Insider Wall Patch Trick

>> 10.07.2009

Does it count if the “insider” is just a person inside of Home Depot? Hmm… I think so!

After doing some DIY demo, I had more than a couple places in my walls that were in need of some touching up. While on a trip to the HD, I was disappointed to find that the wall patch kits they sell run around four bucks a pop! The sheets were a little big for the spaces that I needed to patch, so I asked someone if they could just be cut into smaller pieces. He tried to get me to buy an expensive pair of cutters to do the job, but also told me about a super-cheap trick for the small holes…

Here's a hole not quite small enough for a simple layer of joint compound.
I took a strip of paper and rolled it to roughly the same diameter as my hole.
It's best when you have a tight squeeze going into the hole (you don't want it falling into the wall!).
I simply covered the spot with joint compound like I would do with a nail hole.
After letting this dry, I'll do another layer and sand it smooth... piece of cake!
Okay, so maybe I created a few larger holes that I’ll still need to use these for… still, I’ve saved a bundle using the rolled magazine trick!
Do you have any quick or cheap wall patching tricks?


Jenny October 7, 2009 at 12:02 PM  

Brilliant! For some reason we always end up with holes in our walls that we have to fix before moving out, and I never know what to do for ones larger than a nail hole. Thanks for the post!

chacha October 7, 2009 at 12:26 PM  

Whoa, lady, you opened up a massive can of "drywall patching" advice from me. I could go on and on. I patched about 30 holes of varying sizes from my plumbing nightmare last year.

A hole of that size you showed? All you need is fiberglass tape (the mesh stuff they sell in the drywall area). Put a square over it and then float drywall compound over it and sand it. Done!

Larger holes? Well, you can use that kit OR I have found that they sell squares of metal flashing in the roofing dept - a little thicker than the kit but much cheaper! Use the mesh tape over the flashing and make the same thing as the kit. You can cut the flashing to size with sheet metal snippers (good little tool to have).

Also, last tip on this monologue, if the hole is larger, another route is to cut it into a clean square. Then cut a drywall piece that is like an inch or so longer on each side. Then on the back of the piece, cut the actual size of the hole but LEAVE the top layer of drywall paper on the front and then just slap compound on the wall, slip the patch in the hole, press down the paper flaps, and then mud over that. Works well for small to medium holes.

Kate October 7, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

I heard once (when I was living in a dorm) that you could use toothpaste(!) to patch up tiny holes (like from hanging pictures). I haven't actually tried that one though...

LizzieBeth October 7, 2009 at 2:18 PM  

Argh, if I had only known about this when I was moving out of my old apt! hahaha. Well, lesson learned.

Hey, mosey on over to my blog when you get a hot minute.. I nominated you ;)


"Welcome to My Humble Ablog" October 7, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

Brilliant idea! I've never needed to patch anything bigger than a regular old nail hole. But boy, will I be jumping for joy when I need to patch up a hole bigger than a dime.

Heather October 7, 2009 at 3:30 PM  

Ahhh that's fantastic!! I've been using those sheets and they get pricey!

Sharon October 7, 2009 at 6:01 PM  

Clever .. then you don't waste 3 containers of polyfil as it drops down in the wall ... lol

Maria October 7, 2009 at 7:13 PM  

This is genius!! We just moved into our first home and have made holes to spare!! thanks for the great tip!

Christen October 7, 2009 at 9:15 PM  

That is such a smart (and cheap!) idea!! I absolutely love your blog; you have the best tips.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog! Come back anytime!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno October 8, 2009 at 2:01 PM  

Wow. Chacha sounds like my kind of girl! I must admit I've used the patch kits once or twice, but have never had so many holes that the cost mattered to me. These are all great tips for sure.

techhandyman October 8, 2009 at 6:40 PM  

Our electrician tore apart every wall in our house to replace the knob and tube and so we had to patch all the massive holes in the plaster. Many of these tricks can be used on drywall as well.

Room to Inspire October 12, 2009 at 2:10 PM  

Ah, very clever! I am always the one trying to shove the plaster into the hole...


Tran December 20, 2009 at 7:20 PM  

I've used matchsticks for small holes before.

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