How to Patch Drywall

It’s inevitable that at some point, we will all have a hole somewhere in our home that we need to patch up. The bad news itself is the simple inconvenience and blemished wall if it’s in an obvious area. The good news is, this is really easy to fix. The even better news is, it’s easy enough to fix and make look like there was never a hole in the drywall in the first place!

The specific Drywall Repair including patching and cracks I recently did was to cover up the hole in the drywall that had to be cut to lower the piping that went to the kitchen sink. My wife finally got the sink that she wanted. It was nice in deep…heck, those that know me know how short I am…I could just about stand up straight in the sink and you couldn’t even see my head!! Okay, so that was a little bit of stretch, but the point is that it’s a very deep sink. In fact, the sink was so deep, that once the disposal was added, the piping that connected to it was now too high. Since there is no [cheap] technology that defies gravity, the only option was to cut into the wall and lower the pipe.


I will cover both the installation of the sink and the actual piping modification in separate posts. For now, we’re just focusing on fixing the drywall nightmare that we created to do these projects.

Materials Needed:

Drywall Tape

Joint Compound

Wood Screws (#6 or #8, approximately 1″ long)(Note: Can use drywall screws, also)

Orange Peel Texture (in can)

Drywall (size will depend on hole)

Some Type of Scrap Wood (I just cut some plywood)

Tools Needed:

Drywall Saw


Putty Knife


You will first take the drywall saw and cut out the debris. This is assuming you accidentally put something through the wall (like your fist, yeah, you know who you are). The drywall will cave in, but obviously won’t be a nice clean shape. So, start around the edge of the damaged area and just cut a square to remove the damaged drywall. I intentionally made the hole I was fixing. So, when I cut it, I just was very careful and saved the drywall I removed. If this is the case on your project, do the same, it will save you 10 or so on buying drywall. The smallest size that drywall comes in is an 8×2. There may be something different, but this is the smallest I know of. If you did accidentally make a hole in the wall, you will likely have to buy a sheet of this. It runs about 11 at Lowes. If you did have to do this, go ahead and measure your hole and you can cut the drywall to fit the area. Get it close, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Next, you want to cut you a piece of wood that is about as wide (need a little room on the sides to put your hand to hold in place while screwing) and is longer by approximately 2 inches on the top and bottom. Just imagine a rectangle positioned vertically over a square. Once this is cut, place in the hole and put a wood or drywall screw above the hole so that it catches the wood in the right or left corner. Do the same for the opposite corner and for both corners at the bottom of the hole. Now, you can place the piece of drywall that you cut (or saved) over the wood that’s now fastened to the wall. Just set in place and put four screws in the piece so that it fastens to the wood also

The hard part is basically done. At least the measuring, cutting and screwing! Now it’s time to make it unnoticeable. Now, take your putty knife and dig out a little joint compound. Press it into the cracks you see around the newly affixed piece of drywall. Once this is complete, you can take your drywall tape and cut into the lengths you need to cover all four sides of the cut. You want the tape to cover the cracks so that there is some tape on the wall and some tape on the new piece you just put in. By recommendation of my father-in-law, I got a small bowl of water and dipped the strips of tape in it before I applied to the wall. It seems to “gum” it up a little and helps it stick better. Plus, it helps the compound mesh better with the tape. After the tape is applied, simply start applying the compound to the wall. You want to spread it from about 3″ outside of your work area all the way to the inner edges of the tape. You want to be careful not to apply too much, as you do not want there to be a noticeable bulge in the area. Don’t be greedy with it either, it could have the reverse affect and dip in. Either way, you can always sand it if you add too much and you can add more if you don’t add enough. You will be able to tell.

Once the compound is applied, you have to let it dry for approximately 24 hours. That’s by the directions on most compounds. If you don’t use that much (if it’s not caked in one area), you can resume work in less time. It just needs to be completely dry. Once your area is dry, you will take your sander (hopefully a power one, but can use a sanding block also) and begin to sand the compound to make it smooth. You want it to look as much like the original wall as possible, so pay special attention to the edges. Sometimes, the putty knife will put a lip on the compound around the edges. You may not notice them, but when you paint the way, you will see it. After the sanding is complete, check your work. There may be areas where you need to add more compound. Sometimes, little holes will form where there was air under the compound. Fill these in…again, they may not seem like that big of a deal, but when you paint, they will stick out.

Once you are satisfied with the compound and it is completely dry, dust it off. You want to get all the dust and fragments off the wall before you go further. At this point, assuming your wall is textured, you can take the can of texture that you bought from the list of materials above and apply it. Follow the directions. You might have to play with it a little as most textures have different settings to get different effects. Some may make it look like a mist, but have a setting to make it look more like a splatter. You’re going to have to be the judge of this. My advice is to take a cardboard box and practice, then compare to the wall to see how it looks. This stuff dries fast. So, once it’s on the wall and you are happy with it, you are ready to paint it. Hopefully you have the paint color you used originally somewhere in your garage. If you don’t, you will have to take a piece of the broken drywall to your hardware store and have them match it up.