How to Patch Drywall
Time Required: Under 2 hours
Drywall sheets are vulnerable to breaking and crumbling, but can easily be repaired with drywall compound and a little sanding and painting. This project guide will show you how to patch drywall in a few easy steps. A full list of tools and materials can be found at the bottom of the page.
- Using a carpenter’s square and a pencil or marker, draw a line at least an inch or more above and below the damaged area.
- Use a stud finder to find the nearest stud on either side of the hole and mark those.
- Use a saw blade or utility knife to cut along the lines you just drew. When you run into stud, mark and measure ¾ inch farther in, which will be the center of the stud.
- The edge of the patch should be directly over the stud so both the existing drywall and patch have support.
- Cut along the lines carefully, making several passes with each cut slightly deeper than the previous cut.
- Remove the damaged piece of drywall.
Safety: Cut away from your body, not towards yourself.
- Cut a 1- x 3-inch piece of scrap lumber or ¾-inch plywood approximately 2 to 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.
- 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 a very smooth 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.
Required Tools and Materials:
- Drill bits
- Drywall saw
- Carpenter's square
- Utility knife
- Drywall knife
- Keyhole saw
- 1- x 3-inch scrap lumber
- ¾-inch plywood
- Self-adhesive fiberglass drywall tape
- Drywall compound
- Tack cloth
- Stud finder
- Tape measure