How to Use Drywall Repair Clips [10 Steps to Patch Drywall]

To patch damaged drywall using drywall repair clips, first determine the size of the damage. Then, cut the damaged section of drywall out of the wall. Slide drywall repair clips into place on the perimeter of the hole in the drywall. Drive in one screw per clip to secure the clips into place. Next, cut a new piece of drywall to fit the hole in your wall. Press the drywall patch into place and secure it to the clips with screws. Finally, you can tape and patch your drywall before repainting.

How to use drywall repair clips

What are Drywall Repair Clips?

Drywall repair clips are metal tabs that you can use to support drywall patches in places with no wall studs. You can securely attach a patch to the wall without screwing into any wall studs by installing drywall repair clips. This makes repair clips great for patching small to medium-sized holes in drywalls.

  • These drywall clips allow you to patch drywall holes where there is no wall stud.
  • Drywall clips allow for a secure drywall patch even where there is no stud backing the patch.
  • If you do not use drywall repair clips, you may have to cut a larger hole for patching and back it with a 2×4.

Without drywall repair clips, patching drywall becomes much more difficult. The process involves cutting a hole large enough to allow you to screw the new drywall to existing wall studs, as well as installing support 2x4s in your wall so you can screw the drywall patch into place. Drywall repair clips cut down on the work, time, and materials required to patch drywall.

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10 Steps to Patch a Hole with Drywall Repair Clips

You can patch damaged drywall panels easily with repair clips. For this job, you will need the following tools:

  • Drywall repair clips
  • Drywall screws
  • New sheet of drywall
  • Utility knife
  • Jab saw
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Drywall tape
  • Joint compound
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper

With these inexpensive tools, you can easily patch damaged drywall and prepare it for repainting.

Assess the Size of the Damage

Inspect the damaged portion of the drywall. If the drywall is dented, has a hole, or is otherwise marred, measure the dimensions of the damage.

  • Use your ruler to measure the size of the damaged area of your drywall.
  • The drywall patch must be at least 1 inch larger than the damage in all dimensions.
  • A hole in drywall that is 4 inches across should be patched with a 6-inch square drywall patch.

The patch must be at least 1 inch larger on all sides than the damaged area. So, a hole 4 inches in diameter should be patched with a 6-inch by 6-inch drywall patch.

Cut a Drywall Patch

Now that you have determined the size of the patch needed for your drywall repair, measure the desired dimensions of the patch on your new sheet of drywall. Mark the dimensions on the drywall sheet using your ruler and pencil. Then, use your utility knife to cut out the patch along the lines you marked. You can also use a Dremel for a precise cut.

  • Use ruler and pencil to mark the dimensions of the patch on a sheet of new drywall.
  • Cut out the drywall patch with a utility knife.
  • Make certain to use drywall that is the same thickness as your existing drywall.

Make certain your new drywall sheet is the same thickness as your existing drywall. Most homes are built using ½-inch drywall. If you are unsure of the thickness of your drywall, cut out a small portion of drywall at the damaged area and measure its thickness before purchasing a new sheet of drywall for patching.

Trace the Drywall Patch on the Wall

Press the drywall patch to the wall with the white paper facing out. Make sure the patch is completely covering the damaged area. Then, use your pencil to trace the outline of the patch onto the wall.

  • Press the drywall patch to the wall so that it entirely covers the damaged area.
  • Make sure the white paper of the drywall is facing out.
  • Use your pencil to trace the outline of the patch onto the wall.

It can be helpful to mark one edge of the drywall patch as the “top.” This will allow you to orient the drywall the same way during tracing and when you fit the patch into place.

Cut Out the Traced Drywall

Use your jab saw to cut out the existing drywall along the lines you traced in the previous step. To use the jab saw, press the saw through the drywall along one of the traced lines, then use a back-and-forth sawing motion to cut through the drywall.

  • Use your jab saw to cut out the drywall along the lines you traced.
  • After cutting along the lines, remove the damaged portion of drywall.
  • Put the drywall patch temporarily into place to ensure it fits into the hole you cut.

Once the damaged drywall is cut out, check to make sure the patch fits. Trim any ragged edges with the utility knife to make a snug fit between the patch and the hole you’ve cut in the wall.

Insert Drywall Repair Clips

Install drywall clips onto the edge of the hole you cut in your wall. Install drywall clips by sliding the spring clips over the drywall so that the two small tabs are facing outward. The mesh metal portions of the clips should be behind the drywall.

  • Slide these drywall clips into place so that the two small metal tabs are on the front of the drywall, facing toward you.
  • One mesh metal tongue should be behind the drywall, while the other should be visible in the hole in your wall.
  • Small patches require only 2 clips, while larger patches require several drywall clips.

For patches 6 inches or smaller, only 2 clips are necessary. These should be placed on opposite sides of the hole (top and bottom, for instance.). For patches greater than 6 inches, install four clips (left, right, top, and bottom). For very large patches, install one clip every 16 inches along each side.

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Secure Clips with Screws

Drive one screw into the wall between the tabs of the drywall clip and approximately ¾-inch from the edge of the hole. The goal is to drive the screw to go through the mesh metal tongue of the drywall clip. This will keep the drywall clip in place. It is best to use the screws that come with the drywall clips for this job.

  • Drive one screw into the existing drywall to secure the clip to the drywall. The screw should be driven in about ¾-inch from the edge of the hole.
  • Drive in one screw for each drywall clip, securing them all in place.
  • Countersink the screw slightly to allow the screw head to be hidden with joint compound.

When driving screws into drywall, make sure to drive them deep enough to cause a dimple in the drywall. However, the screw should not be so deep that it tears the paper facing of the drywall. What is needed is a slight depression that you can fill with joint compound to hide the screw’s location.

Insert the Drywall Patch

With the clips in place, press the patch piece of drywall into the hole. Make sure the patch piece is oriented in the same direction it was during tracing. The patch should fit snugly, although a slight gap at the edges is not a problem. You will fill the seams with tape and joint compound later.

  • Press the drywall patch into place in the hole.
  • Make sure the drywall patch fits well and has no rough edges.

If the patch has any rough edges, smooth them with a utility knife, scraper, or sandpaper. This will make your finished drywall patch more seamless.

Screw the Drywall Patch to the Clips

Drive one screw into the drywall patch to attach it to the mesh tab of each repair clip. The best placement for the screw is ¾-inch from the edge of the patch.

  • Secure the drywall patch to each repair clip with a single screw for each clip.
  • Drive the screw through the patch ¾-inch from the edge of the patch.
  • The screw should bite into the mesh metal of the repair clip behind the patch.

As with the previous screws, countersink the patch screws slightly. At this point, you have successfully used drywall repair clips to replace a damaged portion of drywall.

Apply Joint Tape and Compound

Now that the patch is in place, use paper tape and joint compound to cover the seams between the old and new drywall. This is best done by applying the paper tape with the first coat of joint compound. Then, apply 2–3 additional coats of joint compound to smooth the seam.

  • Seal the seam between the patch and the existing wall with drywall tape and joint compound.
  • Apply 2–3 coats of joint compound.
  • Wait 24 hours between coats of joint compound.
  • Sand before applying each new coat of joint compound.

Use the best sandpaper for drywall repair to sand between coats of joint compound to remove imperfections. This requires you to wait 24 hours between coats for the joint compound to dry, but you will be rewarded with a seamless drywall patch. Don’t skip this step if you plan to paint your walls in the next step.

Repaint the Drywall

If you want to hide drywall seams with paint, it’s essential to prep the wall with fine sanding. Then, apply 1–2 coats of primer. Once you’ve done this, you can apply 2 coats of paint to the wall, waiting 24 hours between coats. The finished product will be a flawless drywall repair.

  • Prime and paint your wall, waiting 24 hours between coats.
  • 2 coats of paint will provide the best coverage for drywall patches.
  • Repaint the entire wall rather than a small section of wall.

When repainting patched drywall, it’s best to repaint the entire wall, not just a small section. Painting a small section of a wall results in a slightly different coloration that will draw attention to the patch. For a truly professional look, paint the entire wall to avoid needing to fix it later.

How Do You Use Drywall Repair Clips?

Drywall repair clips drastically reduce the amount of work required to patch damaged drywall. To use drywall repair clips:

  • Measure the damaged area of the wall.
  • Cut a new piece of drywall large enough to cover the damaged area.
  • Hold the new drywall patch against the wall, over the damage, and trace its outline with a pencil.
  • Cut out the damaged drywall along the traced lines.
  • Install drywall repair clips along the edges of the hole. Orient the clips so the small metal spring tabs face out.
  • Secure the drywall clips to the existing wall with screws.
  • Set the new drywall piece in place in the hole.
  • Secure the patch to the drywall clips with screws.
  • Tape and mud the patched area.
  • Repaint the wall where the drywall was patched.

This method results in a quick fix with flawless results. Drywall clips eliminate the need to cut the drywall back to the studs and use a backing 2×4. This significantly reduces the size of the patches you need to install. This makes drywall patches easier to hide.

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