Compared to many other home improvement fiascoes, drywall can be repaired
relatively simply. There are a few different methods depending on the damage,
but the most difficult part is just waiting for the compound to dry! Keep
reading for some advice on patching drywall.
Small holes in your drywall can be patched very simply by using
some patching compound.
- With a utility knife, shave away any excess paper around the edge of the
hole. Do it on an angle, making a slight indentation around the edge.
- Place some compound on a hawk (a square piece of metal with a handle
underneath) and use a spackling knife to fill the hole.
- Give the patch one horizontal and one vertical pass with the spackling knife
against the wall, scraping the excess away.
- Allow the compound to dry.
- Add a second coat, extending a little beyond the perimeter of the hole.
- After allowing this coat to dry, sand it till it is blended with the rest of
the wall, prime it, and touch up the paint.
There are a few methods for patching up larger holes
in your drywall. Simply using patching compound won't do; the patch will
collapse on itself or fall through the hole in the wall. You need to give the
patch some backing to support it.
- First, with a keyhole saw, cut around the hole in the shape of a square or
rectangle that you can measure; you are going to fit your patch to these
- Next, you need some drywall you can cut to fit the size of the hole. If you
have some scraps lying around, those will do. If not, buy a drywall patch at
your local home improvement warehouse.
- Measure the dimensions of the hole you cut out and pencil them onto the
patching piece. Use your utility knife to cut inside the penciled
TIP: Make sure the drywall you use to
patch the hole is the same thickness as the wall itself.
- Drywall needs backing to stay supported. To provide this backing, cut one or
two pieces of wood to extend beyond the dimensions of the hole at its widest.
- Place the wood piece into the hole and pull it against the back of the
drywall, towards you.
- Use drywall screws to secure it in place on the top and bottom, or left and
- Set the screws 1/16th of an inch into the wall panel.
- Place the patch inside the hole and screw it into the new backing with
drywall screws. You can use mesh patching tape over the screws and seams to aid
the patching process.
- Apply a thin coat of patching compound over the screws and seams of the
patch and allow it to dry. Repeat this process until no gaps can be found, and
you have a layer of compound only slightly higher than the wall itself.
- Sand the dried compound to blend it in with the surrounding wall.
- Prime and paint the patched area.
You don't have to live with
unsightly holes in your walls! It doesn't take a professional contractor to make
your rooms look new again, just some compound, paint, a few tools, and a little
patience. Happy patching, friends.