Fixing a Hole in Wallboard

By Robert Robillard on Home Repairs And Remodeling

How To Fix A Hole in A Wall

Green Mountain Man asked,

Can you do a post on how to fix a hole in wallboard ?

Hi Green Mountain Man,

This is not really a carpenters realm but I have created and fixed enough holes to be able to answer your question.

1. Small Hole or Dent Repair:

Apply a liberal amount of non-shrink joint compound available at the local hardware store and use a 4-6″ putty knife to smooth the compound by pulling the blade towards you at approx a 30 degree angle in one steady, smooth motion. Wider putty knife blades will produce smoother looking results.

If your finish doesn’t look smooth, simply wipe and wet the putty knife blade in water and smooth it again always pulling the blade towards you. Don’t get caught up in creating the perfect finish as you will have ample opportunity to sand the finish once the compound has dried.

Several thin coats of joint compound are better if trying to repair a deep hole. This will prevent bubbling and cracking but patience is required since added drying time in between coats is required. Let each coat dry thoroughly or the repair will not take.

If the hole is larger than 1-2 inches you have an alternative to using a larger glob of joint compound that may take several coats and many days to dry because of the excessive number of coats required to adequately fill the hole or covering the hole with mesh tape and coating over that.

You may also cut out the damaged area making a larger repair, use mesh tape or choose a ready made patch available at the the hardware store that uses a peel-and-stick metal backed patch for added strength.


Let the patched area dry thoroughly before applying additional coats or sanding.

Once dry, LIGHTLY sand the area smooth using drywall sandpaper attached to a drywall sander.

2. Larger Hole Repair:

Outline the damaged area with a carpenter’s square. Then use a utility knife or drywall jab saw to cut away the damaged section of drywall making a rectangular/square shape.

Cut drywall backer strips from 3/4-inch plywood or a 1×2 board. Make them about four inches longer than the vertical length of the area you want to patch. Place the boards vertically in the hole and center them so you have four inches of the board behind your existing drywall on top and bottom. [see pictures below]

Securely hold your board in place and screw it in vertically through your existing drywall with a screw gun or drill and 1 ¼-drywall screws on top and bottom to firmly keep your strips in position.

Larger holes will require more backer strips. Also, be sure the heads of the screws will are sufficiently countersunk.

Measure the repair area, and cut a piece of drywall to size. Be sure the repair piece of drywall is no thicker than your existing drywall. Affix it by screwing it to the backer strips.

Apply adhesive-backed fiberglass drywall tape to the seams of your patch, then apply a thin coat of drywall compound to the joints and exposed screw heads. Finish by sanding the area and applying additional coats of compound, if necessary, until you have a smooth finish.


Image: Beaseleypainting.comImage:

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

All posts by Robert »

Not what you're looking for?

Search for more articles here. Enter keywords like roof leak, bookcase, deck, etc to find your topic.

© Copyright 2019 A Concord Carpenter · All Rights Reserved