Patching Large Holes in Wallboard

1-2 hours

Repairing holes in drywall is an easy fix with drywall compound, sanding and painting

Drywall sheets are vulnerable to breaking and crumbling, but can easily be repaired with drywall compound, sanding and painting. This project guide will show you how.


Outline the damaged area with a carpenter’s square
Outline damaged area - Patching Large Holes Wallboard

• Using the carpenter’s square and a pencil or marker, draw a line at least an inch or more above and below the damaged area.
• Then draw lines along the left and right sides to center over the studs on either side of the hole.

Cut out the sides with a keyhole saw or utility knife
Cut out sides keyhole saw or utility knife - Patching Large Holes Wallboard

• When the saw blade or utility knife runs into the stud, mark and measure over the stud ¾ inch, which is the center of the stud.
• Make sure you cut away from your body, not toward yourself.
• The edge of the patch should be directly over the stud so both the existing drywall and patch have support.
• Cut along the line with a utility knife, making several passes with each cut slightly deeper than the previous cut.
• Remove the damaged piece of drywall.

Cut the support and install in the wall
Cut support install wall - Patching Large Holes Wallboard

• Cut a 1 x 3-inch piece of scrap lumber or ¾-inch plywood approximately 2-4 inches longer than the height of the patch.
• Screw these supports vertically behind the opening to keep the patch from cracking.
• Hold the support in place and secure it with drywall screws without driving the screws through the drywall.

Cut patch to size
Cut patch to size - Patching Large Holes Wallboard

• Using a 2 x 2 piece of drywall, measure the repair area.
• Cut a piece of wallboard to size using a utility knife and carpenter square.

Install the patch with drywall screws
Install patch drywall screws - Patching Large Holes Wallboard

Position the screws at least an inch from the edges to avoid spitting or crumbling the drywall.

Complete the patch
Complete the patch - Patching Large Holes Wallboard

• Run strips of self-adhesive fiberglass drywall tape around the patch, centering the tape on the seams.
• Use a 6-inch drywall taping knife to spread drywall joint compound across the patch and tape to create a smooth, flat surface.
• Let the compound dry overnight, and then sand until smooth. Repeat with a second coat.
• For the smoothest patch, spread a third coat with a 12-inch drywall taping knife and let dry overnight, and then sand, wipe with a tack cloth and paint the area.