How to Repair Drywall

There are a lot of problems that can make you need to repair drywall. A patch will make the difference in most cases. Sometimes you will have to use extra wallboard to complete the task, and sometimes it is a very small job requiring only a smear of compound and a light sanding. Read on to learn how to repair drywall.

Begin the Repairs Needed

  1. Look over the proposed project. Determine the size of the repair needed. If any areas need a repair of more than drywall, do these before starting the patch process.

  2. Choose between lightweight and all purpose drywall compounds if the repair is nothing more than a dent in the drywall. Lightweight compound weighs less, sands easier and dries quicker. All purpose compounds are heavier and preferred by old-school drywall finishers.

  3. Sand the area you just finished. Assuming that this is all you will need to do, you will only need an eight-inch knife and a sanding block with sandpaper. Smooth out the edges and texture the area. Apply compound using the eight-inch knife. Let it dry, sand edges to match, and apply texturing with a sponge and some fresh compound.

  4. Put a good amount of drywall compound on the area that needs a patch. Plan to use three or four coats of compound on the drywall repair. Sand the patched area to give a smooth transition to the wall board from the compounded area. Go about an inch past the drywall compound area all around when you sand, continuing until all looks smooth.

Complete the Repairs Needed

  1. Use an adhesive patch made of aluminum screen covered by fiberglass mesh if covering a doorknob hole. It applies in much the same way as a bandage with a peel-off back. Use the drywall compound to finish the patch job. Sand the site as shown above.

  2. Create a V-shaped groove with your taping knife corner and follow it along the path of any crack you find. Apply a thin coat of drywall compound with an inch or so overlap on all sides and sand lightly. Use an eight-inch taping knife to smooth out the areas of the drywall compound into the untouched drywall on most patch areas.

  3. Cut large hole areas into a square shape. Add a piece of wallboard to the repair area. Be sure that you span at least two studs with the new wallboard. Screw the wallboard into place (making sure there is a wood stud behind it to take the screws). Place self-adhesive fiber mesh to hold the wallboard in place, and then apply the drywall compound and sand accordingly.

  4. Go over all repairs with a hand sander and coarse sandpaper. Apply thing layers of compound to all of the sanded areas, let dry, then sand again.


  • Keep a clean work area. The wallboard, dust and drywall compound all pose their own hazards for people who might visit the work site.
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