This beginner’s guide to fixing holes in drywall will provide you with essential tips and tricks on how to quickly and efficiently fix any size hole in your walls.
From choosing the right tools and materials to the step-by-step process of patching and painting, you will quickly become an expert in drywall repair.
Read on to discover the best techniques for fixing holes in drywall and get your walls looking like new!
How Do You Repair a Hole in Drywall? What Supplies Do You Need?
If you have a few holes in your wall, you can easily fix them with these simple repair tips:
Small Digs and Dents
Small digs and dents are easy to repair because you don’t necessarily need tape or a patch kit. You can use them, but they’re not going to help a lot because.
Start by scraping away any loose debris, and apply a lightweight spackling paste with a putty knife over the hole. It’s best to use a putty knife that’s at least 6 inches in width.
Be very generous and make sure it’s back-filled and there’s plenty of compound in the hole. Let it dry, add more spackle if necessary, and then smooth it.
For popped nail heads, drive in a drywall screw about 1 and a half inches above and below to hold the drywall. Then, drive in the popped nail with a hammer, apply spackling paste, let it dry and sand the area.
Doorknob holes can be repaired with a small patch kit. Stick the patch over the hole and use the drywall knife to cover it with a lightweight joint compound in a crisscross pattern.
First, make sure the patch is attached well to the wall and then start from the middle, pushing the compound into the area with a hole, and after it’s filled, cover up the whole patch itself. Feather the edges of the area so the compound blends with the wall.
Let it dry, and add another layer of compound if necessary.
A great fix for holes that are 6 inches or smaller is the “California patch”. Cut a new piece of drywall about 2 inches bigger than the hole. Score the back about 1 inch from each side with a penknife.
The loose gypsum should be snapped off, but the paper backing should be kept. Hold it over the hole and mark around the gypsum with a pencil.
Cut out the areas with a drywall saw. Apply joint compound to the back of the paper, press the piece into place and cover it with a couple of layers of joint compound. Remember to check the hole for electrical wires because they’re typically attached to studs.
For larger holes, cut a piece of drywall a bit bigger than the hole, hold it over the hole, trace it with a pencil and cut the wall along the lines. Hold small furring strips inside the hole on two sides and secure them with screws.
Set the drywall patch in place and secure it to the furring strips with more screws. Apply joint tape and compound.
For a dinged-up corner, cut the damaged area with a hacksaw and use a knife to cut the drywall.
A new corner bead should be cut to fit the repaired piece. Secure it with nails to the wall and apply joint compound to the corner. After it has dried, finish it with a light sanding, primer and paint.
If you’re repairing a textured wall, lightly sand the repaired area to blend with the surface. In a mixing bowl, combine 4 parts of the joint compound with 1 part water. Dip a stiff brush into the mixture and flick it onto the wall in a forward motion.
An alternative option is a texture spray. Shake the can, adjust the nozzle and spray in a circular motion about 6 to 18 inches away from the wall. For a knockdown finish, lightly flatten the surface with a drywall knife.
How Much Does It Typically Cost?
How much a drywall repair will cost will depend on the severity of the damage, accessibility and who does the work. On average, homeowners spend between $200 to $550.
It is also possible for regional pricing variations to affect the cost of the repair. In general, if the hole can be covered with a patch, the repair will be at a flat rate. The most expensive part of the project is the labour.
The cost of minor repairs by a handyman ranges from $60 to $90 per hour or $0.40 to $0.80 per square foot, which amounts to about $30 per sheet.
If you’re handy, you should be able to tackle small holes, nail pops, chips, and cracks less than 6 inches across, and it will only cost between $10 and $30 in supplies like drywall mud, sandpaper, and touch-up paint.
A handyman can handle these types of repairs within a couple of hours, and it will cost you between $60 and $180. Textures will add approximately $60 per hour to the cost, and a professional painter needed to finish the job will add around $50 per hour, including the paint.
When Would You Need to Call in a Pro for Drywall Repair?
Drywall damage occurs in various ways, from holes caused by a nail to water from a leaky roof. With small holes and nicks in the wall, you can likely tackle them yourself.
However, sometimes you’ll need help:
- Water Damage. It is almost always necessary to hire a professional to repair drywall that has been damaged by water. The biggest challenge with water-damaged drywall is ensuring that you remove enough because not all the damage is easy to see. You’ll need a professional drywall repair service to remove and replace all the damage, or you may have mould behind your walls.
- Large Holes. It’s easy to repair a small hole, but larger ones are more difficult. Sometimes, you may even need an entire sheet of drywall replaced.A professional has the skills necessary to handle these repairs.
- Large Cracks. Sometimes, you don’t have a hole in your drywall but a large vertical or horizontal crack. When this happens, you need a professional to properly repair the crack without enlarging it.
Local licensed handymen have the right tools and materials to handle large repairs, such as a drywall saw, drill, pre-mixed joint compound, drywall tape, drywall screws, spackle, furring strips, and more.
Purchasing these tools can get costly, especially if you need them only for one-time use.
Professionals also know what the best type of drywall is and make the repairs promptly, whereas your lack of experience could turn an hour-long task into a weekend-long, expensive project.
Plus, if your repair indicates a more serious issue, such as a foundation problem, they’ll be able to point it out and offer a quick resolution.