How To Repair Small Drywall Holes (with pictures)

Posted in Home Improvement on June 15, 2018

What do a doorknob, the furniture movers, and your teenager's foot have in common? How about the uncanny ability to put baseball-size holes in your drywall?

Fortunately, repairing the damage is easy.

Tools needed

If your tool assortment is limited, use a utility knife instead of a drywall saw to cut away the damaged area and a standard Phillips screw-driver (and wrist power) instead of the cordless drill.

Repair instructions

Enlarge and square up the hole as the pictures show, rather than trying to cut a patch the exact shape of the damaged area. If you encounter a 2x4 stud close to the edge of the hole, cut the damaged wallboard back to the center of the stud and secure one edge of your patch to that. Otherwise, secure the patch with backer boards as we show.

  1. Cut and remove the damaged section of drywall. Squaring up and enlarging the area will make it easier to patch and repair.

  1. Slip backer boards into the hole.
  2. Secure them in place using 1-1/4 in. drywall screws while you hold them from the back.

  1. Install the patch, then secure it in place with drywall screws. Cut patch a bit undersized to allow for a 1/8-in. gap around all four edges.

  1. Finish repair by covering the seams with self-sticking fiberglass tape, then three thin coats of joint compound. Allow the compound to dry; sand smooth between each coat.


  • Apply fiberglass drywall tape and a thin coat of joint compound, let it dry, then lightly sand the area with fine-grit sandpaper. Apply two more coats of compound. gradually broadening the area and sanding until the patch blends with the existing wall.
  • Holes smaller than 2 in. across can be repaired by placing fiberglass tape across the opening, then applying two or three coats of joint compound. For damaged areas larger than 8 in., cut the drywall back to the middle of the studs on each side of the hole. then cut and secure a patch directly to the studs.
  • If the hole was caused by a door, prevent future damage by installing a spring bumper on the baseboard.