It's a 12" by 16" cutout with wood to screw into on 3 sides. My hesitation with tape is that it's so much harder to hide with mud.

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    If only using two or three inch wide mud, it is hard. Feather the mud out about eight inches and not so hard.
    – crip659
    Dec 2, 2023 at 23:11

3 Answers 3


Unless this is in the back of a closet, use tape. Otherwise, you’ll get cracks and have to either live with them or fix it again.

Personally, I like mesh tape. For the tape coat, use setting compound (“hot mud”, names such as durabond 90, that come in powder form).

For subsequent coats, feather out at least 8” (12” better) with either all purpose premixed or topping mud. Sand lightly, prime, paint.

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    But Durabond is almost impossible to sand once it sets up.
    – SteveSh
    Dec 3, 2023 at 13:31
  • Good point — don’t leave any errant lumps with the hot mud. (That’s a big part of why I prefer mesh tape.) Dec 3, 2023 at 14:30

How often are you going to need access? never? by all means tape. Infrequently? maybe not.

My personal preference for access holes is to cover in a way that allows access with nothing more than a screwdriver the next time. Methods I have used to make them look good include: cover with a mirror, painted wood trim, white powder-coated metal trim, strategic furniture placement and nothing it is in the garage. There are also metal access doors, but I have never installed them.

  • Agree that an access panel might be a good solution. One minor quibble is that most garage walls are part of a firebreak assembly, so it might not be ideal to leave a hole unpatched. Dec 3, 2023 at 14:33
  • Wooden trim works well, and if secured to the cutout hatch adds stiffness and reinforcement. I once used a cheap picture frame of the right size and secured the "door" with liquid nails.
    – Criggie
    Dec 3, 2023 at 17:34
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    @AloysiusDefenestrate you are right to note that the wall between the garage and the house is often a firebreak, but in an insulated garage the other walls may be drywalled but not part of a firebreak and the one I was mentioning was the backside of a garage door keyswitch.
    – hildred
    Dec 3, 2023 at 21:03

Look up California Patch. It uses the new drywall piece's extra paper as the tape. I score and remove the tape from the existing wall to prevent having to feather the mud.

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