How to Patch a Hole in Drywall

Oops, you knocked a hole in the wall. Don't worry, it's not hard to fix. Small holes (such as nail holes) can be filled with white toothpaste or spackling paste. For something a bit larger, read on.



Things You'll Need

  • Paints
  • Drywall Nails
  • Drywall
  • Stud Finders
  • Primers
  • Drywall Joint Tape
  • White Toothpaste
  • Brushes
  • Drywall Trowel
  • Utility Knives
  • Putty Knives
  • Wet And Dry Sandpaper
  • Wallboard Tape
  • Sheetrock
  • Spackle
  1. Patching Smaller Holes

    • 1

      Strip away any raised portions of the drywall paper around the edge of the hole.

    • 2

      Sandpaper all around the edges of the hole enough to scrape and roughen the paint.

    • 3

      For holes roughly 1 to 3 inches wide, apply self-adhesive plastic mesh tape. (Skip this step for smaller holes.)

    • 4

      Use a putty knife to apply spackling compound or a hard-setting, fast-drying patching compound. Smooth it out.

    • 5

      Repeat step 4 after the spackling shrinks, if necessary.

    • 6

      Allow the spackling to dry. Sand the area smooth, prime it and paint.

    Patching Larger Holes

    • 7

      Find the stud that is closest to the hole and use a drywall knife or saw to cut out a rectangle of drywall around the hole, including half of the width of the stud.

    • 8

      Roughen up the paint several inches all around the cut with sandpaper.

    • 9

      Cut a new piece of drywall the same size as the one you removed. Use the cutout as a patch.

    • 10

      Attach your new drywall patch to the stud using drywall screws or dry-wall nails, being careful to set the heads just below the surface, but not too deep - you don't want to break the paper.

    • 11

      Using a wide putty knife, apply a thin spread of joint compound along the seams. Gently press paper joint tape into the joint compound with your putty knife. Be sure that the edges of the tape are embedded in the compound, but scrape any excess compound from the tape.

    • 12

      After the joint compound is dry, spread two or three additional thin coats of compound over the tape, extending 4 to 8 inches on each side of the seam to blend in with the surrounding wall. Sand lightly between coats.

    • 13

      Paint primer over the new patch. If the seams are still visible after it dries, apply more joint compound before final painting.

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