Need to patch a hole in a wall that is bigger than a nail hole? This will show you how!
Our particular example will be of a built in wall clock that we removed from the Charlotte Rental.
Wall clock to be removed.
Step 1: Demolition!
Once we removed the clock we found a lovely *not to code* surprise of an outlet hidden behind the wall which was supposed to power the clock
Not to code outlet in the wall to power clock.
We completely removed the plug and electrical wires so we could begin patching the wall.
Outlet and electrical removed.
Step 2: Mark a square to cut out for a drywall patch.
Yes, usually the hole has to become bigger before it's closed up! Using a level and a pencil I drew a square around the existing hole.
Lines marked to cut.
Step 3: Cut out plaster hole for the square drywall patch.
On lath and plaster we use an oscillating Milwaukee Multi-Tool (Dremel is another good brand). We use a carbide blade to only cut the outer plaster. Leaving the lath gives bracing to screw the drywall into.
Oscillating tool ready to cut the plaster only.
Step 4: Measure hole and cut a drywall patch to size.
First, measure the thickness of your plaster to determine drywall thickness. In most lath and plaster homes, 3/8" thickness is typical. Using a utility knife we cut out a 3/8" thick drywall piece to our appropriate size. The thickness of plaster on top of lath is 3/8" to create a flush surface with the wall.
Drywall patch placed perfectly in square hole.
Step 5: Screw patch into place along edges with 1" drywall screws.
Using a drywall dimpler bit will perfectly countersink screws into the drywall.
Impact drill with drywall screw setter bit.
Step 6: Place drywall joint tape along edges to ensure bond for joint compound.
Drywall patch screwed and taped into place.
First, we used a 6" knife to spread the joint compound and let dry. Next, we feathered additional joint compound with a 12" knife.
Joint compound starting to cover drywall patch.
Our wall had some other trouble spots so our coverage of joint compound was larger than normal to create a seamless smooth wall.
Full coat of joint compound over patch.
Step 8: After drying overnight, sand smooth with a sanding block.
Smooth, blended wall - ready for paint.