywall mud raised on the wall)? Care. Slightly bevel the edges of the insert and the existing wallboard before tape and mud. Sand between coats. If there is a lump, remove it before you let it set. Mostly, practice.
  4. What would happen if I just used the furring strips, and filled the gaps with spackle? Don't. The texture will never be the same. And a spackled hole that size will shrink and expand at a different rate than the surrounding wallboard, leading to cracks. Your current approach is a good one.
  5. Anything else I should be asking? Sounds like you are on track. Patience is the key. Let the surface build slowly and dry in between. Damp sanding of mud is often most effective. Don't forget to prime the new mud.
  • "Don't forget to prime the new mud." What does this mean? – cp.engr Jul 21 '17 at 1:44
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    After all is patched and sanded, you need to prime (primer paint) raw mud before a finish coat of paint. Mud absorbs paint differently from already pained wallboard – bib Jul 21 '17 at 3:04

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