How to Use Mesh Drywall Tape to Cover Mis-Cut Holes for Electrical Boxes

What You'll Need
Drywall mesh tape
100-grit sandpaper
Joint compound
Drywall knife
Soft brush

When you work with drywall there are many accidents that go wrong that can cause holes to form, but these can be repaired by using drywall mesh tape. You can patch old outlet holes with drywall mesh tape, as well as put it around pipes, joints, cover dents and holes. One of the key benefits to using drywall mesh tape is that it is incredibly easy to use and also virtually foolproof. What makes drywall mesh tape so advantageous is that it has a self-adhesive backing. This means you do not have to apply any type of compound to the area first, like paper tape meant for drywall. The drywall mesh tape may not be as strong, but after compound is added on top of it the resulting patch will be as sturdy as drywall. The article that follows will explain how to properly use drywall mesh tape.

Step 1 – Clean the Area

If there is any loose drywall that remains around the area to patch or cover with the drywall mesh tape it will interfere with the adhesion of the product. Inspect the site to be patched and use the scissors to remove any drywall paper that may have been torn but still remains attached. Make use of the soft brush to dust away any loose gypsum from the cut and the surrounding wall. The drywall knife can be used to make the hole more uniform and easier to cover. Never take away too much; just enough to make the area more square.

Step 2 – Measure and Cut

Drywall mesh tape comes in several sizes and formats, from rolls to preformed patches. Place the drywall mesh tape face down over the area you plan to cover. Use the marker to draw the area directly onto the drywall mesh tape so it is at least ½-inch larger than the hole to cover. Remove the drywall mesh tape and use the scissors to trim it along the lines you drew.

Step 3 – Placement

Drywall mesh tape has an adhesive backing. Remove the paper backing and center the tape over the hole to cover it. Press it down in place, making sure you remove any pockets of air and that it rests flat.

Step 4 – Secure It

With the drywall mesh tape in place you can now secure it. Use the drywall knife and apply a generous helping of joint compound directly on top of the tape. Spread the compound out until it is feathered thin along the edges to create a seamless look. Once the compound has set you can sand it over until it is flat. The goal is to make the patch job look natural. After the first layer of compound has dried you can apply a second layer as you did the first, repeating the technique exactly.