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How to fit a plasterboard patch over a hole in plasterboard

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Fitting a
Plasterboard Patch

by Russ Ware

holes in plasterboard
, up to about 130mm across, can be filled with a
small backing piece and standard filler.

illustration to show how to patch a hole in plasterboard

If you need to fill a larger
hole or a large damaged section of plasterboard, you will need to consider
fitting a plasterboard patch.

The first thing you need to do before you start is to find out how thick the
existing plasterboard is. This can be done by measuring the thickness at the
edge of the hole you need to patch. The existing plasterboard will be either
9.5mm or 12.5mm thick. You can now purchase a sheet of plasterboard which is
a match.

Pull away any loose plaster from the hole and check that there are no pipes
or cables behind the board.

Now use a trimming knife or padsaw
(keyhole saw) to cut horizontally across the plasterboard on each
side of the hole until you hit the timber studs on each side.

Use the straight edge of a spirit
level and mark the inside edge of the studs on either side,
extending the line at least 50mm above and below the hole.

padsaw  or keyhole saw

Join up these two lines above
and below the hole to mark out a square, making sure that the corners are
right angles.

This is the first section you
need to cut out of the plasterboard, so do this now.

On each side of the square, mark a line to show the middle of the studs
(this would usually be 25mm).

Using a trimming knife, score
along this line and then cut away this small strip to reveal half of the
stud behind. This is to give you something to nail the new patch to at the
sides of the hole.

wooden frame used to support plasterboard wallsTo give you a fixing at the top
and bottom, you will need to cut and fit two new noggins (horizontal
pieces of wood) out of at least 50mm wide timber.

Nail these noggins into place
behind the plasterboard, at the top and bottom of the square hole so
that 25mm extends past the edge of the plasterboard. Use a G-clamp
to hold them in place while you hammer in the nails if you need to.

Accurately measure the area of the hole and cut a matching patch out of your
new plasterboard sheet. Take your time and cut this carefully, as the neater
the edges the neater the finished patch will be and the less time you will
need to spend cleaning it up.

Fit the patch into the hole
with the ivory side outwards (so that it can be plastered) and fix it into
place using plasterboard nails driven into the studs and noggins behind.
Sink the nails into the plasterboard using a punch, but be careful not to
damage the surface of the patch.

Clean up the joint around the patch using sand paper or a sanding block and
carefully remove any burring if necessary.

Apply joint compound to the
joints and smooth it flat all the way around. Let this dry and sand it
smooth and flat.

If the wall has a layer of
skim over the plasterboard, you will obviously need to skim the area of the
patch. Use a straight-edge and the surrounding wall to get a flat and level

When the new plaster is dry,
you can decorate to match the rest of the wall.

More very useful and informative
guides on every aspect of DIY can be found at