Interior Painting Preparation

Repairing Small Drywall Holes

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Repairing a drywall hole involves the inventive use of the lid from a tin can.

Tough as it is, drywall can withstand only limited abuse. A door flung open with too much force can produce a doorknob-size hole in the wall. This kind of damage looks bad, and painting over the problem won't hide it for very long.

Fortunately, even large holes are easy to fix. The easiest way is to purchase a drywall repair kit. Measure the hole, and visit your local hardware store or home improvement center for a kit. There are various sizes and types for different applications. For example, a drywall patch for a ceiling is thicker than one for a wall. Before you use the kit, remove any loose paper or plaster around the edges of the hole. Then apply drywall patch, following the manufacturer's instructions.

In this article, we'll tell you how to fix both a small and a large drywall hole. We'll start with a small hole.

Fixing a Small Drywall Hole

Step 4: Use putty knife to apply premixed drywall patching compound over patch following manufacturer's instructions. (Don't use spackling compound because it shrinks as it dries.) You can also mix plaster of paris with water to make thick paste. Pack compound or plaster into hole against backing and behind stick. Keep compound inside hole, cover backing, and fill slits, but don't spread it on wall surface. Leave patch slightly low, and don't try to level it. Let patch dry until it turns bright white, typically at least 24 hours. When dry, cut string or wire and remove stick.

Step 5: To finish patch, fill it completely with more plaster of paris or drywall patching compound to make patch level with wall surface. Let dry, lightly sand area, prime, and paint.

In the next section, we'll get more ambitious and find out how to fix a large drywall hole.

Not what you're looking for? Try these helpful articles:

  • House Painting: Ready to tackle a house painting project? Gather helpful tips on both interior and exterior painting in this home improvement article.
  • House Painting Tools: Before taking on any painting project, make sure you have the tools you'll need to do the job well. This article will help.
  • Repairing Large Drywall Holes: Some holes are large enough that you'll need to replace a section of drywall. That's an easy project with these tips.
  • Repairing Popped Nails: Learn how to fix another common problem with drywall -- popped nails -- in this helpful article.