There are, of course, many ways to patch holes in drywall, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. The “California Patch” or “Butterfly Patch” is a nice technique if you don’t have any drywall tape or if you are trying to minimize the thickness of the finished repair. Adding layers of seam-tape and compound can be undesirable in certain applications, especially well-lit ceilings…This is where the California patch can be a very handy solution.
Utility (Razor) Knife
Drywall Knives (size depends on area being repaired)
I. Prepare the Damaged Area
· Shine a flashlight into the hole to check for any studs, electrical wires, or plumbing that could be damaged with a saw
· Use a square to draw a rectangle around the damaged area
· Cut out the rectangle with a keyhole saw
· Locate any nearby studs or joists – If there is a stud/joist nearby it may be convenient to widen the hole and use the existing wood as a support
· If no stud/joist is near the hole, create a brace by using a piece of 1×2 or scrap lumber.
· Clean up the edges of the new hole with a surform tool and a sanding sponge
· Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove excess dust
II. Making the Patch
· Measure the new hole
· Transfer the measurements to the back side of a scrap piece of drywall and add a two inch border around the perimeter.
· Score along the lines and into the drywall gypsum – do not cut through the paper on the front side
· Snap the outside pieces off that surround the center rectangle and gently peel them away from the paper on the front side.
· You should be left with the center rectangle with a 2″ flap of paper around the perimeter
· Clean up the edges of the patch with a surform tool and a sanding sponge
· Test fit the center rectangle into the hole that was cut earlier
III. Apply the Patch
· While holding the patch in the hole, trace around the outside of the 2″ flap onto the existing drywall
· Remove the patch and score along the lines made in the previous step (just deep enough to cut through the paper facing)
· Remove the paper surrounding the hole by slowly peeling away from the gypsum
· Test fit to see if the flap lays flush without overlapping
· If using a brace, install it now – If you place the screws inside the area where the tape is removed, it will be easier to conceal
· With everything fitting nicely, go ahead and apply mud to the perimeter of the patch, under the flap
· Apply a bit of mud around the perimeter of the hole where the face-paper was removed
· Place the patch into the hole and secure with drywall screws
· Use a drywall knife to set the flap and to squeeze out excess compound
· Wait until the compound is dry and knock down any high spots with the drywall knife by scraping over the surface at a low angle
· Thin down a bit of compound with water (spray bottle works well) and skim the entire surface to blend the repair with the existing drywall
· Lightly sand when dry and repeat if necessary
· Thats it! Now it is ready to paint.