Drywall repair is a fairly common home repair project that most homeowners will face at one point or another. Depending on the size and location of the damaged drywall, the repair work can range from simple to moderate in terms of difficulty. For most small drywall holes located away from wall borders and trim, the repair itself is pretty straightforward.
So if you’re a DIY homeowner who prefers to fix it yourself instead of hiring a handyman, this is one that’s definitely in your wheelhouse. You likely have most of the tools you need to do the job yourself, and doing so can save you anywhere from $200-$300 in hiring a drywall contractor.
What Tools Do You Need To Repair Drywall?
The tools to fix drywall are easy to find and relatively cheap. You can get everything on this list for under $50 at your local Lowes or Home Depot, depending on how much you need.
- Drywall Saw – for medium holes that require patching
- Utility Knife – to cut drywall patches to size
- Drywall Patch – for medium holes that require patching
- Spackle or Joint Compound – used to join the drywall patch to the wall for medium holes and used to close small holes
- Putty Knife – to apply joint compound to damaged area
- Sandpaper – Used to smooth out joint compound on wall before repainting
- Primer & Paint – to match the joint compound and patch to wall color
How Do You Repair a Small Dents and Scratches In Drywall
This type of drywall damage requires minimal tools and is the easiest to fix. If your drywall is dented by a doorknob or something else, follow these steps:
- Scrape away loose debris from the damaged area
- Using a putty knife, apply spackle or joint compound to the damaged area. Use enough to fill the damaged area until even with the wall, smoothing it out as best you can.
- Allow spackle or joint compound to dry for 24 hours
- Sand smooth and apply touch up paint with a rag.
How Do You Repair a Small Holes In Drywall
Depending on the size, most small drywall holes can be repaired with spackle only or with a mesh patch kid. For holes less than 2 inches in diameter, you can follow the steps above laid out for small dents and scratches in drywall. For holes larger than 2 inches but less than 6 inches, you can follow the steps below.
- Buy a mesh drywall patch that will fit the size of your hole
- Place the self-adhesive mesh patch over the hole
- Using a putty knife, apply spackle or joint compound over the mesh patch. Be sure to apply it in multiple directions so that the compound fills the inside of the mesh material.
- Allow 24 hours to dry, and apply more spackle or joint compound as needed.
- Once dry, sand the surface until it’s smooth, then apply primer/paint as needed to match the wall color.
How Do You Repair a Medium Holes In Drywall
For holes that are larger than 6”, you may want to skip the mesh patch and opt for a stronger sheetrock patch to fix the damage. For medium size drywall holes, follow the steps below.
- Using a utility knife, cut a drywall patch 2 inches larger than the hole in both width and height.
- Use the utility knife to cut an inch off of the drywall gypsum along all 4 borders of your drywall patch
- Remove the gypsum from the drywall paper along the borders
- Place your drywall patch on the wall over the damaged area. Using a pencil, trace the border around the remaining gypsum of your drywall patch
- Use a drywall saw to cut out the drywall along the pencil line
- Apply spackle or joint compound to the edges of your drywall patch alongside the remaining gypsum and drywall paper.
- Fit the remaining gypsum of your drywall patch into the hole you just cut out. Use the excess paper and spackle as an adhesive to secure the patch onto the existing wall.
- Cover the entire patch with spackle or joint compound until you can no longer see the border where the patch ends and the wall begins.
- Allow 24 hours to dry. Apply additional spackle if needed, then sand smooth. Apply primer and paint as necessary to match the wall color.
Larger Drywall Repair Projects
There are some larger drywall repair projects that you may want to hire a contractor for depending on your level of expertise. The following drywall repairs fall into that category:
- Large Holes – For holes larger than a foot, furring strips may be needed to securely fasten the patch to the wall instead of the drywall paper.
- Corner Patches – If your repair requires removing a corner intersection of drywall, a corner bead will be needed to replace the damaged section.
- Electrical Considerations – Any time a hole is located near an electrical outlet or conduit, the repair is complicated. Hire a professional if you’re not comfortable here.
As you can see, drywall repair is not very difficult to do if you’re the least bit handy. The materials are affordable and labor is not complicated. Be sure to follow PunchList’s blog for more DIY tips!