How to Patch Drywall
Follow this expert advice on how to fix a hole in drywall—no matter the size.
How to Patch Holes Step-by-Step
How to Patch Holes Step-by-Step
- Putty knife
- Tack cloth, tack rag or sponge
- Fine-grit sanding sponge or sanding block
Painting the various rooms of your home requires more than just an ability to choose the right colors and maneuver a roller. You have to know how to repair walls before painting. That’s because paint on its own won’t hide imperfections. You have to start with smooth drywall, free of holes and cracks. Making fixes isn’t hard and doesn’t take much time with the right products and pro techniques.
Step 1: Smooth Out Holes
Before patching small or larger holes in drywall with spackling, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough drywall surfaces. Remove any loose debris from the damage and wipe clean with a cloth, ensuring the surface is free of dust.
Step 2: Prepare Your Spackle
Open the container of DAP Fast Dry Premium Spackling. If it looks dry, stir until it’s smooth and creamy.
Step 3: Apply the Spackle
Using a putty knife, apply spackling over the dent or hole to fill it, going a little beyond the hole.
Step 4: Smooth It Out
To give the spackling a smooth finish, wipe off the putty knife, dip it in water and lightly smooth the spackling. Let dry for approximately 15 minutes. Be sure to keep your putty knife clean with water and a soft cloth.
Step 5: Sand and Wipe Clean
Sand with a fine-grit sanding sponge or sanding block to flatten and smooth your work surface. Wipe off any dust with a tack cloth or damp sponge.
Bonus Tip: While priming is not normally required, paint manufacturers may recommend priming certain surfaces. If that’s the case, apply Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer to seal the surface. Use a roller brush to apply it, so that the primer’s texture will match that of the paint you’ll be applying.
How to Fix Large Holes in Drywall
Make sure the area you’ll be repairing is clean, dry, firm and free of any loose debris or materials. Place a patch from the DAP Wall Repair Patch Kit over the hole in the drywall, pressing firmly around the outer edges to ensure a strong bond.
Use the putty knife to trowel a thin coat of DAP DryDex Dry Time Indicator Spackling to the back of the patch, spreading the spackling flat enough to see the outline of the patch through it. Let dry overnight; apply a wider second coat, extending 8–12 inches beyond the patch. Be sure to feather the edges of the spackling, making it thinner at the edges. This will help hide the repair.
The spackling compound will change color from pink to white when the surface is dry. At that point, sand and wipe the area clean with a tack cloth. Seal with Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer, again feathering the edges when you apply it.
How to Repair Drywall Cracks
To repair small cracks in drywall, fill with DAP Fast Dry Premium Spackling as you would holes. For larger cracks, use fiber mesh tape first, then cover with DAP Alex Plus Spackling.
DAP® Fast Dry Premium Spackling
DAP® FAST DRY Premium Spackling is a professional-grade spackling compound uniquely formulated to provide strength and durability like traditional heavyweight spackling, but also dries fast and can also be painted in as little as 15 minutes.View Product
ALEX PLUS® Spackling
ALEX PLUS Spackling provides unsurpassed performance for filling holes & cracks in surfaces such as drywall, plaster, wood, brick, metal, and stone.View Product
Wall Repair Patch Kit—Featuring DryDex Spackling
The Wall Repair Patch Kit featuring DRYDEX Dry Time Indicator Spackling comes with all of the tools needed to complete a wall-patching project.View Product
Eclipse® Rapid Wall Repair Patch
A unique and innovative drywall repair solution that is perfect for completing permanent repairs on damaged walls and ceilings.View Product
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