Hole in your wall?

Tools

Story Updated: Feb 2, 2012

Home Sweet Solutions: Quick Fix

Hole in your wall?

By Diana Murphy for Home Sweet Solutions

Drywall is quite sturdy and holds up well under normal circumstances, but every once in a while some little mishap occurs that punctures a hole in the wall. Perhaps the hook didn’t hold a too-heavy picture frame and pulled out a chunk of wall, a door was flung open too hard and the doorknob dented the drywall, or someone punched a hole in the wall in a fit of anger. (Hey, it happens!) No matter how the hole got there, never fear: It’s easy to fix in a few simple steps.

SUPPLIES
Utility knife
Wide putty knife
Drywall compound
Fine sandpaper

Additional supplies for large holes
Wire screen
Heavy scissors
12-inch piece of string
8- to 12-inch thin wooden dowel
Masking tape

INSTRUCTIONS

To fix a small hole or gouge (less than 1 inch) in drywall:

1.
Prep the surface.

hss_fix_a_hole_in_drywall_1

Use a utility knife to scrape away any loose or jagged edges around the hole so there isn’t any material protruding from the surface of the wall.

2. Fill the hole.

hss_fix_a_hole_in_drywall_2

With a wide putty knife, apply the first coat of drywall compound following the package directions, making sure the layer is no more than 1/8-inch thick. Scrape the surface smooth with the putty knife and allow to dry. Add a second coat of compound following the same technique, then apply more layers as needed to fill the hole and until the patch is slightly higher than the wall surface.


3. Sand it smooth.

hss_fix_a_hole_in_drywall_3

Once the patch is completely dry, lightly sand it smooth with fine sandpaper so it’s flush with the surface of the wall. The surface is now ready to paint.

To fix a large hole in drywall (1 to 5 inches):


1. Prep the surface.

hss_fix_a_hole_in_drywall_1

Use a utility knife to scrape away any loose or jagged edges around the hole so there isn’t any material protruding from the surface of the wall.


2. Add the wire screen.

Cut the piece of wire screen with the heavy scissors so it’s 2 inches larger than the hole in the drywall. Tie the string to a wooden dowel at least 2 inches longer than the hole, then thread the string through the middle of the screen and pull it until the dowel is flush with the screen.

hss_fix_a_hole_in_drywall_1_2

Slightly fold the screen and fit it through the hole with the dowel in back, then pull the string toward you so the screen is flush with the other side of the drywall.

hss_fix_a_hole_in_drywall_2_2

Pull the string tight so the dowel holds the screen up from behind.

hss_fix_a_hole_in_drywall_3_2


3. Fill the hole.

Holding the screen tightly in place with the string, use a putty knife to fill the hole with drywall compound, working from the outside edge toward the center and making sure the compound adheres to the screen. Once the hole is filled, tape the string tightly to the wall above the hole and allow the compound to dry completely.

hss_fix_a_hole_in_drywall_3_1

Once dry, snip off the string so it’s flush with the compound, then use a putty knife to apply a thin layer of drywall compound so the patch is even with the surface of the wall. Allow to dry and scrape the surface smooth with the putty knife. Add additional coats of compound as needed following the same technique until the patch is slightly higher than the wall surface.


4. Sand it smooth.

Once the patch is completely dry, lightly sand it smooth with fine sandpaper so it’s flush with the surface of the wall.

hss_fix_a_hole_in_drywall_4_1

The surface is now ready to paint.

Diana Murphy is the managing editor of Home Sweet Solutions and former editor of Kitchen and Bath Portfolio and Country Living Special Interest Publications.