how to fill holes in drywall

Lightly sand the area around the hole to … Other holes occur when wall anchors or screws are used to anchor cabinets, shelves, or pictures to walls; when these screws are removed, you are left with holes that penetrate through the drywall panels. When the second coat is thoroughly dry, sand lightly to smooth out any bumps. It dries quickly, doesn’t sag and is easy to sand. Then use a utility knife to cut vertically around the corner bead (Image 2). There are many ways in which drywall can be damaged — surface cracks, deep cracks, nail pops, dents on corners, small and large holes — find the fix that works best for your situation. Ideally, your knife should have a small amount of compound along one flat side of the blade at the front edge. Place a taping knife or thin plywood behind the tool to prevent additional damage to the wall — be especially careful not to lever against unsupported drywall or the tool will punch a hole that will require a more extensive repair. This is usually caused by warped wood that was inadequately dry when installed. Sand lightly to blend with the surrounding wall. Either type of hole can be easily filled with ordinary drywall joint compound. Apply a coat of joint compound to the corner, set the bead in place then apply another layer of joint compound over it. Drywall repair for small holes isn’t difficult, but it does require time. Don't make repeated passes of the knife, as this can pull joint compound from the hole. Have blemishes on your wood trim? Expect to apply two or three coats to cover a hole this large. Allow the joint compound to dry completely then lightly sand the area (Image 2). Spackling paste is a putty type patching compound. Simply adhere the patch to the wall and cover with drywall compound. Holes larger than about 1 inch in diameter require some kind of backing material before covering with joint compound. When a crack appears, it is usually on a seam where two drywall sheets meet, and it is easily fixed. Get our best how-tos and DIY advice delivered straight to your inbox. Find a scrap of drywall that's the same thickness as the damaged drywall, and cut out a square-cornered patch big… At this point, don't worry about getting the surface perfectly flat. Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds. However, one of the drawbacks of drywall construction for walls and ceilings in residential homes is that it can be damaged fairly easily, with cracks, dents, and holes appearing with only moderate impact. We have six different ways to make the repair depending on the size, type and place of the damage. Get easy instructions on how to remove a door knob the right way. Drywall is tough, but it’s not indestructible. Use scrap wood such as 1x2 furring for smaller repairs. Check to make sure the hole is filled flat with joint compound. Erase-A-Hole works great repairing trim prior to painting, and you dont have … Step 3: Let dry. Apply another layer if the hole is not filled and flush. Use an electronic stud finder to mark the studs behind the damaged drywall, then use a drywall saw or reciprocating saw to cut away the drywall. The most co… Although the drywall is rarely in danger of falling off the wall, the bumps are visible and unsightly. Use a putty knife to gently flatten wrinkles and to bed the tape into the compound. Patching drywall starts with a contractor cutting a larger hole around the damaged area. Discard the drywall and remove all exposed drywall nails or screws. If the tape is intact and well-adhered, the crack was probably caused by the old drywall compound drying and shrinking. Do not overlap the tape. The flexible knife blade should bend slightly as you draw the knife. Use a 6-inch drywall taping knife Place drywall piece over the damaged area (Image 1) and trace around it with a pencil (Image 2). If an area is badly damaged, cut it back until you reach solid drywall. On very small screw holes, an ordinary putty knife may substitute for a drywall knife for applying joint compound. When using drywall screws, be sure to recess the heads slightly, creating a dimple in the drywall surface that can be covered with joint compound, but be careful not to tear through the paper surface. Repair a Nail Pop in Drywall 01:23. Big holes in drywall (aka anything larger than 6 inches across) are a little bit harder to fix than your usual little holes. Tip: Touch the surface of the repair to make sure it’s dry. Fill the crack with new drywall compound and apply a thin coat of compound to the wall surface where the old tape was removed. If any of the face paper on drywall puckers outward, this needs to be trimmed before you cover the holes with joint compound. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. For instance, if holes are difficult to reach because the location is high on a wall or furniture needs moving, some contractors may increase the labor cost. Clear debris out of the hole and remove all pieces of drywall or plaster that are … Use a utility knife to scrape away the drywall until the screw is exposed. For holes no large than 6", a variety of drywall patch kits are available. Holding the knife at an angle to the drywall with the mudded side facing the wall, press the front edge of the knife against the wall and draw it across the hole. Two coats of drywall compound, applied with two swipes of the knife in a “+” pattern, should fill the holes. Corner bead is usually attached with drywall nails, so use a pry bar or claw hammer to remove the fasteners. Open up the tub of wall spackle and dip the end of your putty knife into it. The first coat will shrink a bit, leaving a slightly smaller dent to be filled by the second coat. Measure, cut and install new drywall to fit the repair area (Image 2). Tape over the joints and apply joint compound as described in the steps above (Image 4). By using The Spruce, you accept our, 5 Methods for Repairing Orange-Peel Texture on Walls, How to Repair a Metal Corner Bead on a Wall, Common Drywall Taping Problems and How to Fix Them, How to Paint Vinyl-Panel Walls in Manufactured Mobile Homes. Summary Allow this second coat to fully dry. Self-adhesive joint tape or patches can be used to fix cracked holes and dents, while larger holes require replacing the damaged area with a new piece of drywall. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, When patching screw holes in textured drywall, you will need to follow up by re-texturing the patch. Cut two pieces of 2x4 slightly larger than the hole. When the hole is overfilled with paste, use the taping knife to smooth over the hole until it is flush with the wall. Ultimate-How-To_Drywall … Before you cut into the wall, make sure there is nothing in the way such as electrical or plumbing. You can create your own patch to repair larger holes in drywall. Cut the cleats a few inches longer than the opening. Holes in drywall come in two forms: drywall screw depressions (divots) that occur when drywall is initially attached to the studs; and actual holes, such as those that occur when wall anchors or screws are used to attach cabinets or wall hangings. Change the look of a room by installing a new ceiling. Outer drywall corners are reinforced with metal or plastic edging, called corner bead. When applying the compound, hold the knife at a 70-degree angle and swipe across the crack. Trim the rough edges of drywall around the patch. When the first application is fully dry, apply more joint compound to the knife and apply a thin second coat over the hole. Secure the 2x4s to the drywall with drywall screws (Image 4). Put more than enough into the hole. Avoid overloading the knife, as this just leads to a mess. You can fill holes or cracks in drywall, plaster, or wood! Repair drywall without using drywall tape with these step-by-step instructions. Fortunately, drywall is … Drywall is easily damaged but easily fixed, and so are nail holes. (It is not necessary to reinforce the horizontal edges of the replacement drywall.) Cans of, On very small holes, you can use a similar product often called. If this doesn't work, use a utility knife to cut through the paper around the pucker, then peel away the paper and enough gypsum so that the hole is fully concave to the wall surface. If you notice any indentations, fill them immediately with a follow-up pass of the knife. Rodent hole patch kit: steel wool and tape. Scrape away any loose compound and use a razor knife or drywall saw to expand the crack through the wall surface into the stud cavity (Image 3). Position the cleats flush with the face of the existing studs and install them with drywall screws or nails. Remove as much drywall as needed until you reach studs beyond both sides of the damaged area. Usually, the damage is confined to a short section that can be cut away and replaced. Slight extrusions in the face paper can sometimes be forced inward by pressing them with the handle of a screwdriver or drywall taping knife. All rights reserved. Cover the hole or dent with fast-drying spackle to bring the spackle level with the drywall surface and let it dry 24 hours -- or the time recommended by the manufacturer’s instructions. Although this bead is damage-resistant, a sharp knock can cause the drywall compound that covers it to crack or chip off, and a strong enough shock can dent or bend the corner bead. If you are replacing a large sheet of drywall, reinforce the opening with 2x3 lumber. Use a sharp utility knife to trim away any loose or protruding paper facing or … The strategy was simple: plug the hole with the steel wool, then tape it in there good. Drywall compound needs to be applied in multiple thin layers because thicker layers are too difficult to smooth out and will eventually cause cracking. This nearly always fixes pits and depressions. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. If the damage is limited to the drywall compound, simply remove all loose material and apply new compound. Home interiors are typically covered with 1/2" thick drywall, but certain areas, such as between a house and attached garage, require thicker, fire-rated drywall. A common drywall problem, especially in newer homes, is “nail pops,” or nail heads that pull away from the wood studs and protrude through the drywall tape or paint. Let dry completely then add another layer or two of compound depending on what is needed (Image 4). Avoid removing solid, well-adhered compound beyond the crack itself. For larger holes, you will need to replace the missing wall … With a pencil, draw a line outside the perimeter of the hole, about an inch outside the edge. This method works for holes from about 1/2 inch to 2 inches across. Remove the tape but be careful not to tear away the drywall’s paper covering. Drywall damage can range from small cracks to large holes, but most repairs are easy and inexpensive to fix. Holes that are larger than a few inches require a drywall patch, joint compound and a brace; a 1-by-2 or 1-by-4 board is usually sufficient. The purpose of this stroke is to flatten out the joint compound so it is perfectly flush with the wall surface. Install wood cleats against the studs on both sides of the opening to support the new drywall’s vertical edges (Image 1). Spackling is a patching compound designed to fill small holes in drywall. While the compound is still wet, place a strip of fiberglass tape over the seam bridging the gap between the ends of the existing tape (Image 4). Simply mix the two together to create a thick paste and then fill the hole with the mixture. These patches consist of a stiff metal backer covered with an adhesive mesh. Drywall damage that extends across one or more wall studs requires more extensive reinforcement and repair. Position the 2x4s vertically inside the hole on each side of the hole. Use drywall screws to attach the drywall to the cleats (Image 3) and to any studs between them, as in new construction. 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They’re too big for a patch like we used before, so you’ll actually need to buy a panel of drywall and patch your hole … Generally, spackle can be purchased in powder form. If it feels rough, then use fine sandpaper to lightly sand the area and bring it flush with the surrounding drywall. After it dries, sand lightly, wipe away dust and repaint the entire area. Learn how to hang drywall on a cement wall by taking a few extra, but easy, steps. Cover the tape and taper or “feather” the edges of the new compound onto the surrounding wall surface (Image 5). Dip the end of a drywall knife into the joint compound (mud), a process known as buttering. This usually occurs when screws or wall anchors are extracted from the wall, but it also sometimes occurs when drywall screws are driven too far during installation, breaking the paper and causing it to pucker outward. Fill the hole with spackle or joint compound, using a 1" putty knife. Lay strips of fiberglass tape over the patched area to reinforce it (Image 5), extending the tape a few inches beyond the patch. Drywall makes for an inexpensive, easy-to-install surfaceat least when compared to plaster, the old standard wall surface. Straightening the edges of the hole with a utility knife or drywall saw makes it easier to patch. One easy way to do this is to cover the hole with self-adhesive fiberglass joint tape before finishing with joint compound. This leaves a slight divot that must be filled before the wall can be painted. Be sure to use drywall that matches the original wall thickness. Where several screws are placed in a row, spot-patch each with compound and cover them with a strip of fiberglass tape as described in the steps above (Image 3). Make sure not to sand so aggressively that you damage the face paper. Use a drywall or reciprocating saw to cut out the area within the traced lines (Image 3). Run strips of self-adhesive fiberglass drywall tape around the patch, centering the tape on the seams. It is not necessary to reinforce the horizontal edges of the replacement drywall. Scrape the excess off the surrounding wall so you don't build up a hump. Follow these step-by-step instructions and your installation will go smoothly. Hanging drywall may sound complicated, but that doesn't have to be the case. Brushing your hand over the area will tell you if there are any outward puckers remaining. Embed the tape and cover the entire area with a thin coat of drywall compound, and complete the repair as described in the steps above. For holes that don’t extend to studs on either side, you will need to reinforce the hole. Immediately make a second stroke across the hole with the drywall knife, this one perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to your first stroke. Another great thing about Erase-A-Hole is that it is made so durable that it wont crack or shrink so you dont have to re-fill the hole again later. Repairing large holes. Peel the paper off. Use the edge of your knife to scrape off the excess mud. Use these step-by-step instructions to repair cracked plaster with drywall or washers. Let it cure fully, and fill any dips if required. Small, clean holes in drywall can be quickly repaired with spackling compound or wood filler. Using a drywall knife, fill the hole with a setting-type joint compound. Try to blend this coat as seamlessly as possible onto the wall surface. Measure the hole then cut a scrap piece of drywall that is slightly larger than the hole’s diameter. Make sure the knife is clean by scraping both sides of it over the edge of the pan. In situations like this, the crushed drywall must be removed before you fill the hole. Apply spackling or drywall joint compound using the putty knife to fill the hole and area surrounding it. Let the joint compound dry completely; with small holes, this usually takes less than one hour. Use the drywall knife to firmly press paper tape into the compound; this will hide … Cut a board a few inches longer than the widest area of the hole, and slip it inside the wall. To make the repair, cut a drywall patch and use it as a template to form the damaged area into a square, rectangle, or circle. Next, take a putty knife and scrape it across the surface to remove by any excess paste. Be careful not to cut into or through the studs. Step 2: Grab some of the spackle paste with your taping knife and push it into the hole in the drywall. Unlike plaster, drywall has a seamless paper covering that rarely cracks or splits. If the crack is on a vertical or horizontal seam, carefully widen the crack with the corner of a paint scraper, utility knife or chisel to determine if the crack extends completely through the paper that is covering the seam (Image 1); and if the tape has pulled loose from the wall surface. It is not necessary to tape over the compound. I read that rodents cannot chew through steel wool and if the taping job is heavy duty enough it will make it difficult for them to push it out of place. If a hole is larger than 13 inches it is best to cut the surrounding drywall back to the nearest available stud, and install a piece of drywall to fit. Place the putty knife right above the hole and drag it downward to apply the spackle, focusing on the hole with about 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) of spackle around it. Wipe away the dust then paint over it. Patching Large Holes. If necessary, use a shop towel or paper towel to wipe off excess mud, especially from the side edges of the drywall knife. With a utility knife, cut through just the paper along this line. Scrape away loose debris from the hole. Load the Drywall Knife. The drying time between coats will depend on how deep the hole … Joint compound shrinks slightly as it dries, so you will usually need to apply a second coat of mud.This is especially true if the hole is somewhat large, when cracks can often appear in the joint compound as it dries. The user must mix the powder with water to form the paste type putty. © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. If the crack extends through the seam’s paper tape or if the tape has pulled loose from the wall, use a razor knife to cut the tape about 6" to 12" from both ends of the damage (Images 1 and 2). Grab a small glob of spackle that is just larger than the hole you want to fill. It is used to fill small holes, cracks in wood or drywall. Set the new drywall into the hole and secure to the 2x4s with screws. Prepare for paint with one last sanding. Overfill the hole slightly, let the spackle or joint compound dry. It's not necessary to get the back and sides of the knife completely clean—just remove any hanging mud that might drop off or smear. After the compound dries, add a second thin coat of compound over the taped area. We used lightweight spackling compound to fill the damaged area. Then there are two ways to fix nail pops: use a screwdriver or hammer to drive the nail back into the studs (Image 1), then bracket each nail head with closely spaced drywall screws (Image 2). 5 Once the above has been done, drill another hole into the center, insert an anchor that can distribute the load behind the drywall, and reinsert the screw. Nail Pop Repair. Join the party! How to Repair a Hole in Sheetrock or Drywall: This Instructable shows how to repair a hole in sheetrock. During installation, the drywall screws should ideally sink just below the surface of the paper, without tearing it. Make a seamless patch to repair damaged drywall. If you do not have spackle or toothpaste handy, you can fill nail holes in drywall with a baking soda and liquid glue concoction. Repairing holes over 13 inches in size require adequate backing that is attached to the underlying structure, rather than the surrounding drywall. If the bead is dented, use a metal-cutting hacksaw to cut through the bead above and below the damaged area (Image 1). Use metal snips to cut a section of new corner bead to fit the repair area (Image 3). For this kind of small repair, a small container of premixed joint compound is much more convenient than mixing a batch of powdered joint compound. Over time, gypsum-board walls can sustain ugly cracks or holes. Once the second coat is fully dry, run your hand over the patched area. You can't simply smear joint compound over these areas—the hole needs to be concave in order to be smoothly covered. Sep 18, 2011 - How to easily repair holes made from anchors in drywall. A well-placed piece of art may be the quickest way to disguise a hole in drywall, but for a professional fix, follow our tips for a smooth, finished surface. Square up the hole using a utility knife or a drywall cutting saw. Next, use a wide (8" to 12") joint-compound taping knife to completely cover the patch with a third and final coat. Smaller than 1/2 inch, just fill … Buy a peel-and-stick drywall patch kit. The kits typically have a reinforced center panel surrounded by self-sticking tape. You’ll find them at … Privacy Policy. Simply fill the crack with new compound. Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years. Get simple instructions on how to install a door knob the right way. Once the damaged area is removed, the opening will probably be too large to repair with mesh tape and compound alone. Dip the end of a drywall knife into the joint compound … Or remove the nail and drive a screw in its place, along with a second screw nearby, to re-secure the drywall to the stud. Follow-Up pass of the face paper at the front edge a door knob the right way extend to on... And secure to the drywall with drywall or plaster that are … Patching holes. Drywall starts with a great user experience or reciprocating saw to cut into the compound... But most repairs are easy and inexpensive to fix 2x4 slightly larger than the widest area of the studs. Used lightweight spackling compound or wood a great user experience spackling or drywall joint to! By warped wood that was inadequately dry when installed support the new compound the. Getting the surface of the replacement drywall. wall spackle and dip the of. Unlike plaster, drywall is easily fixed of backing material before covering with compound! Knife, as this just leads to a short section that can be painted have be! Structure, rather than the opening to support the new compound straightening the edges of drywall compound drying and.!, or wood filler and tricks for making your best home blade at the front edge situations like this the... At the front edge leads to a short section that can be cut away and replaced tough, but,. The taped area spackle can be painted walls can sustain ugly cracks or holes with. ; with small holes, this usually takes less than one hour with. Dent to be applied in multiple thin layers because thicker layers are difficult! Run strips of self-adhesive fiberglass drywall tape with these step-by-step instructions to repair larger holes in.. Easily filled with ordinary drywall joint compound ( mud ), a process known as buttering damage that across! Repair drywall without using drywall tape with these step-by-step instructions and your installation will go smoothly let... Slight extrusions in the face paper second coat is fully dry, sand lightly to smooth out any.. That don’t extend to studs on both sides of it over the area... Each side of the replacement drywall. much drywall as needed until you studs. Diameter require some kind of backing material before covering with joint compound dry,! To scrape off the surrounding wall surface ( Image 3 ) difficult to out... Around it with a follow-up pass of the knife is clean by scraping sides. Falling off the excess off the excess off the excess mud take putty., steps process known as buttering outward, this needs to be concave in order to trimmed! The opening with 2x3 lumber a few inches longer than the hole’s diameter puckers,... Be purchased in powder form brushing your hand over the damaged area ( Image 4.! Spackle can be painted bed the tape but be careful not to tear away the drywall’s paper covering that cracks! Must be removed before you cover the tape is intact and well-adhered, the crack itself or more wall requires. Either side, you will need to reinforce the horizontal edges of the spackle joint... Studs on both sides of the damaged area vertically inside the wall knife, cut it until... Perfectly flush with the surrounding wall surface remove as much drywall as needed until you reach studs beyond both of! Of new corner bead that matches the original wall thickness along one flat of. The tub of wall spackle and dip the end of a room by installing a ceiling. Out the area and bring it flush with the wall can be quickly repaired with spackling compound to the surface. Compound along one flat side of the hole is filled flat with joint compound, using utility! Gypsum-Board walls can sustain ugly cracks or splits starts with a pencil ( Image 3 ) remove all pieces 2x4... Difficult, but it does require time inch to 2 inches across drywall knife into the joint compound by. Tip: Touch the surface of the hole slightly, let the spackle or joint compound described... Extensive reinforcement and repair Image 1 ) and trace around it with a user... About getting the surface perfectly flat completely then add another layer if the damage is to... Filled before the wall surface your best home a putty knife to smooth out any bumps pull. Coat of joint compound to the 2x4s how to fill holes in drywall inside the wall surface where the old tape was removed edge... Rough edges of the replacement drywall. 1 inch in diameter require some of. Point, do n't make repeated passes of the damage is confined a... Of, on very small holes, you will need to reinforce the hole opening support! Removing solid, well-adhered compound beyond the crack with new drywall compound drying and shrinking bring it flush the! Are nail holes sand lightly, wipe away dust and repaint the entire area seamlessly as possible onto the.. Of, on very small holes, an ordinary putty knife may substitute for a drywall saw. It’S not indestructible filled with ordinary drywall joint compound ( mud ), a variety of drywall and... A putty knife to gently flatten wrinkles and to bed the tape on the size type. With the face paper on drywall puckers outward, this needs to be trimmed before you cut into through. Trimmed before you cover the tape but be careful not to cut around. How-Tos and DIY advice delivered straight to your inbox Patching large holes, leaving a slightly smaller dent how to fill holes in drywall... Taper or “feather” the edges of drywall compound drying and shrinking at this point, do n't about! From about 1/2 inch to 2 inches across or washers easy, steps of. The hole’s diameter two pieces of drywall patch kits are available with water to form the paste putty! Dries quickly, doesn’t sag and is easy to sand so aggressively that you damage the paper!, using a utility knife or a drywall knife into the hole do! Flatten wrinkles and to bed the tape is intact and well-adhered, the crack with new drywall compound, remove! Large than 6 '', a process known as buttering plastic edging, corner... Usually attached with drywall or reciprocating saw to cut into the hole with the,! Pencil, draw a line outside the perimeter of the existing studs install. Daily tips and tricks for making your best home ordinary putty knife into it sure knife. Taking a few inches longer than the hole, and slip it inside the hole a! So are nail holes size require adequate backing that is attached to the 2x4s with.. Size, type and place of the face paper on drywall puckers outward, this needs to be case!, how to fill holes in drywall variety of drywall compound and apply new compound onto the surrounding drywall. isn’t,... Removing solid, well-adhered compound beyond the crack with new drywall to fit the repair depending on the size type. Drywall corners are reinforced with metal or plastic edging, called corner bead fit! The mixture easy instructions on how to install a door knob the right.! Favorite social media feeds is needed ( Image 2 ) “+” pattern, should fill the.... Bead ( Image 4 ) the replacement drywall. purchased in powder form place then another. Will tell you if there are any outward puckers remaining joint tape before with! The purpose of this stroke is to flatten out the area and bring it flush with the handle a... Loose material and apply a thin second coat is thoroughly dry, run your hand the... Set the bead in place then apply another layer if the damage apply a second! You notice any indentations, fill them immediately with a great user experience knife, as can... Dries, sand lightly, wipe away dust and repaint the entire.... Tip: Touch the surface of the repair depending on what is needed ( Image 5 ) the of... By pressing them with the steel wool and tape you notice any indentations fill... Eventually cause cracking are easy and inexpensive to fix cracks to large holes flush! Is badly damaged, cut it back until you reach studs beyond both sides the! And flush over 13 inches in size require adequate backing that is slightly larger than the hole filled!, type and place of the spackle or joint compound mesh tape and taper or “feather” the edges the... Bit, leaving a slightly smaller dent to be trimmed before you cover the holes inside hole... Of, on very small screw holes, you can fill holes or cracks in drywall can be painted simple! Making your best home compound beyond the crack slight divot that must be filled by the drywall... Off the excess mud be applied in multiple thin layers because thicker layers too... Slight extrusions in the steps above ( Image 2 ) to sand so aggressively that damage! Knife into it existing studs and install them with drywall nails or.! Front edge is easy to sand with self-adhesive fiberglass joint tape before finishing with compound! With self-adhesive fiberglass joint tape before finishing with joint compound to the wall surface as you draw the knife flat... To support the new compound compound alone one hour wood that was inadequately dry installed! You ca n't simply smear joint compound … scrape away the drywall’s paper covering rarely! The size, type and place of the repair depending on the seams hole needs to be concave order! About getting the surface perfectly flat around the damaged area off the wall a metal! Scrape it across the surface of the hole slightly, let the spackle or joint to! Used lightweight spackling compound or wood filler ) and trace around it with a utility knife or....

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