Drywall hole fix

Fixing a hole in drywall is a skill all handy people should develop. We’ll show you how to fix damage drywall from a small ding to a large hole.

Before you start your repair, determine what tools and products you will need to complete the repair.

Tools and products

Tools you will require for drywall repairs are Stanley knife, paint scraper, drywall saw, sanding block and painting equipment. These can be added to your basic tool kit, check out our post on basic tools a handyman needs below.

Products you will need for fixing your drywall are plaster or gap filler, drywall tape and paint.

Small hole fix

To fix small holes up to 20mm made by picture hooks or scratches, you’ll only need some filler and spatula plus a small brush and paint.

First sand the hole to remove any protruding edges, rub your hand over the hole to check. Then wipe with cloth to remove any dust prior to adding filler to hole.

Now put a small amount of filler on your spatula and apply the filler with the spatula at a 45 degree angle to the hole. Then hold the spatula at a 90 degree angle and scrap away excess filler. Leave for about half an hour to dry.

Lightly sand the repair once dry and wipe away any dust with a cloth. Apply a light coat of paint to the repair and feather the edges to the surrounding area. It’s better to apply multiple light coats of paint than a single heavy coat.

Quick Tip: 

For pin hole repairs all you need is a bar of soap. Rub the bar of soap over the hole and this will fill until next time your painting and you can use filler to fix before painting.

Medium hole fix

For holes between 30mm – 50mm caused by door handles or the like.

You’ll need a utility knife, sandpaper with sanding block, fiberglass drywall mesh, spatula, filler and painting equipment.

Use your utility knife to remove any torn paper or crumbly edges and the sand the area smooth. Wipe away any dust with a cloth.

Apply a piece of drywall mesh tape to the hole and push in slightly. You may need a more than 1 piece of tape.

Push filler into the mesh and hole with spatula until the hole is completely covered. Smooth filler to remove any excess filler and allow to dry. For deep holes, apply in multiple layers allowing each layer to dry. Feather out the filler 20mm out from the hole.

Using your sanding block smooth the filler and check for any low areas that may require more filler. When repair is flush with surrounding area, wipe away dust with a cloth and your ready to paint.

Apply 2 or 3 light coats of paint feathering out the edges to blend into the surrounding wall.

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Big hole fix

Big holes up to 120mm, you’ll need a piece of drywall, filler, joint tape, 120-grit sand paper, utility knife, drywall saw and paint scraper. Paint and a paint roller and tray.

Quick tip

To make small patches of drywall, use your utility knife to score 1 side of the drywall and then snap the board along the score mark.

Cut a piece of drywall slightly larger than the hole to be repaired, this will be the plug. Put the piece over the hole and make around the piece with a pen. Now saw diagonally into the corners from the hole. With your utility knife, bevel the edge of the square hole to allow room for filler. Check for any obstacles behind the drywall.

You’ll need another 2 pieces of drywall the width of the hole and twice as high as the hole as backing boards. Coat each of these pieces with filler and apply to the backside of the drywall hole each covering a 1/3 of the hole and allow to dry.

After an hour you can coat the drywall plug with filler and push onto the backing boards in the hole, wiping away any excess filler. Leave to dry for an hour. 

Now coat the drywall repair with filler and add tape to the repair, spreading the filler out around the repair. Scrap away any excess filler and allow to dry for an hour.

Once the filler is dried, sand the area with 120-grit sand paper, wipe away dust and paint the repair with a light coat of paint. 

For big hole repairs you are best off painting the whole wall to finish off the repair without a patchy finish.

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