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Do It Yourself Home Repair: How to patch a small hole in drywall

Updated on August 15, 2013

Accidentally put a hole in your drywall? Want to know how to fix it to make it look like nothing ever happened? Read on to learn what you will need and what to do to fix a small hole in your homes drywall.

spackling and drywall knife
spackling and drywall knife

What you will need:

  • spackling - the slimy stuff you will be filling the hole with
  • mesh tape or drywall patch
  • drywall knife
  • sandpaper
  • primer and/or paint

You can also buy drywall repair kits at your local hardware store that will make it easier to find some of these items.

patch over hole
patch over hole
applying spackling
applying spackling
finished application
finished application

What to do:

  1. Cut off the appropriate length of mesh tape to cover the hole, or get the right sized patch.
  2. Apply the sticky side of the tape over the hole, if you are using a patch you will need to remove the film covering the adhesive. You can use the end of the drywall knife to smooth down the edges and get a good application.
  3. Begin applying the spackling by scooping a small amount of it on the end of your drywall knife and smoothing it first over the hole. After the hole has been filled, continue appying the spackling and smoothing it until it covers the entire patch. Smooth out the edges of the spackling by taking your knife and dragging the edges of the spackling out to make a smoother transition.
  4. Allow the spackling to dry for 24 hours. Once the spackling is dry, either make a second application if your hole didn't get filled well enough or is not covering the mesh tape completely, or continue to the next step.
  5. Using the sandpaper, sand the entire area to smooth out the dried spackling. You may also need to sand more heavily the areas where the spackling is more heavily applied to make it more even with the wall.
  6. Primer and/or paint the repair to make it match the rest of the wall. For best results, use some leftover paint that you used when you originally painted the room, otherwise you will have to try to match it the best you can.

Safety Tip

Any kind of home improvement project should be approached with care. Most older homes contain harmful levels of lead and asbestos inside their walls which when disturbed may go airborne. Protect yourself by using proper safety equipment when dealing with possible asbestos exposure.

Once the paint has dried, stand back and enjoy the results. If you have done these steps correctly no one should be abe to tell anything ever happened! You will find that the more you do this kind of stuff, the better you get at it and the easier it becomes.


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