The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



How to Patch Up a Hole in Your Drywall

 July 5, 2021 |  Home Maintenance, DIY |  walls, painting, kids

Holes and dents in your drywall can be one of the more aggravating things you have to deal with as a homeowner. Maybe you accidentally slammed a piece of furniture into the wall, a door handle left a puncture mark, or your kids got too rowdy playing ball in the house. Whatever the reason, you might be wondering about the best way to patch things up.

Before You Begin
There are a couple of things you need to do before you start cutting into your wall. First, check that the area is free from pipes or wiring. You don’t want to turn a small, fixable problem into a larger and more costly one. Also if you realize that it's a bigger project than what you feel comfortable with, it’s best to call for backup. If you decide to tackle things yourself, you’ll need some tools: 

  • Drill 
  • Drywall saw 
  • Utility knife/drywall knife 
  • Tape measure 
  • Drywall and masking tape 
  • Drywall screws 
  • Stud finder 
  • Pencil 

As you gather everything you need, get a pair of safety goggles and a dust mask to keep bits of paint and drywall out of your eyes and respiratory system.

Square Off the Hole
Holes that are larger than four inches in diameter have to be squared off and covered with new drywall. Using a ruler or carpenter square, mark off an area one inch away from the hole on all sides. The stud finder will give you a better idea of what’s near the hole, as most wires and pipes tend to be close to studs. The sides of the patch should be over the stud to provide support. Then, cut out the hole with the saw and remove the damaged drywall.

Navigating Studs
Studs can be a little tricky to work with. If you’re not careful with your sawing, you can damage them. While you want to attach your patch to studs to make it sturdy, move in about ¾ of an inch on a stud so you don’t cut too far. You could run into the problem of having a hole not near any studs. In this case, you’ll have to make a “furring strip” on each side of the hole that you can screw the patch to. The strips are pieces of wood that act as makeshift studs to reinforce the patch.

Screw in the Patch
Once you’ve installed the furring strips, it’s time to place the new piece of drywall. The patch should be big enough to fill the hole, but not so large that you have to force it in. When attaching the drywall, place the screws about an inch from the edge so you don’t crack the drywall. Sink the screws just below the surface so they’re flush.

Seal the Edges
Using your drywall tape, place strips along each side of the patch. The tape should be centered between the new and old sections of drywall to properly stick. This will help keep the drywall in place and prevent it from accidentally splitting.

Cover It Up
Now, use the drywall knife to apply the joint compound. You should spread the compound evenly over the patch and existing wall. Feather the edges to blend with the wall and avoid creating the tell-tale sign repair work was done. Once the compound has completely dried, sand it smooth and go over it with a fresh coat of paint. Ta-da! Your drywall disappearing act is now complete!


Call NPI today to schedule your home inspection.
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