Fixing Oversized Drywall Outlet Holes

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Cutting outlet boxes in drywall can be tricky. And even with the best measurements, you can be off enough to result in a sliver of black space to one side of the outlet, like shown in the top photo of this page. So what can you do? There are two solutions:

1. Get an oversized outlet cover for the box. Sometimes, this can look almost like clown shoes if all the other outlets have regular covers. But it works. And it is easy.

2. Fix the hole so the gap is filled in. This can be fairly easy to do if the gap happens to occur over the stud. What I do then is use some rolled up fiberglass mesh tape that is screwed to the stud in a few places. Then I apply compound to the mesh tape making the surface level. The mesh adds strength to this repair. If, however, the gap occurs over an area with no stud, applying mud to the edge won’t work – the mud will easily chip off. But, however, there is another solution – use the Straitflex repair panel. The procedure I used with these panels is shown below.

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First, I cut out the repair panel using the template printed on the panel as a guide. I had to cut out a few extra places where the wall outlet is attached so the template would lie flat on the wall. If you take a close look at the photos you will see what I am talking about.

I placed the template around my outlet where I wanted it and traced around it with a pencil so I would know exactly where to put in once the compound was on.

Then, I applied about a quarter inch of compound to the back side of the patch, as directed.

I placed the patch on the wall and then used a 4 inch knife to press it in place, squeezing much of the mud underneath out through the holes in the patch.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

As directed, I placed another coat onto the patch immediately. My guess is that they want the overcoat to form a nice bond with the mud under the patch through the holes in the patch. This gives the patch extra strength I am thinking.

After the initial coat was dry, I used my taping knife to scrape off any high spots. Then I over coated the patch with another coat. This coat may or may not be all you need. What I found was that I needed to use a trouble light (or lamp with no shade) to add additional small thin coats to touch up this surface. The trouble light will reveal ridges or scratches that must be filled or feathered out. Make sure to not sand till all coats are on but rather use your taping knives to scrape down the surface and remove any bumps or ridges.

When all compound is on, then use some 200 grit or 220 grit sandpaper to sand this surface. Prime the area and paint over with paint to match. In summary, this drywall patch, available at the Straitflex website, would be a nice item to have on hand to repair a drywall wall outlet hole after cutting just a little too big. For more info on taping and finishing drywall, see my main site at drywallinfo.com

drywall patch

With First Coat - CLICK ON IMAGE

drywall patch

With 2nd Coat - CLICK ON IMAGE

Note: The samples were sent to me to test upon my request. I receive no other compensation from Straitflex.

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