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99-Cent Store Solution #3: Patch Drywall Hole

Yesterday’s torn-screen fix cost all of $1.98 (including an impulse purchase). Today’s is the priciest in this weeklong series — but still under $10.

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Fist through drywall- ouch

You're not "winning" if you have a hole in your drywall, but an easy fix can be done for about $10. Image: fstop123/iStockphoto

If Charlie Sheen is a friend of yours (no judgment), you’re probably ready for most anything, i.e., you keep a defibrillator in your living room. But do you have a drywall repair kit to patch the holes he’ll punch in your wall during your annual Memorial Day party? Scrap the call to a handyman or the police, and stop by the dollar store for what you’ll need to set things right post-bacchanal.

Supplies:

  • Wire screen, 99 cents (actually an envelope sorter made out of screen — a big savings since a roll of screen at the big box store is about $20 or more)
  • String, 99 cents
  • Pencil, 99 cents
  • Joint knife, 99 cents
  • Masking tape, 99 cents
  • Sandpaper, 99 cents
  • Drywall compound, 3.58
  • Sizzle cologne, 99 cents (to get party-ready)

Total: $10.51 (if you can’t resist the Sizzle)

What you do:

  • Cut the wire screen 2 inches larger than the hole.
  • Tie one end of the string to the pencil and thread the other end through the middle of the screen—then bend the screen, and insert it and the pencil into the hole.
  • Pull the string until the screen is flat against the hole (the pencil helps push the screen flat against the drywall) and hold it taut while you apply the drywall compound.
  • Tape the string to the wall to hold the screen in place as the compound dries.
  • Cut the string when dry.
  • Sand and smooth compound with joint knife.

Tomorrow’s 99-cent store solution: Tighten a loose cabinet hinge.

What other inexpensive home fixes have you found or tried? What minor home repair job have you neglected because of lack of time?

harmonleon Harmon Leon

is a journalist, comedian, and filmmaker. His other stories have appeared in Esquire, Stuff, Salon, NPR’s, This American Life, Details, Maxim, Cosmopolitan, and Wired.

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