August 15, 2022

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

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

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 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.

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.

Step 2: Install the Support

Installing support is a crucial step in drywall hole repair.

  • Using the scrap wood, cut it 3 inches longer than the hole that you have cut out before.
  • Screw the support behind the drywall using drywall screws, the piece of wood must be screwed in vertically.

Step 3: Cut the Drywall Patch

  • Use the cut-out piece of drywall to measure the new piece to be put in place.
  • Using a carpenter’s square and a utility knife cut the new piece of drywall to size.
  • Make sure before proceeding that the new piece of drywall fits perfectly without having to be forced in.

Step 4: Install the Drywall Patch

repairing drywall

Precision is key at this stage in how to patch drywall.

  • Place the drywall screws an inch or 2 away from the edges to ensure that no greater damage will happen to the drywall.
  • Using a drill, fasten the drywall wall studs to the support just below the surface.

Step 5: Tape and Seal the Drywall Patch Securely in Place

  • Tape the edges of the new piece of drywall using self-adhesive mesh tape.
  • Make sure all edges are taped up so that the drywall patch will be smooth.
  • Use spackle or joint knife to spread the drywall joint compound on the cracks to flatten the surface with the rest of the drywall.
  • Let the joint compound rest for 24 hours or as per the manufacturer’s instructions until fully dry.

Step 6: Sand the Dry Compound and Paint

  • Once the compound is dry then you can sand the area until smooth.
  • A second and potential third coat of compound is recommended for best results.
  • Wipe the area dry and make sure it is free of debris.
  • Paint the entire wall.

Repairing Cracked Corners Sheetrock

As homes get older, sheetrock repairs will need to be done. It is important to follow the steps to ensure the repair is done correctly.

  • Cut through the tape carefully: Cut through the crack of the sheetrock and make sure to cut through all the tape and loose debris and compound around it.
  • Apply a generous layer of joint compound: Using a joint knife spread a layer of joint compound over the entire area and let it dry for 24 hours or per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Apply an additional second and third coats: It is important to let the compound dry between coats.
  • Sand area: Sand area until smooth to ensure sheetrock repair.

Dos and Don’ts of Repairing Drywall

drywall hole repair

Unfortunately, like most things, drywall is not indestructible. Drywall repairs are easy to do, however, it does take the right equipment, patience, and know-how to ensure the most durable and professional results.

Things to Do While Repairing Drywall

  • Depending on what type of drywall repair, it is important to choose the right type and amount of joint compound that will best suit your repairs.
  • The area must be as clean of debris as possible when making drywall repairs.
  • Safety plays a key role when repairing drywall and a dust mask is essential.
  • Use the right amount of joint compound. Less is more and if too much joint compound is used it will be harder to sand until smooth.
  • A successful drywall repair project must locate the wall studs before you begin your project.
  • Drywall cracks appear often in corners, it is impossible to fix the drywall corner using drywall corner joints.
  • When holes are big it is important to not forget the support for a successful drywall patch.

Things Not to Do While Repairing Drywall

  • When patching drywall holes do not cut hidden electrical wires or cables or plumbing assuming that they are not being used, this could be dangerous and costly.
  • Don’t waste time patching drywall and use pre-made kits that best suit your drywall repair project.
  • Never ignore popped nail heads, this will lead to visible bulges.
  • Don’t try to save on money when it comes to sanding paper, smooth surfaces are crucial when it comes to drywall repairs.
  • Don’t underestimate the cost of a professional drywall repair company, however, if projects are overwhelming or very large it may be better to consider hiring a professional.


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.

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.
how to patch a large hole in drywall

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.

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Sign Up For A Free Estimate Online Today, Or Call Us At 808-468-5604

Sign Up For A Free Estimate Online Today, Or Call Us At 808-468-5604

Sign Up For A Free Estimate Online Today, Or Call Us At 808-468-5604

Sign Up For A Free Estimate Online Today, Or Call Us At 808-468-5604

Sign Up For A Free Estimate Online Today, Or Call Us At 808-468-5604

Sign Up For A Free Estimate Online Today, Or Call Us At 808-468-5604

How to Repair Drywall: a Step-by-Step Guide
Written By:
Karl Van Zadnt

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