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Long story short, 2 holes became 1! I'm trying to patch a medium/large hole so that I can put a baby gate up but it's not working with just spackling! I've tried securing a board over it but it's effecting the use of the gate so I now have to remove the board. What else can I use to patch the wall and make the gate secure? HELP!

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    This may have happened originally because you tried to attach the gate to the drywall, and not to a stud. Drywall is not strong -- paint and toilet roll holders are about the limits of what it can support. If you can move the gate so the receiver screws into a stud, then your wall will be happier. – TimWescott Oct 22 '19 at 15:43
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Since you're going to fix the drywall anyhow, you could cut out a section of it and install a piece of wood blocking across the inside of the studs to fasten the baby gate hardware to. (The picture you posted looks like you used pocket-hole screws to attach the board to the wall so I'm thinking you could make use of pocket holes to attach the board between the studs.)

Something like this (disregard the notes on the image pertaining to steel studs. The concept is the same for wooden ones): diagram of blocking between studs

Then replace the drywall and attach the baby gate to the wood through the drywall patch. This not only gives you something good and strong to attach the baby gate to, it also makes it much easier to patch the drywall because there's something solid behind the patch to hold it. Also, when the baby gate comes down, the screw holes can be filled and nobody will know the blocking board is in the wall.

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You can use a piece of drywall and cut out an area from stud to stud. If you dont know where the studs are, use a stud finder or a strong magnet to find a screw in the stud which holds the drywall. Cut out the area and fit the replacement (smaller pieces for patchwork like this are available). Then tape the seams with the grid-type drywall tape and mud it up sand and paint it.

There also biggest metal drywall patches available at the home improvement center (I don't like them). Another solution could be to use a bigger piece of wood which is big enough to be drilled into the studs (left and right). That would give you lots of stability and you would not see the damaged area.

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