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How to Patch Drywall

  1. Step 1 For Small Holes, Use Spackle or a Drywall Repair Patch Kit

    Spackle drying on a gray interior drywall surface to conceal a hole

    If you’ve got a small hole, using spackle to fix it will keep you from cutting into the wall and should make your fix much easier. Simply spread the spackle over your hole, allow it to dry from pink to white and then sand and paint.

  2. Step 2 Mark the Damaged Area and Locate the Studs

    A person measures two inches below a hole in their drywall to prepare for the patch.

    If you’ve got a larger hole that needs to pe repaired, you’ll need to cut out the affected drywall and replace it with a new piece.

    First, you’ll need to find your studs in relation to your damaged area. Use a stud-finder to locate your studs and draw a line in the center of them. You’ll need half of an exposed stud to attach your new drywall to. Then measure 2 inches above and below your damaged area and draw lines straight across connecting to your stud lines, forming a square.

  3. Step 3 Cut the Drywall to Remove the Damaged Area

    A person uses a drywall saw to cut out a damaged piece of drywall.

    Always use caution and remember to look for plumbing or electrical wiring before cutting into your wall. Then, with your square drawn, put on your safety glasses and use a drywall saw to cut across the horizontal lines until you hit the studs. Use a utility knife to cut the vertical lines down the studs and then pull the damaged piece of drywall out. You’ll likely need to make multiple passes to cut through the drywall cleanly.

  4. Step 4 Attach 1x3s Behind the Wall

    A person attached a 1x3-inch scrap piece of lumber behind the drywall.

    For added support behind your patch, attach 1x3-inch scrap lumber pieces behind the hole in your wall, about an inch from either stud. Use drywall screws to attach them behind your existing drywall.

  5. Step 5 Install the Drywall Patch

    A person attached the new drywall square into the hole they cut out in the wall.

    Measure the length and width of the hole in the drywall and cut a new piece to fit it. If it’s a bit snug that’s ok, but you’ll want to avoid large gaps between your new drywall piece and the existing drywall. Use drywall screws to attach it to the supports and studs.  

  6. Step 6 Cover the Seams with Mesh Drywall Tape

    A person covers the seams of their new drywall patch with mesh drywall tape.

    Use a utility knife to smooth the edges of your new drywall piece and make it as flush as possible. The apply a mesh drywall tape to completely cover the seams around your patch. Avoid overlapping the tape in the corners, as it will be higher than the rest and need to be sanded later.

  7. Step 7 Spread Joint Compound Over the Patch

    A person uses a drywall knife to spread drywall compound or mud across the seams of the new patch.

    Use an 8-inch drywall knife and spread drywall joint compound over the screw dimples and tape seams of your new drywall patch. Fill in the gaps and smooth the surface as you go. Let it dry, then use the drywall knife to remove any rough spots. Apply a second coat and repeat, leaving the second coat to dry overnight.

  8. Step 8 Sand the Surface and Paint the Wall

    A person uses a paint roller to paint the repaired wall.

    Sand your wall with a sanding sponge and use a damp cloth to remove any dust that has collected on the surface. When your wall is smooth and dry you can paint it to match your existing colour. With that, you’ve successfully repaired your drywall!

What You Need for This Project

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