Repair Drywall Dents

Drywall dents and small holes from nails or screws are probably the most common type of damage to drywall. Both are fairly easy fixes.

Drywall dents are most commonly caused by doorknobs and swinging doors, a problem that would be wise to address either before or after attempting a drywall repair.

Either a doorstop or a wall guard should be installed to negate the current problem, otherwise this may become an issue that crops up its ugly head over and over again.

Necessary Tools & Materials

  • Spackle
  • 2 or 4” Drywall (Putty) Knife (depending on the size of the dent)
  • 150 Grit Sandpaper
  • Primer

The good news is, drywall dents are simple to repair.

Before you begin, however, ensure that you have not only the few tools and materials listed above, but also a small supply of 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.

Step One – Preparing the Dent

Take a close look at the dent. Commonly, a drywall dent does not break the paper surface of the drywall. If the paper is broken, be certain to remove any loose pieces of paper around the hole.

Step Two – Fill the Dent

Next, put a small amount of patching spackle on a putty knife and press it into the dent. On the first pass the knife should be held at a 45 degree angle, to fill the hole. Then come back over the top with the knife almost straight up and down to scrape away most of the excess spackle.

Wait the appropriate amount of time for the spackle to dry (drying times vary by brand – consult the spackle packaging). Once dry, run your hand across the surface of the spackle. If the spackle is level or slightly humped above the surface of the drywall, you are ready to move onto Step Three.

Spackling occasionally shrinks during the drying process, so if your spackling patch is indented or cratered below the surface of the drywall, apply a second coat of spackling and allow to dry before progressing to Step Three.

Step Three - Sanding

Now that you’ve patched your drywall dents with spackle, you need to give the area a light sanding with 150 grade sandpaper. Ensure that you sand any humps or ridges in your spackle flush with the rest of the wall.

Step Four - 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 spackled area it will show up as a shinier area of paint on 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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