DIY drywall repair
For holes six inches and smaller, repair them using the California (aka “Butterfly”) patch method. Simple and effective, follow this step-by-step guide the next time a slammed door or runaway toy makes an unsightly hole in your wall.
Drywall tool list
• Keyhole saw
• Drywall board
• Utility knife
• Drywall knife
• Joint compound
• Sanding sponge (fine grit)
Before beginning, use a flashlight to check inside the hole for any studs, plumbing or electrical wires that would interfere. If clear, use a keyhole saw to square off the small hole in your wall so that it’s easier to fit the patch. Measure the opening.
Cut a new piece of drywall that is two inches bigger than the opening on all sides.
Score the back of the drywall two inches from each side.
Snap off the outer gypsum area and peel it from the paper backing, leaving the “wings” that will be adhered to the wall in the next steps.
Hold the patch over the opening. If it doesn’t fit in the opening, trace the remaining gypsum around the opening on the wall with a pencil and cut to fit. Once it fits, trace the outer flaps onto the wall.
Score the wall and remove just the paper of the area marked around the opening. This will allow the patch to lie flat in the wall.
Apply joint compound to the paper wings like glue and press the patch into the opening. Using a drywall knife, flatten the paper to the wall.
Cover the patch with a thin layer of joint compound. Let dry and apply additional coats as needed.
Once dry, sand the patch until smooth.
Cover the patch with primer and paint.
Save leftover paint for touching up your walls.