Drywall is the material that covers most of the interiors of your home. It’s tough and durable, but it can be prone to holes and other blemishes.
The good news is that most drywall repairs are doable by homeowners with a little bit of know-how and the right tools. However, some types of drywall damage are better left to a professional.
A small hole in a wall can be a source of entry for critters or a source of frustration, but it’s also a very easy spot to fix. The first step in the process is to square off the hole, then clean it up and sand it smooth.
If the hole is smaller than 6 inches, you can repair it with two short 1x3s and a scrap piece of drywall (a 1×3 will be just long enough to overlap into the hole by about 1 inch). Then screw one of the pieces to the inside edge of the cutout and the other to the outside; the screws should extend outward by about 3 inches.
For holes larger than 6 inches, you’ll need to bridge the gap with a strong, rigid material. We used adhesive-backed fiberglass mesh. Peel off the paper backing and press it to the wall, centered over the hole. Apply patching compound and sand it lightly after it dries.
Once the hole is repaired, it may be necessary to paint it. This will hide the repair and make it look more like part of the wall. Use a Q-tip or a clean nail polish brush to cover the repair, avoiding spreading the paint across the surrounding wall.
The patch should be slightly larger than the hole, so it can fill the void without leaving a ragged edge. If the drywall is very old, the edges of the hole might be rough.
If you want a seamless-looking repair, you can use mesh tape to create an invisible barrier between the patch and the wall behind it. Then apply joint compound and sand it to create a sturdy, smooth surface.
Another option for small holes is to install a wood backer. This is simple and inexpensive to do, and it’s a great way to keep the patch from falling into the hole. The backer can be made from a scrap piece of wood, but I prefer to use a piece of scrap pine because it’s easy to cut and screw into place.
Holes are a normal part of sheetrock repair, but they can be unsightly and even dangerous. A hole can be caused by an object, such as a doorknob that punctures the drywall, or it could be the result of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or tornado.
For small holes, you can fix them with drywall tape or a drywall patch; for medium-sized holes, it’s better to apply joint compound. But for large holes, you need a stronger material to fill them.
Before you begin, square off the hole and clear it of any debris or chipped paint. Then brace it with a piece of wood that’s long enough to extend past the edge of the hole on either side.
Next, cut a drywall patch 2 inches larger in width and height than the hole, leaving less than a 1/2-inch gap around it. This will make it easier to fit the drywall patch into the hole and keep it from falling out of place.
Then apply spackle or joint compound to the edges of the drywall patch along with the remaining gypsum and drywall paper. This will act as an adhesive to hold the drywall patch in place on the wall.
Once the patch has dried, sand it well to create an even surface. Let it dry for 24 hours, then apply additional spackle if needed to cover the entire patch.