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Do It Yourself: Patch a Hole in Drywall #30DaysofGOOD

Knocked a small hole in your wall? Here's the simple fix.

Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do 30 Days of GOOD (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for July? Do It Yourself.

Drywall (also called sheetrock, gypsum board, and a slew of other names) is the very common material that lines the walls of almost every home and building made today. With a core of gypsum sandwiched between thick paper sheeting, it is easily cut and manipulated—and also easily broken, as many of us have accidentally discovered. If you've knocked a small hole in your wall (a few inches across or less), the right tools and materials make the repair a simple job.

First, we need to get a few basic supplies that are available at any hardware store. Find an adhesive drywall patch that is larger than the hole, drywall compound, a medium-sized drywall spatula, a razor for blending the repaired area with the existing wall, primer, paint, and texture to give the finishing touch.

Drywall patch kits work great for small holes—they have a reinforced screen area in the center, surrounded by an adhesive tape that holds tightly to the solid wall area next to the damage. Before putting the patch in place, clean up any protruding or torn drywall, and make sure the wall area is clean for the patch to stick to. Center the patch on the hole and press the adhesive in place. Make sure to get it as flat as possible and use the spatula to drag out any air bubbles or creases.

Once the patch is in place, apply a thin layer of drywall compound. Drag the spatula evenly to spread the compound out beyond the patch and over the wall, trying to get a smooth taper into the regular wallboard. The patch will cause a tiny bulge on the wall, so it is good to spread the compound over a wide area to make this as imperceptible as possible. I recommend holding the spatula at a 30º angle for the best results while spreading and smoothing.

Let each layer of compound dry before applying the next. Once you're satisfied with the results, texture it using the appropriate type of texturing to match your walls. Apply primer and paint it to finish the job.

Not so hard, was it? Now that you're armed and ready, check out DIY Network's drywall repair section for tips on a lot of other types of drywall problems, like cracks, beads, and more.

Read more of Mike Senese's DIY tips and projects at DO IT.

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