When installing new electrical outlets and wall switches, it\’s easy to cut the holes for the electrical boxes a bit too big. In some cases, the outlet cover or switch plate won\’t be able to hide the mistake. Plus, oversize holes allow cold drafts to blow in around the electrical box.
The traditional way to fix this problem is to fill the space with joint compound and apply a single strip of joint tape. Although that approach conceals the damage temporarily, the repair is relatively brittle.
A much better option is to cover the entire area — including the electrical box — with a FibaTape Outlet Repair Patch. This 7×8 inch fiberglass patch is similar to standard fiberglass-mesh tape, except that it is reinforced with thick diagonal strands of fiberglass. These strands lend the tape superior strength.
Step By Step
Step 1: Begin by turning off the electricity to the room. Then wipe the wall around the electrical box clean of all dust and dirt. Peel off the backing paper from the patch and press the fiberglass-mesh patch to the wall directly over the outlet.
Step 2: Use a sharp utility knife to carefully cut away the mesh section that\’s covering the electrical box.
Step 3: Use a 6-inch-wide drywall knife to spread joint compound over the entire patch, spreading it well beyond the 7×7-inch fiberglass-mesh patch.
Don\’t worry if some of the compound oozes into the electrical box; it will break off easily once it has dried. Lightly sand the patch, then apply two thinner coats of compound.
Electrical box extenders
Bring existing switch and outlet boxes flush with new drywall by adding extensions. Start by turning off the power and removing the device.
Add a code-approved extension to the existing box; screw the outlet or switch back in place; and turn on the power.