How to Fix a Hole in Drywall: Easy Tips and Advice

Do you have an unsightly hole in your drywall that’s covered by a picture? Maybe you have a strategically placed couch over the hole? Did you have a big party and somebody got rowdy? You can fix it! These easy to follow steps and advice for fixing holes of any kind should have your holes patched in no time.

In most cases when the hole is small enough, you can put a small amount of joint compound in the hole. You can purchase small tubs of joint compound and small throw away plastic spackling knifes for quick repairs. First sand the paint slightly around the hole. Stuff in a small piece of newspaper or paper into the hole. Put on a coat of joint compound and let it dry overnight. Sand down the edges of the now dry joint compound. In a small tray or bowl, mix a few drops of water and joint compound. This makes the store bought joint compound a little softer to apply in a thinner coat. Place in a thin coat over any small dimples. Let it dry and repeat the last steps until all the imperfections are gone. At the local home improvement center, buy a can of wall texture. They sell all kinds of textures in a can for small fixes, so look through the selection to find what kind of texture matches the texture in your home. Shake the can thoroughly before you set up the sprayer. Always test spray a pattern first on a scrap piece of wood or cardboard, that way you don’t mess up to bad on your first try. It defiantly takes a little skill and determination to get a correct match for your drywall pattern.

To fix larger holes, like a fist sized or door handle sized hole you will need a piece of drywall. At the larger stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s you can have a small piece of drywall cut to the size you need rather than buying a whole sheet. This always comes in handy when you have a compact car and nowhere to store another 14 feet of drywall you don’t need. For door knob holes, you can cut a square bigger than the hole by a few inches. Take one side of the square and cut a circle out in the back of it. Don’t cut all the way through the drywall. Leave the paper intact on the finished side. Use a soda can for a template for the door knob hole. Once you have a hole one on side of the drywall and paper on the other side, cote the hole and back of the paper with joint compound. Gently smooth out the excess from behind the paper with a drywall knife. Go over the tops and edges of the paper with a thin cote of joint compound. Let it dry 24 hours and sand the edges down. Mix up a wetter batch as described before by adding a little water in a bowl and mix the joint compound. Apply thinner coats and let dry and sand until its smooth enough to match the existing wall. Use a can or two of wall texture to match and paint.

If the hole is very large or an uneven shape, you will need to cut out the break in the sheet rock. Locate the two studs on either side of the hole. You can find these sometimes by feeling inside the hole. Look for nail holes on the sheet rock or near outlets to help find studs, but don’t be afraid to reach in the hole to find the studs. Even if you break some more drywall and make the hole bigger is ok because you’ll be cutting it out anyways. On each stud scribe a plumb line with a 4 foot level and pencil. Use a square and make a box around the cut connecting the two plumb lines. As squarely as possible, cut the drywall out. Cut softly at first and scribe the line deeper and deeper with each pass of the utility knife. Once the square has been removed, measure and cut a new snug fitting piece of drywall. Nail or screw on the new piece at about 9 inch intervals. Using drywall tape can be tricky if you don’t know how to use it. You can purchase mesh tape that is self adhesive to make it easier than paper tape to use. Apply the tape and joint compound to the square and let dry for 24 hours. Sand with fine grit sand paper and refinish until its smooth. Apply a can or two of wall texture to finish, let it dry and paint.

Repairing drywall is easy if you take your time. You can always let it dry and sand it until your satisfied with the patch. Just remember to be patient and take your time. Always use a cover to keep from staining the carpet or flooring underneath from dripping globs of joint compound.

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