Home fixes

How to Patch Drywall

$5 and up
Project cost
1 hour
Estimated time

Patching a hole in drywall is an easy project you can knock out in a few hours with a few inexpensive supplies from the home center. Follow along as we show how to fill and patch small, medium, and large holes in this DIY drywall repair video.

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Step 1

How to Patch a Small Hole

Patching drywall is fairly straightforward. Put a small amount of spackle on your putty knife and press it into the hole or dent. If the spackle sinks into the hole when it dries, you’ll need to apply multiple layers. Once you’ve built up the spackle to be slightly above the drywall, use a sanding sponge to lightly sand the spackle flush with the drywall and then use some matching touch up paint to finish.

Step 2

Patch a Medium-Size Hole

An option to patch a medium sized hole is a self-adhesive metal patch. Patches come in a variety of sizes, and can be cut to fit or used as is. To get started, remove the adhesive backing and position the patch in place. Make sure the patch is firmly in place, and then smooth out any bubbles in the fiberglass tape. Apply a liberal amount of joint compound with a putty knife. On the first coat, cover an area just slightly larger than the patch. Let the first coat dry, and then use a damp sponge to soften the top layer of joint compound. Use a dry putty knife to gently scrape off any ridges before applying the second coat. On the second coat, use a larger putty knife to spread joint compound beyond the edges of the first coat. You may need to repeat the process. The goal is to build up layers of joint compound, feathering out the area so that it blends with the surrounding wall without catching your eye. Try to keep each coat as smooth as possible to minimize the amount of sanding required. Lastly, use a sanding sponge to sand the patch and surrounding area smooth. Use touch up paint to finish. If you’re creating a lot of dust while sanding, it’s best to wear a dust mask.

Step 3

Patch a Large Holes

For an abnormal-shaped hole, cut a square scrap piece of drywall to a size that will fully cover the hole. Trace the scrap onto the wall. Cut the drywall surrounding the hole using a drywall saw. Secure pieces of scrap wood along the edges of the hole with drywall screws. Place the scrap piece of drywall into the hole, and then secure it to the pieces of wood using a drill/driver and drywall screws. Next, cover the seams with drywall tape. Apply joint compound in several coats over the patch and surrounding area. Once dry, use a sanding sponge to sand the area smooth. Once sanded smooth, apply touch-up paint to match the wall. 

Aaron Massey
Aaron is the mastermind behind the brand Mr. Fix It DIY featuring YouTube series like “Home School’d” and “I Hate My House” where he details the projects of his home remodel and shares his custom builds.

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