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Small holes are defined as those that are less than about 2 inches in diameter. There's no need to make a wallboard patch for these little holes because a repair patch works just great and provides a quick and professional looking repair.
Patching a small hole should take you from one to two hours.
Inspect the damaged area to see if there are any cracks around the edge of the hole. If there aren't, just fill the hole with joint compound and let it dry. Then sand it until it is smooth.
If the edges are cracked, you will need to use a repair patch, which has a metal mesh center for strength, to repair the hole. Just cut or shape the patch to fit the specific repair area.
Cover the patch with joint compound or wallboard compound and let the patched area dry. Smooth the repaired area using a damp sponge to eliminate the dust normally caused by dry sanding. Apply additional coats of compound if necessary, and then smooth the entire area using a wide blade wallboard knife.
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