How to Patch Holes in Drywall
If you need to patch a hole in drywall, following a few basic steps can help you do it seamlessly. Whether you’re fixing a hole that’s a few inches or a few feet, these tips may help ensure you have a smooth wall again.
If you’re repairing a hole in your wall, there are a few standard steps you’ll follow. The first step to patching a hole in drywall is to make sure you have the right tools on hand. Before you get started, HGTV and BobVila.com recommend you assemble the following:
- Drywall saw
- Utility knife
- Scrap piece of drywall
- Drywall screws
- Drywall mesh tape
- Mud knife
- Joint compound
- Fine silicon-carbon sandpaper
It may also be helpful to have a stud finder, pencil, dust mask and drop cloth on hand. You’ll also want to have a terry cloth rag to help with clean-up after sanding. HGTV also suggests using spray texture if you are repairing a textured wall.
How to Patch a Hole in the Wall
If you need to fill a hole in your wall that is two inches in diameter or larger, you’ll want to follow these basic steps:
- Outline the hole. Use a pencil to draw a square around the hole, HGTV says. This may require making the hole bigger than may seem necessary, according to BobVila.com, but it’s important that it’s big enough to expose at least one of the wall studs. Studs, which are the boards that support your wall, are often spaced about 16 inches apart, HGTV notes.
- Remove the damaged drywall. Before cutting, HGTV recommends checking behind the wall to make sure there aren’t any electrical wires in the way. You can use an electronic stud finder to detect wires, DoItYourself.com notes. You may also want to put on a dust mask and lay down a drop cloth to help keep your floor clean. Using a drywall saw, cut along the square you outlined in step one. After cutting out the square, BobVila.com recommends using a utility knife to help straighten up the edges.
- Add the patch. Using the drywall saw, cut a piece from your scrap drywall to perfectly fit in the hole you’ve created, BobVila.com says. Then attach it to the stud with drywall screws. You’ll likely need to drill holes into the stud and then use your screwdriver or drill to secure the screws. If it’s a large hole, The Family Handyman recommends spacing the screws about 6 inches apart.
- Smooth over the patch. Next, BobVila.com says to apply mesh tape over the seams between the patch and pre-existing drywall. Using a mud knife, cover the mesh and drywall screws completely with joint compound. Smooth the compound with the blade of the knife, and then scrape across the seams in wide strokes, either top to bottom or side to side, depending on the orientation of the mesh.
- Add finishing touches to the wall. Once you’ve smoothed the patch, BobVila.com recommends allowing it to dry for at least eight hours. Once this is dry, sand the area with sandpaper, but avoid exposing the mesh. Then wipe away the sanding dust with a rag, and the wall is ready to paint. If the wall is textured, you can use a spray texture to blend the patch with the surrounding area, according to HGTV.
By following these steps, you may be able to patch the drywall on your wall without calling in a professional.