Drywall Taping and Finishing

How to Cut Out an Outlet Hole in Drywall

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Cutting out holes for outlets can be infuriating! But there is a neat little trick to make this job foolproof. All you have to do is the following:

  1. Cut out your piece, except for the outlet hole or holes.

  2. If you have outlets in place, turn off all power to these outlets.

  3. Dab some ketchup or cooking oil on a rag and then dab a bit of that on each outlet or outlet box. This can be done in unfinished situations (no recepticals yet) where you dab on the edges of the electrical box or it can be done on finished situation where you dab onto the outlet in place.

  4. Press the sheet into place, putting pressure on the sheet against the outlet. The oil or ketchup will leave an imprint, like the one shown below.

    drywall outlet

  5. Using the imprint as a guide, cut out your outlet hole. Generally, I will drill a small hole at each corner from the back to serve as a guide and then cut from the front to minimize damage to the finished side. This has worked every time for me does not require use of a roto-zip tool that may possibly do other damage.

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