Patch Drywall Holes

Thanks for visiting! Below you will find step by step instructions for how to patch drywall holes.

Drywall holes look atrocious and are sometimes embarrassing to have in your home. Yet most contractors will charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to patch drywall.

Here we have laid out the process to patch drywall holes yourself along with step by step images.

Necessary Tools & Materials

  • Drywall Mud
  • 4” and 8” Drywall (Putty) Knife
  • Keyhole (Drywall) Saw
  • Sanding block
  • Fiberglass tape
  • Mud Pan
  • Stirring stick
  • Razor Knife
  • Screw gun
  • Drywall screws
  • Scrap Drywall
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Pencil

Optional Tools (to add ease to the job)

  • Reciprocal saw
  • Drywall T-square

The steps to patch drywall holes are fairly simple, though it can be time-consuming. There are several steps that require dry time for the plaster.

Before you begin to patch drywall holes, however, ensure that you have not only the few tools and materials listed above, but also a small supply of drywall primer & paint that matches the color of your wall.

After you have completed the repair, you will have a primed white patch in the center of your wall that will need to be repainted to match the remainder of your room.

Remember - safety first when performing any construction project. View our demo page for more information on safety.

Patch Drywall Holes: Step One - Preparing the Hole

drywall hole
Take a close look at the hole. Find out where the studs are in conjunction to the hole.

Next, measure up from the floor up an even height at the top and bottom to where you want your patch to be. Do this on each side of the hole. The rule of thumb when working with drywall to prevent additional drywall breaking off is to go 3-5 inches above broken drywall when patching drywall holes.

Now that you have made your marks 3-5 inches above where your drywall hole is, cut back the drywall flush to the studs with your drywall saw. This is where a reciprocal saw may come in handy. Now that you have made marks on the top and bottom, you can begin to cut out the broken section.

Patch Drywall Holes: Step Two - Cutting the Hole

drywall hole
drywall hole
Use the drywall saw to cut the drywall along the stud up to the top and bottom line that you previously marked in Step One. Now cut along your top and bottom lines leaving a square hole.

Now you have a square hole cut out of your drywall, but the edge is still flush with the studs (this was done to make removal easier).

For your new piece of drywall to fit properly you need to attach it to the studs on both sides. 2x4 studs are 1 ½ inches thick, so measure in ¾ of inch from where your drywall sits flush against the stud.

Do this at the top, middle and bottom. Once this has been done snap a chalk line or use a level and draw a pencil mark in. Once you have your mark repeat this process on the other side.

Use your razor knife to score the drywall several times along line you have marked, until you can remove the piece.

Approximately 3/4” of stud should be showing on each side. Remove any screws or other protrusions from the stud. This will allow you to attach your new piece.

Patch Drywall Holes: Step Three - Cutting the Patch

Now that your hole is cut it is time to put your new piece of drywall in place. Measure the hole you have cut at the top and at the bottom on each side vertically. Repeat this process horizontally so that you have an exact measurement for the new piece.

Mark out the new piece or scrap piece of drywall that you are using. Using a drywall T-square speeds up this process tremendously.

Now that you have cut your piece place it in the preexisting hole. If the piece does not fit perfectly sand it down a bit with a file instead of re-cutting.

Patch Drywall Holes: Step Four - Attaching the New Piece

patch drywall holeOnce you’ve fit your patch into place, you must now screw it in.

First you will want to attach the sheet in the corners. Do not screw into the very edge of your drywall patch, as this may cause the edges to crumble. Come in at least 1/4 – 1/2” from the edge. You may need to place a slight angle on some screws.

Screw the patch into place. Most drywall patches will use approximately eight screws depending on the size of the hole. Take a screwdriver and make sure all the screws are properly fastened so that they dimple the surface of the paper but do not break through the paper.

Patch Drywall Holes: Step Five - Taping and Mudding

patch drywall hole
Your hole is now patched, but here comes the trickiest part. We need to use mud and tape to blend this patch seamlessly with the rest of the wall.

First take your mudding knife and fill in any thicker gaps if the piece does not fit perfectly. After this is done place your tape over top of the new seams. You should run your tape 2-4 inches past where the seam ends.

Now place your first coat of mud, completely covering the tape, and extending to at least 4-6” wide. This coat will not look perfect and may seem a little rough but it is your first coat. Wait between 24-36 hours and follow up by sanding this first coat.

You will want to taper or “feather” while you sand, leaving the mud coat slightly thicker along the seams and thinning it out as you move further away from the seams.

Once you have sanded go ahead and place a second coat which will be between 6-10 inches wide. This coat will allow for greater tapering which in fact hide where the actual seam is. Sand again until the seam all but disappears behind a smooth, dry coat of drywall mud. You can test how level your seam is by using a 6” drywall knife and rocking it back and forth on the seam.

Patch Drywall Holes: Step Six - Priming

Now, prior to repainting the patch to match the rest of your wall, you will need to spot prime over the area with a drywall primer. If you do not prime the patched area it will soak up your paint and leave a duller section of paint in your wall.Now you are free to repaint the spot.

In rare cases, the repainted spot in the middle of the wall may be noticeable, particularly if the paint on the wall is old and has faded. In these cases, the best practice is to repaint the entire wall.

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