I'd appreciate some advice on this particular patch job I have to try and finish after my dad had a fall. So far he screwed the drywall patch into some wood pieces screwed to the joists which left it a bit recessed compared to the surrounding drywall, and he applied "instant filler" (not sure exactly what that is) to the gap around the patch and to bring it almost flush with the surrounding drywall. I started applying the mesh tape he gave me earlier but then wondered if it was really necessary given that it will create a very small hump.

I'd be grateful for advice on whether the mesh tape is really necessary in this case. Also he was going to use all purpose "finishing plaster" for the rest of the job, I'm hoping that's okay because I see online there's a lot of discussion about setting compounds and hot muds etc. Hoping I can get away with this plaster he has for what is just a small job really.


patched drywall patched drywall with the bag of plaster used

Click to embiggen

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    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


Yes, tape is necessary (unless your patch is less than about 4" on a side). If it's not used you'll probably see hairline cracks around your patch within a year or two. Houses move.

The trick is that any tape joint should be feathered out 8-12 inches in each direction. Use a wide knife and lots of pressure. Apply thin coats. The tape is actually very thin, so if you end up with noticeable ridges it's because you went too heavy.

  • Thanks for the response, I've uploaded the photos now. Will this finishing plaster be okay do you think? On the wide feathering I presume that's still the case even though I plan to sand it all down with an electric sheet sander? Thanks.
    – Dri
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 21:05
  • 2
    It's not really important what product you use as long as it's intended for this purpose. Ready-mixed material tends to be smoother. An electric sander has no business on a wall. Use a sanding screen or soft block by hand. If you do your taping properly there's very little to sand anyway.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 6, 2022 at 21:07
  • 1
    @Dri your electric sander will go through your plaster/drywall mud, the tape, the paper on the outside of the drywall and into the gypsum before you can say "boo"! This is a job for a very light touch, not power tools. Additionally, drywall mud makes a huge mess when you sand by hand, using a power tool will spread the mess even further. Wear a dust mask - this is an appropriate use for one.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 12:21

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