BarryStick Drywall Repair – Review

OK, I’ll have to admit that I thought I’d seen it all when it comes to drywall repair. After hosting and contributing to home improvement shows for well over 10 – ok, close to 15 –  years, I’ve seen just about every gadget, gizmo and redesigned mousetrap out there.

And then along comes the BarryStick Drywall Repair Tool. Yup, I was skeptical, but open-minded. I’m always ready to look at new ideas – I just need convincing to go along with some.

The premise is simple: The BarryStick is a composite material shaped like a ruler, just over a foot long. It has an adhesive pad on one side and gradations for easy measuring. It’s also micro-perforated to make snapping it in the right spot easier. So far, so good. So what does it do? It’s designed to eliminate the use of screws when repairing drywall between studs. A couple of caveats – it’s for use only on holes measuring 10 inches or less and the repaired area shouldn’t be used for hanging heavy loads. That’s acceptable.

You start the repair in the traditional manner – cutting a piece of drywall slightly larger than the damaged area. Once you cut out the damaged area to match the patch, so to speak, the Barrystick starts to work it magic. Instead of installing wood supports inside the wall cavity in order to attach the new drywall, you simply measure, snap, and peel the backing from the Barrystick and apply it to the edges of the hole on the inside. This creates a kind of pocket into which you’ll press the drywall patch. No screws are used when you install the patch, because the adhesive strip on the Barrystick holds the patch in place.

You then mud without using drywall tape! That’s right – no tape. I can hear you skeptics…and I wondered the same thing.

My first question to the inventor of this unique product was, “Doesn’t the crack telegraph through the mud?” Nope – according to John Barry (the inventor), he’s had a patch in place in his home for seven years using his product and the crack has never shown up!

Interesting concept. The theory being (and apparently proved in John Barry’s seven-year-to-date study) that the adhesive holds the patch in the same plane as the existing wall. There is no flex, because the patch is essentially connected along every inch of contact. I’m no physicist, but it makes sense to me.

Each package contains enough sticks to repair the above-mentioned 10-inch hole and costs $14.95 on John’s website ( You can also see his demonstration video of the product in action at his site.

So while I can tell you it’s easy to use and makes a smoother transition from patch to unpatched wall, I can only pass along John’s story when it comes to staying power. Here’s my take – it’s worth a shot, especially if you hate mudding and floating drywall. Most drywall patches look lumpy and never seem to ‘disappear’ into their surroundings. The idea behind the Barrystick should allow you to make a (visibly) seamless repair that lays flat against the wall in little time. Give it a try and send me your thoughts.