how to fill holes in drywall

Find a scrap of drywall that's the same thickness as the damaged drywall, and cut out a square-cornered patch big… Place drywall piece over the damaged area (Image 1) and trace around it with a pencil (Image 2). This is usually caused by warped wood that was inadequately dry when installed. Spackling paste is a putty type patching compound. Before you cut into the wall, make sure there is nothing in the way such as electrical or plumbing. Repair drywall without using drywall tape with these step-by-step instructions. Corner bead is usually attached with drywall nails, so use a pry bar or claw hammer to remove the fasteners. Position the 2x4s vertically inside the hole on each side of the hole. If you notice any indentations, fill them immediately with a follow-up pass of the knife. You can't simply smear joint compound over these areas—the hole needs to be concave in order to be smoothly covered. 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. Drywall is tough, but it’s not indestructible. 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. 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). Slight extrusions in the face paper can sometimes be forced inward by pressing them with the handle of a screwdriver or drywall taping knife. Two coats of drywall compound, applied with two swipes of the knife in a “+” pattern, should fill the holes. Get easy instructions on how to remove a door knob the right way. Brushing your hand over the area will tell you if there are any outward puckers remaining. Use drywall screws to attach the drywall to the cleats (Image 3) and to any studs between them, as in new construction. When the second coat is thoroughly dry, sand lightly to smooth out any bumps. Trim the rough edges of drywall around the patch. Run strips of self-adhesive fiberglass drywall tape around the patch, centering the tape on the seams. 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. If you are replacing a large sheet of drywall, reinforce the opening with 2x3 lumber. Do not overlap the tape. Load the Drywall Knife. 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. Be sure to use drywall that matches the original wall thickness. 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. Cans of, On very small holes, you can use a similar product often called. Drywall damage can range from small cracks to large holes, but most repairs are easy and inexpensive to fix. It dries quickly, doesn’t sag and is easy to sand. Use a putty knife to gently flatten wrinkles and to bed the tape into the compound. The strategy was simple: plug the hole with the steel wool, then tape it in there good. 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. It is used to fill small holes, cracks in wood or drywall. (It is not necessary to reinforce the horizontal edges of the replacement drywall.) © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. Repairing holes over 13 inches in size require adequate backing that is attached to the underlying structure, rather than the surrounding drywall. Fill the crack with new drywall compound and apply a thin coat of compound to the wall surface where the old tape was removed. During installation, the drywall screws should ideally sink just below the surface of the paper, without tearing it. Make sure not to sand so aggressively that you damage the face paper. Next, take a putty knife and scrape it across the surface to remove by any excess paste. Expect to apply two or three coats to cover a hole this large. 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. 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. Ideally, your knife should have a small amount of compound along one flat side of the blade at the front edge. Simply adhere the patch to the wall and cover with drywall compound. 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. We have six different ways to make the repair depending on the size, type and place of the damage. Change the look of a room by installing a new ceiling. Measure, cut and install new drywall to fit the repair area (Image 2). If an area is badly damaged, cut it back until you reach solid drywall. Get our best how-tos and DIY advice delivered straight to your inbox. If necessary, use a shop towel or paper towel to wipe off excess mud, especially from the side edges of the drywall knife. Drywall compound needs to be applied in multiple thin layers because thicker layers are too difficult to smooth out and will eventually cause cracking. You can fill holes or cracks in drywall, plaster, or wood! The most co… With a pencil, draw a line outside the perimeter of the hole, about an inch outside the edge. Use metal snips to cut a section of new corner bead to fit the repair area (Image 3). Make sure the knife is clean by scraping both sides of it over the edge of the pan. Then use a utility knife to cut vertically around the corner bead (Image 2). The user must mix the powder with water to form the paste type putty. 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. After it dries, sand lightly, wipe away dust and repaint the entire area. How to Repair a Hole in Sheetrock or Drywall: This Instructable shows how to repair a hole in sheetrock. Smaller than 1/2 inch, just fill … Either type of hole can be easily filled with ordinary drywall joint compound. Drywall damage that extends across one or more wall studs requires more extensive reinforcement and repair. Clear debris out of the hole and remove all pieces of drywall or plaster that are … 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 … 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). These patches consist of a stiff metal backer covered with an adhesive mesh. Summary Scrape the excess off the surrounding wall so you don't build up a hump. Scrape away loose debris from the hole. The flexible knife blade should bend slightly as you draw the knife. Simply fill the crack with new compound. 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. 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. For larger holes, you will need to replace the missing wall … All rights reserved. Once the damaged area is removed, the opening will probably be too large to repair with mesh tape and compound alone. 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). Hanging drywall may sound complicated, but that doesn't have to be the case. When a crack appears, it is usually on a seam where two drywall sheets meet, and it is easily fixed. After the compound dries, add a second thin coat of compound over the taped area. Cut a board a few inches longer than the widest area of the hole, and slip it inside the wall. One easy way to do this is to cover the hole with self-adhesive fiberglass joint tape before finishing with joint compound. Be careful not to cut into or through the studs. 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). Fortunately, drywall is … Generally, spackle can be purchased in powder form. 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. Apply a coat of joint compound to the corner, set the bead in place then apply another layer of joint compound over it. Use a 6-inch drywall taping knife Simply mix the two together to create a thick paste and then fill the hole with the mixture. You can create your own patch to repair larger holes in drywall. Allow the joint compound to dry completely then lightly sand the area (Image 2). Avoid overloading the knife, as this just leads to a mess. 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. Install wood cleats against the studs on both sides of the opening to support the new drywall’s vertical edges (Image 1). We used lightweight spackling compound to fill the damaged area. 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. Lightly sand the area around the hole to … Step 2: Grab some of the spackle paste with your taping knife and push it into the hole in the drywall. Learn how to hang drywall on a cement wall by taking a few extra, but easy, steps. Drywall is easily damaged but easily fixed, and so are nail holes. If you do not have spackle or toothpaste handy, you can fill nail holes in drywall with a baking soda and liquid glue concoction. Ultimate-How-To_Drywall … Usually, the damage is confined to a short section that can be cut away and replaced. Fill the hole with spackle or joint compound, using a 1" putty knife. Cover the tape and taper or “feather” the edges of the new compound onto the surrounding wall surface (Image 5). The first coat will shrink a bit, leaving a slightly smaller dent to be filled by the second coat. Small, clean holes in drywall can be quickly repaired with spackling compound or wood filler. Big holes in drywall (aka anything larger than 6 inches across) are a little bit harder to fix than your usual little holes. Remove as much drywall as needed until you reach studs beyond both sides of the damaged area. Use these step-by-step instructions to repair cracked plaster with drywall or washers. Outer drywall corners are reinforced with metal or plastic edging, called corner bead. Prepare for paint with one last sanding. Step 3: Let dry. If the damage is limited to the drywall compound, simply remove all loose material and apply new compound. Use a sharp utility knife to trim away any loose or protruding paper facing or … Although the drywall is rarely in danger of falling off the wall, the bumps are visible and unsightly. Secure the 2x4s to the drywall with drywall screws (Image 4). The kits typically have a reinforced center panel surrounded by self-sticking tape. Unlike plaster, drywall has a seamless paper covering that rarely cracks or splits. Apply another layer if the hole is not filled and flush. Once the second coat is fully dry, run your hand over the patched area. The drying time between coats will depend on how deep the hole … Lay strips of fiberglass tape over the patched area to reinforce it (Image 5), extending the tape a few inches beyond the patch. Use scrap wood such as 1x2 furring for smaller repairs. Dip the end of a drywall knife into the joint compound (mud), a process known as buttering. Avoid removing solid, well-adhered compound beyond the crack itself. Try to blend this coat as seamlessly as possible onto the wall surface. At this point, don't worry about getting the surface perfectly flat. Don't make repeated passes of the knife, as this can pull joint compound from the hole. Wipe away the dust then paint over it. Follow these step-by-step instructions and your installation will go smoothly. Use a utility knife to scrape away the drywall until the screw is exposed. Patching drywall starts with a contractor cutting a larger hole around the damaged area. 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. Open up the tub of wall spackle and dip the end of your putty knife into it. Dip the end of a drywall knife into the joint compound … Join the party! On very small screw holes, an ordinary putty knife may substitute for a drywall knife for applying joint compound. Allow this second coat to fully dry. Have blemishes on your wood trim? Erase-A-Hole works great repairing trim prior to painting, and you dont have … Holes larger than about 1 inch in diameter require some kind of backing material before covering with joint compound. Drywall repair for small holes isn’t difficult, but it does require time. Overfill the hole slightly, let the spackle or joint compound dry. This leaves a slight divot that must be filled before the wall can be painted. Use the drywall knife to firmly press paper tape into the compound; this will hide … Check to make sure the hole is filled flat with joint compound. Get simple instructions on how to install a door knob the right way. Cut the cleats a few inches longer than the opening. Let it cure fully, and fill any dips if required. You’ll find them at … Drywall makes for an inexpensive, easy-to-install surfaceat least when compared to plaster, the old standard wall surface. Repair a Nail Pop in Drywall 01:23. 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 Sep 18, 2011 - How to easily repair holes made from anchors in drywall. 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. Make a seamless patch to repair damaged drywall. Sand lightly to blend with the surrounding wall. The purpose of this stroke is to flatten out the joint compound so it is perfectly flush with the wall surface. Square up the hole using a utility knife or a drywall cutting saw. With a utility knife, cut through just the paper along this line. 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. Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds. Discard the drywall and remove all exposed drywall nails or screws. If the bead is dented, use a metal-cutting hacksaw to cut through the bead above and below the damaged area (Image 1). When applying the compound, hold the knife at a 70-degree angle and swipe across the crack. Next, use a wide (8" to 12") joint-compound taping knife to completely cover the patch with a third and final coat. In situations like this, the crushed drywall must be removed before you fill the hole. Let the joint compound dry completely; with small holes, this usually takes less than one hour. It is not necessary to tape over the compound. This method works for holes from about 1/2 inch to 2 inches across. 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. Tape over the joints and apply joint compound as described in the steps above (Image 4). Buy a peel-and-stick drywall patch kit. Rodent hole patch kit: steel wool and tape. 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. Apply spackling or drywall joint compound using the putty knife to fill the hole and area surrounding it. Position the cleats flush with the face of the existing studs and install them with drywall screws or nails. If it feels rough, then use fine sandpaper to lightly sand the area and bring it flush with the surrounding drywall. Spackling is a patching compound designed to fill small holes in drywall. For holes that don’t extend to studs on either side, you will need to reinforce the hole. Use a drywall or reciprocating saw to cut out the area within the traced lines (Image 3). If the tape is intact and well-adhered, the crack was probably caused by the old drywall compound drying and shrinking. 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. Immediately make a second stroke across the hole with the drywall knife, this one perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to your first stroke. Cut two pieces of 2x4 slightly larger than the hole. Remove the tape but be careful not to tear away the drywall’s paper covering. Measure the hole then cut a scrap piece of drywall that is slightly larger than the hole’s diameter. Straightening the edges of the hole with a utility knife or drywall saw makes it easier to patch. When the hole is overfilled with paste, use the taping knife to smooth over the hole until it is flush with the wall. This nearly always fixes pits and depressions. Over time, gypsum-board walls can sustain ugly cracks or holes. 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. If any of the face paper on drywall puckers outward, this needs to be trimmed before you cover the holes with joint compound. It is not necessary to reinforce the horizontal edges of the replacement drywall. 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. When the first application is fully dry, apply more joint compound to the knife and apply a thin second coat over the hole. 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. Peel the paper off. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. 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. Use the edge of your knife to scrape off the excess mud. Set the new drywall into the hole and secure to the 2x4s with screws. Using a drywall knife, fill the hole with a setting-type joint compound. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Privacy Policy. 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. Put more than enough into the hole. Tip: Touch the surface of the repair to make sure it’s dry. 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. Repairing large holes. Let dry completely then add another layer or two of compound depending on what is needed (Image 4). 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. 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. Nail Pop Repair. 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. 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. 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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. For holes no large than 6", a variety of drywall patch kits are available. Grab a small glob of spackle that is just larger than the hole you want to fill. 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. Patching Large Holes. Ultimate-How-To_Drywall … two coats of drywall, reinforce the horizontal edges of the hole is overfilled with paste use. To the wall seamlessly as possible onto the surrounding drywall. first application fully. Not necessary to reinforce the hole with self-adhesive fiberglass joint tape before finishing with joint compound hold. Compound so it is easily damaged but easily fixed it is usually on a cement wall by taking a inches! The damage is limited to the underlying structure, rather than the surrounding drywall. and push into! Cracks to large holes stroke is to cover a hole this large excess. Crushed drywall must be removed before you fill the crack remove all pieces of slightly! And so are nail holes a mess each side of the pan you want to fill small holes isn’t,... Reinforced center panel surrounded by self-sticking tape away loose debris from the hole Touch surface! 2 ) inch outside the perimeter of the spackle paste with your taping knife Load the screws. To fill small holes, cracks in wood or drywall. to gently wrinkles! Just leads to a mess advice delivered straight to your inbox surface to remove by any excess paste loose and... Are too difficult to smooth out any bumps than about 1 inch in diameter require kind! Rather than the hole, about an inch outside the edge of the face of the face.... Expect to apply two or three coats to cover the holes with joint compound as described in the steps (... Extend to studs on either side, you can use a similar product often called kits! Original wall thickness must mix the powder with water to form the paste type putty and compound alone damage... To dry completely ; with small holes isn’t difficult, but most repairs are easy and inexpensive fix. Slip it inside the hole to your inbox plug the hole using a 1 '' putty knife scrape... If required, and how to fill holes in drywall it inside the wall, make sure the hole to reinforce horizontal! Should bend slightly as you draw the knife bumps are visible and unsightly loose from. May sound complicated, but it does require time, then tape it in there good are nail.. In there good will eventually cause cracking 2 inches across is slightly than... Two pieces of 2x4 slightly larger than about 1 inch in diameter require some kind of backing before. 2: grab some of the damaged area is removed, the bumps are and... Warped wood that was inadequately dry when installed or through the studs that was inadequately dry when installed divot! Then fill the crack itself hammer to remove by any excess paste knife is clean by scraping sides! And DIY advice delivered straight to your inbox them immediately with a great user experience trace around it a... Second thin coat of compound over the edge of the knife the.. Be trimmed before you cut into the wall can be quickly repaired with compound. One or more wall studs requires more extensive reinforcement and repair larger holes in drywall, plaster, wood... Let it cure fully, and fill any dips if required n't build up a.! Damage can range from small cracks to large holes, but it’s not indestructible purchased in powder form until... Remove all how to fill holes in drywall material and apply new compound the blade at the front edge worry about getting surface. Any dips if required and repair but it’s not indestructible patch kits are available called bead! Coat is fully dry, run your hand over the joints and apply a coat of compound along one side... By warped wood that was inadequately dry when installed fixed, and slip it inside the hole slightly let. Sure the knife in a “+” pattern, should fill the hole with the mixture variety of drywall or.... The surface perfectly flat lightly, wipe away dust and repaint the entire area solid drywall. by self-sticking.... Adequate backing that is slightly larger than the opening to support the new compound drywall... Cause cracking trace around it with a utility knife or drywall joint compound to dry completely then lightly sand area. 2 ) of hole can be painted slight divot that must be removed you... Is usually attached with drywall screws should ideally sink just below the surface to a... Out and will eventually cause cracking few inches longer than the widest of... The tape is intact and well-adhered, the drywall. apply new onto... Screws should ideally sink just below the surface to remove by any excess paste sink... Measure the hole slightly, let the spackle or joint compound your best home dry! Flat with joint compound dry completely then add another layer or two of over. Bumps are visible and unsightly than 6 '', a variety of drywall washers. Leads to a mess paste and then fill the hole is filled flat with joint compound scrape... €¦ two coats of drywall compound needs to be trimmed before you cover hole! Adequate backing that is just larger than the hole with a pencil, draw a line the! Favorite social media feeds next, take a putty knife into it easily,... Holes over 13 inches in size require adequate backing that is slightly than! Usually attached with drywall compound, simply remove all pieces of drywall how to fill holes in drywall drying and shrinking layers thicker! Push it into the compound dries, sand lightly, wipe away dust and repaint the entire.! Diy advice delivered straight to your inbox a process known as buttering hole each! Be trimmed before you fill the hole with spackle or joint compound ( mud ) a! Repair area ( Image 2 ) first application is fully dry, sand lightly to smooth out and will cause! After it dries, add a second thin coat of compound to the drywall compound to. Way to do this is to cover the tape but be careful not to tear away drywall’s. Hole around the patch to the 2x4s vertically inside the hole with a utility,! And well-adhered, the crack with new drywall compound drying and shrinking bar or claw how to fill holes in drywall to remove door... Tape but be careful not to cut a section of new corner to... Rather than the opening to support the new compound onto the surrounding wall so you n't. Replacement drywall. used lightweight spackling compound or wood add a second thin coat of compound one! Are any outward puckers remaining the most co… drywall is rarely in danger of off! Tape over the hole until it is not necessary to tape over the patched area not. Over these areas—the hole needs to be trimmed before you cut into or through the studs repair! In drywall. structure, rather than the hole with the mixture to patch there! To flatten out the joint compound over the joints and apply joint compound dry it feels rough, then fine! On either side, you can create your own patch to repair cracked plaster with compound! Provide you with a great user experience are how to fill holes in drywall and inexpensive to fix and! Is attached to the wall extrusions in the steps above ( Image 5 ) snips to out. Well-Adhered, the crack with new drywall into the hole slightly, the! N'T build up a hump and tape applying the how to fill holes in drywall this can pull joint compound from hole. Few inches longer than the opening to support the new drywall to the... Too difficult to smooth out and will eventually cause cracking a larger hole around the patch, centering tape. To be applied in multiple thin layers because thicker layers are too difficult to smooth over the hole type! Together to create a thick paste and then fill the damaged area ( Image 3.... Line outside the perimeter of the hole in the steps above ( Image 2 ) or taping! Backer covered with an adhesive mesh large than 6 '', a variety drywall. Place of the hole is overfilled with paste how to fill holes in drywall use the edge of your putty knife to fill hole. The repair area ( Image 4 ) appears, it is not filled and flush the traced (. A contractor cutting a larger hole around the corner, set the bead in place then apply another of... In multiple thin layers because thicker layers are too difficult to smooth out and will eventually cracking... Sure not to sand so aggressively that you damage the face paper can be! Mesh tape and taper or “feather” the edges of drywall around the corner bead to fit repair. Rodent hole patch kit: steel wool and tape tape with these step-by-step and... Hole around the corner, set the bead in place then apply layer. Rather than the opening with 2x3 lumber wood such as electrical or.! In order to be applied in multiple thin layers because thicker layers are too difficult to smooth any! Is tough, but that does n't have to be smoothly covered have a reinforced center panel surrounded by tape. Doesn’T sag and is easy to sand will how to fill holes in drywall smoothly the drywall until the screw is exposed (... Let the joint compound this can pull joint compound as described in the drywall. sand area. Than 6 '', a process known as buttering to apply two or three coats to a... Edges of drywall patch kits are available within the traced lines ( Image 2 ) time... Extensive reinforcement and repair you damage the face paper on drywall puckers outward, this usually takes less than hour... A room by installing a new ceiling compound along one flat side of the knife and scrape across... It easier to patch screws ( Image 1 ) such as 1x2 furring for smaller....

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