How to Patch and Repair Drywall

Damaged your drywall by playing a little too rough with the new couch? Or perhaps you were in a hurry to move out of your old place and ended up punching a hole in the wall? Do not stress; there are many ways you can patch, repair, and paint over damaged drywall.

There are many ways to fix damaged drywall but follow all safety instructions. Wearing protective gear is important when working with drywall compounds and tools.

Let’s look into the tools and materials you will need for this project:

  • Sandpaper
  • Drywall Saw
  • Dust Mask
  • Paint Brush
  • Screw Gun
  • Taping Knife
  • Utility Knife
  • Mesh Tape
  • Furring Strip
  • Drywall Screws
  • Joint Compound

Patching Holes

When someone punches a hole or misaims the hammer when nailing up the walls, it is important not to panic. This is the most common type of drywall damage. You can either use mesh tape or cut out the hole and patch it with sheets of drywall, whichever you find easiest. Damaged holes can be categorized into small, medium, and large holes.

Small Holes

Holes between a couple of centimeters to an inch do not require patches or mesh tape. Use joint compound to cover the hole and provide a smooth surface for painting. You can also cut a small drywall square and fill it into the hole. A joint compound can be painted on top before it dries out to make the surface smooth again.

Medium Holes

If the hole is larger than an inch, then cut it out. You will need a new piece of drywall material that is twice the size of the hole. Be sure to measure and cut properly; otherwise, you will have unnecessary gaps in the repair work. Cut a square around the damaged area and saw off any protruding corners or edges.

Clean the sawdust off using a brush and apply joint compound on the area where you will place the patch. Place drywall tape over the top and firmly press to smooth out any bubbles or bumps. After it has dried, use sandpaper to make it even with the wall surface.

Large Holes

Holes larger than 10 to 12 inches need to be repaired using mesh tape. Cut out the damaged area and clean out all of the sawdust off. If the hole has jagged edges, use sandpaper to smooth them down before applying joint compound.

Cut a piece of mesh tape with an inch more on each side than what is needed for filling in the patch. Apply joint compound on the mesh tape and smooth it out with a taping knife. Place the mesh tape over the hole and make any adjustments if needed.

Dust off any excess joint compound from your work area before it dries up. Call in a professional if you run out of materials or do not have enough time to complete this project.

Popped Nail Heads

This happens when the drywall studs have been secured too tightly into the wall. The nails will be slightly raised from the surface and require a little attention to make them completely flush with the wall.

Use a flathead screwdriver to press down on the nail head, making sure it is pushed in. Leave it there for at least twenty minutes or until you see that the nail head has sunk further.

Punching drywall nails causes damage that is much more difficult to repair. Once you remove the screwdriver, use a hammer to firmly tap on the top of the nail until it is pressed completely flush with the wall. It usually takes more force than usual, but be careful not to hit too hard.

Corner Bead Patch

If you mistakenly damaged the corners of your passage or doorway or want to cover up any damaged areas of your drywall, you can use a corner bead. It is a series of metal profiles used on interior corners for durability and easy installation.

When the pop-outs happen in the corner, take out all the broken pieces and clean off any dust or debris. Apply joint compound on the entire area to become smooth before applying filler. Once the compound dries out, sand it down with sandpaper to make it even with the rest of the wall.

Cut a piece of corner bead at least 4 inches long and attach it to the corner using drywall screws. Secure it into place using your screwdriver while aligning the profile to the corner wall. Drill two holes along each side of the corner and one in the middle.

Patching Textured Wall

Patching textured wall requires a bit of extra work to finish. After patching, take four parts of compound and 1 part of water, mix it well and dip a stiff brush into the mixture. Sprinkle the mixture on the wall with gloved fingers and fix the texture using the brush. Once it is properly set, use sandpaper to smooth out any jagged edges.

Textured walls are not for rough treatment and sometimes require more attention than regular drywall. If you happen to make a mistake while patching, do not panic because there are still ways that you can repair it. Just make sure to clean up any dirt or dust you might have caused when patching.


This is the most crucial part of patching and repairing drywall. After the drywall is fixed, you might see some uneven areas that need to be sanded down before painting. Use a fine grain of sandpaper and smooth out the entire wall until it becomes completely even with all of your tools and materials properly put away.

Check if all nails, screws, and any other hardware are in place, and then give the wall a light coating of primer before you apply paint. This will help hide any lines and accentuate your work with some color.


Drywall is one of the most durable building materials that have been used for decades. It can be easily chipped, broken, or left with holes if enough pressure is applied against it. However, if you have a little know-how and patience, you can easily patch up your wall yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big of a hole can you patch in drywall?

10 to 12 inches is the maximum surface area you can patch. Any more might require a professional’s help.

How do I know if it is necessary to call in a professional?

If your damage completely breaks through the wall, creating different levels of backing, or if you are unable to fix the hole after following this guide for ten minutes straight, it is best to call in a professional.

Other than drywall and texture, what is another building material that requires proper patching and repairing?

The cement board is extremely delicate and may require special attention to fixings, especially after applying tile. Always remember to use the right tools for the job!

How do you fill a deep hole in drywall?

Firstly, clean up any debris or dirt that might have caused the damage. If it was a popping-out bead, break up the bead and gather all of the pieces for replacement. Fill your drywall filler until it reaches 1/8 from the surface, and allow it to dry overnight before sanding it down with fine grain sandpaper.

What is the difference between skim coat and wall putty?

The main difference between a skim coat and wall putty is that a skim coat works well with textured walls. You should use wall putty to fix holes or cracks on smooth surfaces like drywall.

What is the difference between Joint Compound and Spackle?

The Spackle compound comprises gypsum and is easy to sand. On the other hand, the joint compound has a higher level of plaster and should be painted within 24 hours after applying it.

How do you get rid of Spackle bumps?

Use fine-grain sandpaper and wet sand over the bump until it becomes smooth before painting. To remove the sanding dust, use a vacuum with a brush attachment to clean up any extra residue before you paint. You can also try using a drywall rasp.

How much compound to use?

Be generous with your compound and fill in the entire hole until it is level with the wall surface. Allow it to dry overnight before sanding using fine grain sandpaper.

How Do You Hide a Drywall Patch When Painting?

Use a roller brush to apply a thin layer of joint compound. Once it is dry, add a second coat and dry before applying paint.

Why Do You Add Dish Soap to Drywall Mud?

Dish detergent is a good surfactant for mud to help coat a smooth wall evenly. It also helps reduce the number of brush marks and bubbles forming when you apply your mud.

Also See: What Fixes are Mandatory after Home Inspection? | Home Maintenance Tips for Winter | Avoiding Wall Damage during Move

Written by

Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.