Drywall fixing techniques - Which to use and when?

I understand that there are several ways to fix drywall holes:

  1. Bigger holes need a piece of drywall replaced and use 2x4 for back support. Use joint tape on the edges and use joint compound to affix it.

  2. For smaller holes, use mesh (tape) and just use joint compound over it.

My question is what size the drywall hole should be, in order to choose one of the above methods? What should be a rule of thumb to decide?

If I use just a mesh tape with joint compound on top on my 4" x 4" hole, how sturdy would be the fix?

1 Answer 1


I doubt that a 4x4 hole that's fixed with mesh tape would be durable over the long haul (my limit is about an inch), but if it was somewhere that never gets any bumps or touching, then maybe it would be fine. (You're replacing something that's 1/2" thick with something that's much thinner...)

On a practical level, you're apt to have problems with the mesh sagging/bulging. If you're brave enough to try this repair, I'd suggest you use a stiff mix of setting compound both to butter the edges of the hole and to do the first coat. Try and press as much through the mesh as possible. (I know that "stiff mix" and "press through" are somewhat incompatible.) You might also look into the 6" wide rolls of mesh tape. They'd certainly have more structure than 3 strips of normal mesh.

  • The damage is in high traffic area so I agree it will not hold much. I have 40 min hot mud that I'm planning to use. Apr 23, 2018 at 18:14

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