How to Patch a Hole in Drywall

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Learn how to patch large or small holes in drywall and find out the difference between spackle and joint compound. Follow along with Lou as he teaches you how to fix it.

Joint Compound vs. Spackle

If you're joining together two pieces of dry wall together or a larger hole, you will need to use a joint compound. For small holes you can use spackle.

Small Holes

Use a putty knife to apply a thin layer over and in the hole. With small holes you can sand and paint within thirty minutes.

Large Holes

Large holes can be repaired with a peel and stick metal patch. Make sure the patch overlaps the hole by at least 2" or you will not get a smooth repair. For some holes where a metal patch isn't quite large enough, it might help to make the hole larger and then follow the instructions below for extra large holes.

Extra Large Holes

For extra large holes there are a few more steps.
  1. Use a key hole saw to cut out a square around the hole.
  2. Measure the hole exactly.
  3. Cut a replacement piece to measurements.
  4. Screw in Dry Wall Brackets on all four sides on cut out hole.
  5. Place replacement drywall in hole over brackets.
  6. Screw new dry wall into brackets.
  7. Break off metal clips on brackets using a pair of pliers.
  8. Use a taping knife to smooth over cracks so tape can apply more smoothly.
  9. Use fiber mesh tape over cracks.
  10. Apply joint compound. Thin even coats.
    1. If applied too thickly, the repair will be obvious on the wall, and look like a raised area.
    2. Allow joint compound to dry in between coats, typically overnight.
    3. Apply three coats.
  11. Use a sanding sponge with a fine grit to get rid of ridges from where you patched.
  12. Prime and paint the area to match the rest of the wall.
For more helpful tips, visit Ace Hardware's Tips & Advice 
Published: 2/1/2020