Drywall Repair and How to Fix Sheetrock holes in Walls

Simple DIY Drywall Repair Techniques

By Mark J. Donovan




Repairing a hole in a sheetrocked wall is fairly easy to do. However, depending upon the size of the hole in the sheetrock, there are different repair techniques that should be employed. Summarized below are the various drywall hole repair methods that will enable you to restore your walls to their original look.

Repairing Large Drywall Holes

If the hole is larger than 2 inches in diameter then it is best to cut out a section in the drywall that encompasses the hole and then replace it with a new piece of drywall.

When cutting out the section of drywall cut it back to the adjacent wall studs using a utility knife. Also cut out at least 6 inches higher and lower than the center point of the drywall hole.

So for example, if you had a 4 inch hole in the drywall I would replace it with a new piece of drywall that was 16”x16”.

To ensure clean and straight cuts score the drywall surface using a straight edge and a utility knife. Then make repeated strokes with the utility knife through your scored lines until you’ve worked your way through the drywall. Repeat this process on all four sides of the drywall section you plan to cut out. Make sure, however, that you are careful not to cut any wires that may be behind the drywall.

After cutting out the large section use the utility knife to cut back the drywall opening to halfway over the wall studs. This will allow a lip to fasten the new piece of drywall to.

Once you’ve removed the old section of drywall cut a new piece to size and place it into the opening and fasten it with drywall screws or nails.

Then tape and mud the seams using either drywall paper tape or a mesh drywall tape with an adhesive on one side. Mud, or joint compound, comes in pre-mixed buckets and is easy to work with. You’ll just need a couple of taping knifes to spread it onto the area you are repairing, and to flare it out smoothly.

When applying the paper tape first apply a skim coat of mud to the seams to enable the paper tape to stick to. Make sure the tape is centered over the seam. Use a 6 inch wide taping knife to apply the mud. With mesh drywall tape, simply apply the adhesive side of the mesh tape to the drywall seam and then apply a skim coat of mud over it.

After the seams are fully dry use the same taping knife to scrape off any high spots on the mud and then apply a second coat using the same taping knife. With this coat, flare out the seams about 2 inches wider that the first coat. Also make sure to apply less pressure to the blade when directly over the seam itself.

Once the second coat of mud is dry, lightly scrape the seams with your taping knife and then use a 12” wide taping knife to apply the final coat of mud. Again, flare the seam out an additional two inches on each side of the seams.

When the final coat of mud is dry lightly sand it with drywall mesh sandpaper making sure to blend the outer edges of the mud carefully into the wall area. After sanding, wipe off the excess dust, then prime and paint to complete the drywall repair.

Repairing Medium size Sheetrock Holes

For sheetrock holes between ¼ inch and 2 inches in diameter the process is a little easier. First remove any loose sheetrock and debris from the hole. A vacuum can help in this step.

Next, use your taping knife and apply some mud to the hole to fill it in. Then apply sticky mesh drywall tape over the hole using your taping knife and apply more mud over the tape and hole area. Because of the application of so much mud behind the tape allow the area to fully dry for a couple of days.

Once the first coat of mud has fully dried apply a second coat of mud over the taped area, again using your 6 inch taping knife. Make sure, however, to scrape off any high spots on the dried patch before apply the second coat of mud.

How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole EBook

After the second coat has fully dried, apply a third and final coat and let it dry. Then sand the area lightly with drywall mesh sandpaper, prime and paint to complete the sheetrock repair.

Small Sheetrock Size Hole Repair

For sheetrock holes that are ¼ inch or less in diameter simply apply a small amount of wall putty or joint compound to the hole using a 2 inch wide putty knife. Once dry, sand lightly and then paint.


For information on repairing a large drywall hole, see the “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook from HomeAdditionPlus.com.  The “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook provides step-by-step instructions on how to repair your damaged wall so that it looks as good as new.

See HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Drywall Calculator

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