How To Easily Repair Holes in Drywall

If you’ve got little ones running around, chances are there’s a few unsightly holes here and there in your drywall! But, kids aren’t the only ones that can add yet another hole to your wall!

I have been known to bump the wall when moving a chest or other piece of furniture! No matter how careful you are things can and usually do happen!

Another major cause of holes or dents in drywall is door knobs! But, there’s no need to call a professional, you can do these repairs yourself and save lots of money!

Some times for one reason or another a nail may just start to ease out of the drywall. This is a easy fix, just place a nails a few inches above and below the loose nail.

Dimple the nail into the wall, dimpling is when the nails head is slightly below the surface of the drywall. Use a flat tool or wide putty knife to fill the dents with joint compound.

Once it has dried completely, apply another thin coat. This time smooth the compound out past the edges of the dimple. After it has dried, you just lightly sand it until it’s flush with the walls surface.

Small holes are considered anywhere from one inch in diameter up to five inches. When repairing any hole, you should always make sure to clean the area of any loose drywall or paper.

You can use screen wire or purchase a special mesh material that is made specifically for patching holes. You’ll need to cut the screen or mesh at least 2″ larger than the hole.

Tie a small piece of string around a pencil or dowel and insert the other end into the screen and tie it as well. The screen can be easily bent to be inserted into the hole. Once the screen is inside the hole pull on the pencil to pull the screen flush with the inside wall.

While your still holding the string, fill in the hole with joint compound. Start working at the edges of the hole and make your way to the center.

Use a piece of tape to secure the string to the wall. The joint compound will actually adhere to the screen and help hold it in place. Once you’ve allowed enough time for it to completely dry, use a knife to cut the string off.

You must always remember that joint compound will shrink as it dries. Any, repair will require you to at least apply two coats. After the compound has dried and you’ve removed the string, apply another thin coat to even out the finish. Let it dry and then sand it for a finished look.

Larger holes up to around 8″ in size, require a little more work! Joint compound will work well on smaller holes, but it won’t repair large ones. You’re going to need a scrap piece of drywall for this project!

Measure the size of the hole and cut a piece of drywall at least one inch larger than the holes width or height. You are going to want to cut it in a square or rectangular shape.

Hole the cut piece up over the hole, straighten it and use a pencil to mark around the edge. Use a utility knife to cut the drawn shape out of the the wall around the hole.

Cut carefully, you’re going to be putting the piece you cut into the square that you’re cutting out. You can always make the square hole larger, but if you cut it too large you’ll have to prepare another piece of scrap drywall to use for the repair.

After you’ve cut the square, just keep checking your scrap piece to see if it fits until you get it the right size. Depending on the size of the hole, you may need to attach strings in the same way as you did to repair the small hole.

You can use an awl or a thin nail to make a whole in the center of the piece. But, this time you will need more than just one string, especially if you’re repairing a hole that is in the center of the wall studs.

Attaching two strings will be enough for some holes, but you can use as many as you think you need. Knot the ends of the strings together on the back side of the piece of drywall to hold them in place.

To make sure the strings won’t slip out of the hole, either make a large knot or you can also tie the ends to a small object such as a nut or washer.

Apply a liberal amount of joint compound to all the edges of the replacement piece of drywall. When placing it into the hole, you’ll need to apply some pressure. But, don’t push it to hard or it will end up inside the wall!

You just need it to be flush with the rest of the wall. Once it’s in place tape the strings taut to the wall. Depending on how many you chose to use, you may have strings tapped on all four side of the patch!

Again, once it’s completely dried, you’ll need to apply another coat around the edges. Smoothing out the joint compound as much as you can as you apply it will prevent a lot of unneccessary sanding! Sand the area after it dries and it’s ready to paint!

The drying time will vary, smaller holes patched early in the day may be ready for painting by late in the evening. But, it is recommended to wait at least 24 hours between coats and after your last coat to sand and finish your project.

When purchasing joint compound, you may want to try to find one that already contains a primer. There are many available that don’t need extra preparation for painting.

Joint compound with primer will save you the extra expense of buying a separate primer. But, it will also save you quite a bit of time. Applying primer is just another step to complete and something else that will have you waiting while it dries!