How to Fix a Small Hole in the Wall — by Home Repair Tutor

How to Fix a Small Hole in the Wall — by Home Repair Tutor

Hi there. I’m Jeff with Home Repair Tutor.
And in this video, I’m going to share with you how to fix a hole in the wall—a small
hole, that is, like this one here. And no, I’m not talking about doing something like
this. Of course, that would be very simple, and I’m not opposed to it. But I’m sure you
want to have the hole fixed. So let’s get started. I’ve got a ton of really awesome
tips for you. Before you know it, this hole’s going to disappear and your wall’s going to
look brand new. Let’s do it. Well, the first thing that you need to do
is to figure out the thickness of the drywall. Typically, walls are ½” thick. But if you’re
not entirely sure, you can always open up the whole a little bit more with a drywall
knife like this. And you can stick in the measuring tape and see just how thick the
wall is. Or if you have a scrap of the drywall, measure that.
The next thing you need to do is to cut a scrap piece of drywall like this here. It
doesn’t have to be a perfect square or rectangle. You just need to cut a scrap of it so that
it’s bigger than the hole that you’re going to fill.
To give yourself a rough idea of how big you want that patch to be, just draw a rough square
on the wall like so, and roughly measure that dimension. So in this case, it’s about 3½”
wide and about 3½” tall. Obviously, duh, that’s a square. You can cut your scrap piece
of drywall so that it’s 1-2″ wider than the outline you made on the wall.
Label your scrap piece of drywall “front”—so write “front” on the front—and “back” on
the back. What you want to do is have the back of the
drywall facing you, and then place it such that—and again, you can just eyeball this—the
center of the patch matches up with the center of the outline of the square that you made
on the wall. And then, make a mark on the back of the scrap piece of drywall on the
left side and the right side. This is going to give you a rough orientation of the patch
that you’re going to make using this scrap piece of drywall.
Turn your scrap piece of drywall clockwise so that the lines that you just made are running
left to right. And just eyeball the center of that piece of scrap drywall. From that
center, I’m going to make another line. I need this line to be 3″. So ½ of 3″ is roughly
1½”. So I’m going to line up my tape measure with that, and make marks on the drywall right
here and right here, okay? I need to make roughly a 3″ square. So this is our 3″ square
that we outlined on the wall. Score the back of this scrap piece of drywall
with a utility knife. I’m going to do that because I’m going to remove these sections
of the actual gypsum of the drywall so that only paper is going to be on the front side.
So I’ll show you how to do this. And the reason why we’re going to do this is because this
will eliminate using tape for our drywall patch. So again, just score it—and be careful
not to cut your thumb. So again, score
the other side. Break the drywall like this, and peel off just the gypsum portion of the
drywall, revealing the paper on the front face.
So we’re left with the paper on the front. We’re going to do that with this side, this
side, and this side of the scrap piece of drywall.
So what we’re left with is a piece of drywall in the center with paper all around it. Now
if your paper is ripped, like mine is right here, it’s not a big deal. Just take a pair
of scissors and trim off the ripped section because we want the paper to be not ripped
because we’re going to have a smooth finish here. So I’m going to just trim off the top
and the bottom of this paper. All right, that’s a lot better.
Erase the line that you made on the wall. Fold back all the paper sides. And then place
the solid piece of drywall so that it completely covers the hole in the wall. You can trace
the outline of this solid drywall piece. All right, there you go.
Take your utility knife, and because drywall is just paper and gypsum—it’s really just
gypsum sandwiched between two pieces of paper—you can score an “X” into the square piece that
you’re going to remove. And then, score the outline that you just made with the pencil.
Use your drywall knife to cut out the rest of the square. If your saw hits a stud, you
can angle it like this—at a 45° angle—and start sawing until the piece of drywall comes
loose. Just make sure you clean up the edges a little
bit so that your patch will fit perfectly. You can use your utility knife or a screwdriver,
whatever you need to do to make sure there are no chunks of gypsum just hanging out.
You can now test-fit your piece of scrap drywall. And sure enough, it fits pretty darn good.
Oh my goodness, I almost forgot! Whenever you’re making your patch, what you want to
do is draw a line onto the wall from the patch onto the wall so that when you go to put the
patch into the space here, you can line it up perfectly like so. So don’t forget like
I did, and make sure that you do that so that you get the proper orientation of the patch.
My favorite type of joint compound is the type that you have to mix up yourself. It’s
setting type compound and it finishes super strong. Now I’m going to use 20, which means
that it sets up in 20 minutes so I got to be quick here.
I mix up my joint compound so that it has a consistency of a really thick milkshake.
With your patch removed, spread some joint compound on the edges of the hole on the wall.
Now you can place your patch onto the wall like so.
Now because this is only a 3″ patch, I’m not going to use any drywall screws. If the patch
were any bigger, I would in fact use screws, and I would screw into either the stud or
I would put a piece of wood scrap behind the drywall and screw the patch into that. But
all you do now is smooth out the paper that’s on the patch. So start in the middle and work
your way out. All right, I’m going to let this dry for about
20-30 minutes and come back and put a second coat on.
Now if you see any ridges in the paper like right here, it’s probably because there’s
some excess joint compound underneath it. Just apply pressure, like I did here, and
scooch out or squeeze out the excess joint compound.
The patch is dry, so now you can apply a second layer of joint compound. Again, you can apply
diagonally. And the whole point here is, again, spread out the joint compound. Feather it
out the best that you can. See how there are little dimples in my joint
compound? That’s called “fish eyeing,” and it means there’s air bubbles in the compound.
So one way to avoid that is to mix it really well but not too quickly. You don’t want these
fish eyes because they’re going to show up in your finished product. So try to smooth
them out the best that you can. As you can tell, the joint compound is spread
out rather wide, much wider than our patch. You can use a 10″ dry compound knife, like
this one here, to smooth out the look of the joint compound.
And I can tell that this needs one more coating of joint compound. So I’m going to get it
filled in the opposite direction this time around. So instead of going up and down, I’ll
go side to side. Notice how much joint compound is on the wall
relative to where the patch is. You can vaguely see where my patch is here. And the reason
why there’s so much joint compound is because you want to feather out the edges and smooth
in the low and high spots of the patch. You can knock down any high spots—of the joint
compound, that is—by using your 6″ joint compound knife. And I like using a sanding
sponge to sand down the joint compound. This looks a little worse for wear, but it still
works out really great. And if you want to keep down the dust, you can soak this into
water and do wet sanding. The best way to feather out the edges of your
patch is to sand in a circular motion. And you want to work your way around the perimeter
of the patch in this circular motion to completely feather and make the seam look pretty much
seamless between the new patch and the existing old wall.
The last thing that I like to do is to feel the patch with my hand. This will allow me
to determine whether or not there are low or high spots, and if I need to add maybe
a fourth coat of joint compound. Now all that you need to do is to prime the
patch that you made and paint it, and you’ll be finished.
Well that’s it. That’s how you fix a small hole in the wall.
I hope that you like this video and that it walks you through your own project. Always
know that you can ask me your question in the comments section. And if you haven’t already
done so, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel because a new video comes out every single
Friday. You can also sign up for my email newsletter
over at because, that way, you won’t miss any tip that I have for
my fans. So until the next video, I hope you have a
great day. Thanks for joining me. I really appreciate your time, and I’ll see you in
the next video.

30 thoughts on “How to Fix a Small Hole in the Wall — by Home Repair Tutor

  1. I noticed the wall you were working on has a matte finish paint but if it were a semi or high-gloss paint would you need to lightly sand the area for the compound to stick?

  2. mexican never use a measuring tape at least i never seen them use one they eye ball everything hell sometime they dont use any tool they use rocks and other stuff i guess it goes with experience

  3. Very good video! One suggestion, start off your videos with a recommended tool/products list that will be needed (or suggested) to complete the project.

  4. Is this guy serious? Way too much work for such a small hole. You only need to do this for large holes. For a hole this size. All you do is get some painters putty and put it in the hole. smooth it out, let it dry, sand it and paint it. I had a larger hole and fixed it the same way by putting some paper in the hole before filling it.

  5. I have a very small hole, maybe half to 3/4 of an inch from the screw holding a towel bar in my master bathroom. Would you repair it the same way knowing that you'd be putting the screw through the patch when it was finished? Would it be strong enough to prevent the towel bar from pulling away from the wall again?

  6. This makes me to shiver when for hole of 1 inch you get involved over 1 square ft in patching. Not in my projects.

  7. i have a 60in flat tv, and want to cut a mold in the wall to perfectly fit the tv. can it be done? and can u make a video on it? i figure that it would be a neat project and do away with tv stand…

  8. Good instructions.  It's better to have through instructions before you start a project at home.  Once you have done it a couple of times it will become much easier.

  9. the hole in my wall is four inches deep and is roughly the size of my palm (if not a bit smaller). Could I still use this technique on my wall?

  10. Great video.

     Never thought of using the drywall paper itself.

    Thank you for your wisdom and sharing it with the you tube community.

  11. This is my second job at my house and following you steps is magic lol first one we removed the carpet we did it so simple last week the holes omg !!!!! Amazing thanks friend

  12. Nice video bud. Next time you do a patch, try the cali plug in conjunction with the technique in this video. You will be happy.

    Watch "Perfect Drywall Patch How To (TIPS PROS DON'T EVEN KNOW!)" on YouTube

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