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Flash-Patch Drywall Repair

Flash-Patching drywall is another method sometimes used instead of the board-patch.  Flash-patching is appropriate for small holes about the size of an outlet box.  Instead of using tape, the paper from the front of the patch is used to hold the patch in place.  If the hole you are dealing with is larger, see related links at bottom of page.

Flash patch being placed in hole

Items needed:
Joint compound
150 grit sandpaper
6" or larger tape knife
Utility knife
Drywall joint tape

Safety Suggestions and Tips
Use sharp utility knife
This method is faster than other methods
Great patch when you have had a wild hammer swing!

Level of difficulty

Time Required:
1 hour


Marke square area to patch
Measuring patch area

Step 1:

Using a square (or a box) mark a rectangle around the hole. 

Cut out hole
Cut out hole

Step 2:

Using a utility knife or a keyhole saw, cut out the hole you marked.

Measure hole width and height
Measure hole width and height

Step 3:

Measure the hole you cut in the wall. 

Oversized patch piece
Oversized patch piece

Step 4:

Measure and mark a piece of drywall one inch larger in all dimensions than the hole. 

Draw or trace hole area from behind
Draw or trace hole area from behind

Step 5:

Mark the hole on the center of the patch.

Cut halfway through
Cut halfway through

Step 6:

Cut along the lines you marked.  Cut all the way to the edge of the piece.

Break off excess
Break off excess

Step 7:

Snap the drywall along the lines you cut. Pull the chalky middle part off the paper on the front of the patch.

Apply joint compound along edges
Apply joint compound along edges

Step 8:

"Butter" the paper flaps with joint compound.  Make sure that you cover all four flaps. 

Carefully slap patch in
Carefully slap patch in

Step 9:

Gently push the patch into place.

Allow excess out
Allow excess out 

Step 10:

The compound will ooze from around the edges.

Cover with compound

Step 11:

Using a wide (6" or wider) knife, spread the compound that has oozed from under the patch around the patch.  Make sure you work as much compound as possible from under the paper.  The face of the patch should be under a light haze of compound.  Let dry and lightly sand.

Sand and repeat compound cover

Step 12:

Spread more compound onto the patch and spread it across the hole and several inches surrounding the patch.  Work the compound smooth.  Let dry and sand.


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