How to Repair Drywall: a Step-by-Step Guide

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    Repairing drywall is an important first step when doing home renovations; cracks and holes can easily ruin the aesthetics of your drywall. In this article, we will offer you a step-by-step guide on how to fix your drywall imperfections. This project can be easily accomplished by most, but if in doubt, it is always a good idea to consult with a drywall repair company.

    First: Assess the Damage

    Before you embark on your drywall patch journey it is important to first assess the damage to clearly understand how big the project will be. How to fix drywall will vary depending on the size; for example, for small nail holes or dents, the tools you’ll need are not the same as when patching up a larger hole.

    Another crucial factor in the assessment stage is to gauge the thickness of the drywall, this is especially important when repairing drywall with greater damage and large holes. For bigger projects, the best way is to cut a piece of the drywall off to be able to measure its thickness accurately.

    Tools and Materials Needed for Patching Drywall

    how to fix drywall

    Before patching drywall, it is important to acquire the right tools and materials.

    Tools needed:

    • Drywall sander
    • Drywall saw
    • Drill and bits
    • Screw gun
    • Drywall screws
    • Drywall knife
    • Stud finder
    • Measuring tape
    • Utility knife
    • Joint knife
    • Level
    • Square
    • Hammer
    • Paintbrush
    • Dust mask
    • Pencil

    Materials needed:

    • Drywall
    • Joint compound
    • Scrap wood
    • Self-adhesive mesh patch.

    Fixing Small Drywall Damage

    Any experienced interior painter will tell you that the most common drywall patch requires repair of holes in the drywall caused by small holes that are used to hang paintings or paintings that should no longer be there.

    Repairing Drywall Dents and Tiny Holes

    • Using a joint knife, fill the dents and holes with joint compound (although spackle can also be used because it is thicker).
    • Make sure that all holes and dents are levels with the rest of the drywall.
    • Let the compound dry for 30 minutes or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Sandpaper the newly covered area to make sure it is smooth and clean.

    Repairing Drywall Cracks

    • With a utility knife make the cracks wider.
    • Brush away any debris or dust.
    • If cracks are already wide, then you can use drywall tape before applying the joint compound.
    • Fill the cracks with the joint compound or spackle using a joint knife.
    • Gently apply a thin layer around the widened cracks.
    • Allow the compound to dry for 30 minutes or as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Using sandpaper, smooth out the entire area.
    • Using a brush, it is important to clean the entire area of debris or dust.
    • You can add an additional layer of joint compound if necessary.
    • Paint the new drywall patch with paint matching the rest of the wall.

    Patching Popped Nail Heads

    • When a nail has come lose you can use a drywall screw to reattach it to the wall.
    • Place the drywall screw into the wall at 1 inch above the popped nail.
    • Screw in the drywall screw just under the surface of the drywall.
    • Hammer the nail back into the drywall gently.
    • Cover the screw and nail head with the joint compound.
    • Allow the compound to dry for 30 minutes.
    • Make sure the area is smooth and clean.
    • Touch up the wall with matching paint.

    Fixing Small Holes in Drywalls

    A typical small hole is anything between the size of a nail hole to a hole that is 4 inches in diameter. So here is how to repair drywall in this situation:

    • It is important to cover the hole with a self-adhesive mesh patch to ensure the best results.
    • Using a joint knife, cover the hole with a joint compound or spackle. It is critical to use a good amount of the compound to make sure the edges of the holes blend with the rest of the drywall.
    • Once evenly spread with a joint knife or putty knife, it is important to let the joint compound fully dry. Because these holes are larger than just a dent, it is recommended to let it dry overnight or even for 24 hours to ensure that it is fully dry.
    • For these size holes, it is generally recommended to add an additional coat of joint compound and again let it dry for another 24 hours or so.
    • When it is fully dry, the area should be sandpapered until it is smooth.
    • Depending on when you last painted and how many holes you needed to cover, it is recommended to repaint the entire wall.
    how to patch a large hole in drywall

    Fixing Large Holes in Drywalls

    patching drywall

    When it comes to holes that are larger than 4-inches in diameter, it is best to cut out the damaged area and replace it with a piece of cut-out sheetrock. This type of drywall is common in construction because it is safe to use. Sheetrock repair is an important part of your home improvement project.

    Step 1: Cut Out the Damaged Area

    • With a square and a pencil, outline the damaged area, 1 or 2-inches above the damaged drywall.
    • With a stud finder, find and mark the holes on each side of the damaged drywall.
    • Cut along the lines that you marked using a drywall saw up until you reach the wall studs.
    • When reaching the wall studs mark ¾ of an inch away from the center of the stud and mark those lines using a utility knife.
    • Make as many passes as necessary using a utility knife to ensure precision cutting as you cut deeper into drywall.
    • Lastly, carefully remove the damaged piece of drywall as you have cut it out without damaging the surrounding wall.

    The Perfect Finish Starts With You

    Breathe new life into your space. Entrust Oahu Pro Painters with your property and expect results of the highest quality.


    When it comes to drywall repairs, it is important to act right away as soon as holes or cracks appear. If the repairs are not done immediately when the damage could grow and spread and become costly. Don’t let the walls crumble around you, please contact us now and Oahu Pro Painters will guide you with our expertise to ensure you have sturdy and solid walls.


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