Hot Topics: Really Big Hole in the Wall

Drywall with a really big hole in it.

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Different sized holes in your drywall require different solutions. When you’ve done something you can’t just spackle over, and it’s even too big for a ready-made patch, what do you do? You ask the Forum. (You might also look into anger management. And for the record, always use tape.)

Original Post: How to repair large drywall hole?

boxersox Member


I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. I have a large hole, about 18 x24 inches, in the drywall of my room. Not interested in hiring a handyman again, but am a little lost as to how to go about fixing this and looking for some advice. Most of the DIY videos I have found online are for doorknob-size holes and not sure if the process would be the same. I've attached a picture of the damage, anyone willing to share some tips?

P.S. Use pillows for anger, not walls.

Highlights from the Thread

PJmax Forum Topic Moderator

Welcome to the forums.

I have a question for you... if that hole is 18x24 - where are the studs/beams?

Norm201 Member

Picture is deceiving. It looks awful thin.

There are several different ways to patch.

First, make the hole a typical size, say 4x4 or some such even scale dimension. Try to make it as square as possible (doesn't have to be square but try to make the corners at right angles). What I like to do is take some scrap wall board and using wood glue (I know other have chastised me for this but I never had a failure using Elmer's wood glue) glue pieces in the inside of hole to make a backing on at least three sides so that the pieces stick out from the hole at least 2 inches. Let dry at least several hours. Then cut a corresponding piece of wall board the same size as hole and glue to the backing pieces. Wait till dry and then plaster patch. If your seams are tight enough you won't need tape. Smooth the patch and paint.

As PJ mentioned, if you straddle a stud then use that to glue or nail the new piece on to. Or maybe you might want to cut on either side to meet studs.

Rickaroonie Member

Hi Boxersocks, Norm201 seems to of done this type of thing before but a little off from how a professional would go about this issue.

Although you may very well attain good results that way there's usually different ways to skin a cat!
Instead of the glue, we use screws to hold the supporting pieces in place. This is much faster and you can set your first coat of compound instantly! Second, if your hole is not going over any studs, noggins, etc, then you don't need any tape. But if there are studs, this is compounding things and issues can/will arise if you don't use tape. (movement)

The biggest issue when using tape though, is you’re presenting another issue. And that is, you now have ridges so you have to usually patch the entire area with the same thickness of patch and take it out as far as possible.

I have videos on just these sorts of things but I probably can't past the links here as it would be spamming.

You can try logging onto YouTube and typing my name Rick Bushell. I think with that, you will come across my channel. There's also lots of stuff on just the basics of painting. Hope it helps. Good luck on your project.

PJmax Forum Topic Moderator

It might be a good idea going stud to stud if there are any in there.
Looks like a fairly large unsupported section.
It looks like the other side of the wall had been removed before.

Actually... it looks like this sheetrock, where the hole is, and the sheetrock on the other side of the wall had been applied over an opening. I can see where the sheetrock was cut on the opposite side.

tightcoat Member

Yes, that looks a little thin and where are the studs? But I like to cut the patch first then cut the hole to match. Install nailers as Rickaroonie suggests and then look for dozens, maybe hundreds of posts here about how to install the new piece and tape and finish it.

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

“if your hole is not going over any studs, noggings etc, then you don't need any tape.”

I disagree. Tape should always be used when joining 2 pieces of drywall together! That prevents the joint from cracking. It does need to be feather out over 8 to 12 inches, but that's just part of the finishing/repairing process.

btw - welcome to the forums boxersox!

czizzi Member

I see a metal stud in the cavity, the orientation of the pic is sideways with vertical being left to right. Probably 24 inches OC with the studs.

I also have to disagree with previous posters in that you always use tape to repair drywall, unless you want to return to fix the cracks the first time someone leans on it. Square off the hole and insert wood into the cavity and screw it in place. I use 1x4 material or scrap baseboard material and course thread drywall screws. 2x4's can be used, although the thicker the board, the tougher it is to get into the wall cavity. Once you have wood, cut and inset a drywall patch and screw that to the wood you previously installed. Then you tape the seams and begin adding thin layers of joint compound building it up until you have feathered out the patch. Hold a flashlight tight to the wall and shine the beam across the patch. It will guide you on where to add more compound or more likely, sand some off.

JoySLeigh Member

I am also new to the forums, and found myself on this site after googling, "how to repair hole in plaster wall made accidentally when drilling a nail in." Of all the return hits, doityourself had the BEST instructions, well covered and easy for laymen to follow. I'm currently waiting for my spackling to dry. I thought I'd share the article with you, as I believe you will find it very helpful, as I did. Here's the link, and good luck!

Repairing Damage to Plaster Walls |


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