How to Fix Holes in a Ceiling

Patching walls in ceilings requires the same technique as walls.

It is complicated slightly by the fact that you are working over your head. A little practice will put you on top of the process. Here are the techniques to help you out.

Purchase a container of premixed spackle or drywall joint compound and a roll of adhesive mesh tape if you have any holes larger than a dime to be patched.

Strip away any raised portions of the drywall paper or old paint at the edge of the hole.

Dust the hole with an old paintbrush to remove any lose drywall dust.

Wet the hole with a damp sponge or old paintbrush dipped in plain water.

Press spackle into open hole with a putty knife.

Smooth spackle with a putty knife until flush with wall.

Allow spackle to dry overnight, then sand and dust until smooth.

Repeat steps 3 through 6.

Things You Will Need

  • Paintbrushes (old)
  • Razor Knives
  • Putty Knives
  • Sandpaper
  • Stepladders


  • Cover larger holes first with strips of adhesive mesh tape. The strips of tape should extend past the edges of the hole about an inch and adhere firmly to the wall. Repeat the process of applying spackle, drying and sanding until the desired smoothness is reached.
  • Sand by using a sanding block attached to a handle. These can be rented at most rental centers or purchased at lumberyards and hardware stores.
  • If ceilings are to be painted they should be finished as smooth as walls. If you plan on texturing, they don't have to be quite as smooth - they just need two coats of compound and thorough sanding.


  • Always wear eye protection and a dust mask when sanding drywall. The dust is very irritating to the eyes and nose.
  • Spackle will recede after a while. It is important to completely fill the hole with spackle until flush with wall. Use a putty knife with an end that is one inch (or more) wider than the diameter of hole. The area covered by the spackle should feather out over an area about three times the size of the hole.