Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Drywall a California Patch Around Light Fixtures

Using a "California Patch," you can quickly patch small sections of drywall and have it blend in perfectly!

When we first moved into our house, we redid the majority of the drywall.  Unfortunately for us, we were in a huge hurry, and we had almost zero experience.  YIKES!  When we cut holes in the drywall for the light fixtures, we did it thinking that the covers would be a lot bigger then they ended up being.  So what we ended up with was ugly holes surrounded with high gloss paint that begs your eyes to stare at it in disgust.

To fix it, I had read and watched videos about the "California Patch" aka "Butterfly Patch" (personally I think it should be called the "Easy Button Patch" or the "No Screws Required Patch")  from several different websites.  It seemed to be the perfect fit.  But I had never seen anyone do it around a light fixture, or any drywall that had a hole in it.  So a new experience became a head-scratching new experience.

Here's some reference links to give you an idea:
Patching a Wall Using a California Patch
California Patch

I started by taking off the light covers and measuring the hole's diameter which was 6.5" (this was slightly larger then the holes diameter, but less then the diameter of the covers).  Because you need drywall around where the fix is happening, I made squares that were 9" with the thought process that at least 1" of drywall would surround the holes, and I'd have 1" of paper to attach to the ceiling.  If I had it to do over though I would have made them 11" with 2" of a drywall surround, and 2" of paper. 
*For reference take a look at the picture below

Once you have your square, use a compass with the radius (.5 the diameter) and draw a circle in the center of the square.  Use a jab-saw or whatever means you see fit to cut out the circle.  Since I was already trying something new and feeling adventurous, I decided to use a drill and a jig saw.  Surprisingly it worked out great!  I cut 3 patches at a time with ease!

Now turn your square over to the brown side of the paper, and 1" in (2" if you made the bigger square) on each side score the  paper, crack it backwards (towards the white paper), and peel the sheet rock off leaving the paper intact.

Take your patch and line it up over the light fixture with the brown paper up.  Bend each side of the paper back and use a sharpie to trace the sheet rock onto the ceiling.  Cut a little wide of the sharpie for an easier time getting the patch in.  Make sure the patch fits before you get out your mud.  I prepped each patch, numbered them so I wouldn't mix them up, and put a directional arrow so I knew how they laid.  This way I could do all the mudding at the same time.

Use some sand paper to rough the area where the paper will touch.  Clean it thoroughly and make sure it's dry.  Put mud on the underside of the paper, and push it into the ceiling (sorry no pictures, I was too in-the-moment).  Using a small drywall knife, apply pressure from the center out and squeeze excess mud out so the patch is tight.  

Next, apply mud from the paper onto the ceiling getting thinner and thinner as you go.  You want the paper to be completely covered.  You also want a smooth, gradual slope of mud.  Go as thick as you need to to cover the paper, and go as wide as you need to for the smooth, gradual slope.

After the mud drys, sand it with some 100-120 grit sand paper, and apply the next coat keeping in mind you're aiming for a smooth, gradual slope.  Almost completely horizontal.  Apply a lot of pressure to your knife and pull it at a 20 degree angle or so.  

If you were very careful, this patch can be done in 2 coats.  It took me 6!  Just kidding, I got it in 3 but my drywall skills have improved since then and I know this could be done in 2 coats.  Do the final sanding with some 180 or 220 grit sand paper.

The result turned out perfect!  I painted it, put the covers back on, and tucked the "California Patch" into my toolbox of awesome tricks.

Check out our DIY PAGE for other great do-it-yourself ideas and how-to's.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is incredible how you able to completely transform that will a little bit of drywall. I love when you are able to just make something look like that will a little ingenuity and elbow grease. It was probably a little easier than needing to install your entire home.