Repairing 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.

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Repairing a Large Drywall Hole

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Secure a backing board on the inside of the wall to brace the patch.

Sometimes a wall can get a large hole or a section can be damaged by water or other causes. Here's how to fix it without a drywall repair kit:

Step 3: Use spackling compound or wallboard joint compound as glue to hold patch in place. Spread compound on back of drywall patch and around edges. Set patch into hole and adjust it so it's exactly even with surrounding wall. Hold it in place until compound starts to set. Let compound dry at least overnight.

Step 4: Once compound is dry, fill patch outline and cover exposed screw heads with spackling or joint compound. Let dry, lightly sand area, prime, and paint.

Not what you're looking for? Try these helpful house painting 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 Popped Nails: Learn how to fix another common problem with drywall -- popped nails -- in this helpful article.
  • Scrubbing and Sanding Surfaces: Find out about these necessary painting preparation steps only at HowStuffWorks.