How to Patch Drywall — by Home Repair Tutor

How to Patch Drywall — by Home Repair Tutor

Hi everyone! It’s Jeff with Home Repair Tutor,
and today I’m going to share with you how to patch a drywall ceiling.
So this ceiling has gone bad because water has infiltrated it. I just need to cut out
a portion and replace it with a new ½ inch drywall. If you got a similar problem at your
house, then this video’s for you. So stay tuned, I’ve got some great tips for you. We’re
going to fix your ceiling. All right, the first thing that you do is
check to see what size drywall you need. Now typically it’s going to be anywhere from a
½ inch to 5/8 of an inch. So what you want to do is cut a little hole. Take your measuring
tape, stick it up through the hole, and just measure.
So once you get your drywall size, you want to just check by hand to see where does the
drywall give in. Now luckily, it’s only a small section of my ceiling. All right, I’m
marking it with Xs. So then, what I’m going to do is go cut a piece of drywall to this
depth and width, put it on the ceiling, measure that out, and then I cut out that section
of my ceiling to fit the piece of drywall that I cut to size.
We need to do next is remove either the nails or the screws from the joist; otherwise, they’re
going to get in the way of your new drywall. Now that this space is ready, I pre-drilled—actually
I sistered a 2×4 to the joist to give this new drywall board extra support. But then,
what I like to do when I’m all by myself is pre-drill drywall screws to the corners. And
this helps out with the process. Now, so now that you have jammed the board in place, and
then you can secure the screws. The other thing that you should do is mark
on the existing ceiling where the other joists are, okay? So this helps you screw the additional
drywall screws into place. So now I’m going to show you how I mix up
joint compound. So I use Lightweight Setting-Type Joint Compound Easy Sand 45 primarily because
it sets up rock hard and you can sand it within an hour—or supposedly within 45 minutes,
but it depends on the temperature and the humidity.
The first thing that I do is I pour some of the joint compound into my trough here. All
right, and then I add water. The next thing I do is I use a traditional mixer that you
would use to mix up a brownie mix. Nice and easy here; you don’t want to mix them too
much because you will get air bubbles in your joint compound and that will show through
on your drywall—bad news. So just mix it up enough to get a good consistency. Mix it
more with your putty knife. Get rid of the lumps and the air bubbles. Then when you’re
to the point whereby this barely drops off or sticks to your putty knife, that’s when
you know you’re done. With my joint compound mixed up, I’m going
to use a 6-inch drywall knife. And what I’m going to do is put a little bit of joint compound
on either side of the joint. Now as you can see here, this is huge. That
gap is way too big. But what’re you going to do, you know? These things happen. DIY
isn’t absolutely perfect. So what I did is I cut some regular screen—screen that you’d
put on a window screen and this will bridge the gap perfectly. The reason why I put the
joint compound up on the ceiling first is to get this to stick just long enough that
I could reach back, grab my joint compound, smear it on like so. Then what I like to do
is start at the middle, all right, and work my way to the ends. Though again, the whole
objective here is you just smooth out that screen enough that your second coating is
going to look a lot better, all right? So I’m going to do this on all the seams that
need to be covered for this patch in the ceiling. When you come up against a wall like this,
it’s a little bit trickier. You’ll have to bend the screening at a 90° angle, okay?
But all you do is fold it in half, create a crease the best that you can, all right?
Fit the crease up in the crevice right here between the ceiling and the wall, start in
the center, smooth it to the ends—center, smooth to the ends; center, smooth to the
ends. Now that the first coat is dry, you can take
a 10-inch drywall knife and use that, move out maybe 1-3 inches from the center, all
right? Put more pressure on the outside edge, okay, ’cause you want a nice tapered look.
So start here. Work your way to the end like that. Go on the other side of your joint and
do the same thing, okay? You just keep doing that on this joint and this joint, and I would
even wait to do this second one and this—or excuse me, this third one—and this fourth
one until these two longer joints are completely dry.
All right, if you have any high spots on your wall or your ceiling—that is you have some
chunky drywall joint compound—just knock it down or scrape it off with a 6-inch knife.
The reason you want to do that is because it’ll eliminate extra sanding that you have
to do, and you can also get a smoother finish with the next coat of joint compound. Because
this is a ceiling and I need to add a texture to it ’cause I’m going to go over this whole
3′ x 3′ section with a 10-inch or 12-inch knife to create a nice, smooth look. And I’ll
show you that next. All right, so here’s a 10-inch knife. What
I’m going to do is start on this side, all right? Sometimes, I’m a little bit messy.
Hey, I’m not perfect, but I’m just going to go over this like so, all right? I want a
nice, even layer of joint compound on the ceiling, and I’ll smooth it out when I’m done.
I’ll show you that, all right? So I do have a lot of groove marks here. What
I’m just going to do is this—I’m going to go from one end to the other with a nice,
smooth stroke, okay? All right. Doesn’t look too bad. You’re going to be left with a few
grooves here that you again can knock down and sand off smooth.
Right, this is the final step in the process of prepping the ceiling. So what you want
to do is, again, knock down any high spots—knock down any high spots with your joint compound
knife. The next thing that you need to do is to sand down your area.
Now you can sanding screens, you can use a pole sander, or you can do what I’m going
to do and use a sanding sponge. Now I like this because it’s a little bit wet, all right,
and what it does is it cuts down on the dust in your room. So if you’ve got allergies or
asthma, this is a great option. Obviously, you should also be wearing a respirator, but
for this, what I’m going to show you is that you want to sand in circles, okay? And by
sanding in circles, what you’ll do is taper in the wall—the existing wall—you have
with the joint compound that you applied. So I’m going to do it on the ceiling here.
So you just want to roll lightly, sand in circles, okay? So… just like this. Nice
and easy. So blend in, especially on the edges here. Blend in, nice and easy, using a circular
motion. Now what I have here is a bucket of water.
So if your sanding sponge gets gunked up, you just dip it in the water, squeeze it out,
and have at it again, okay? There are many different ways to add texture
to your ceiling. If you have a small section of your ceiling that you need to redo like
I am, you can simply brush on the joint compound. You can brush it on or you can roll it on.
I’m just going to brush it on. You brush it on to the whole section, then you can go back
over it and create your pattern like I’m doing here. So you can do it that way or you can
roll it on and create your pattern with your brush.
All right, that’s how you fix a drywall ceiling. I hope that this video helped you out. For
more tips and tricks on home improvement or home repair, visit me at
When you’re there, sign up for the email newsletter because you’re going to get weekly tips on
a lot of different projects that’ll help you out with your own house.
So take care, and I’ll see you soon!

74 thoughts on “How to Patch Drywall — by Home Repair Tutor

  1. Awesome repair but i hope you took care of that leak or where ever that water came from cause you might have to start over ๐Ÿคฃ

  2. That screen is huge, you could have just used the mesh tape designed for use with drywall and not had 8 inches of screen material to cover up.

  3. Wish my ceiling was wood like my dad's. Earthquake caused my ceiling light in the kitchen to fall and it's all fucked up. Trying to find a way to fix it. This video helped some

  4. Well done video. I learned about technique and it confirmed some of my notions about how to do it. It's always good to watch a pro. Thanks.

  5. Wow you make it much more easier and understanding for me. I feel more confident with this tutorial and the screen was brilliant . Thank you

  6. Huh huh, huh huh you said stroke ๐Ÿคฃ
    Thanks for doing this. I have a hole from water damage but I could only afford the water damage fix and not the aesthetics of my ceiling. Thanks!!

  7. Heres another video of a ceiling repair, with a different texture. Let me know your thoughts

  8. Legit video! Have a guy coming to my apt tmrw to fix my ceiling like this. I wanted to make sure I had a good idea of the procedure ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I cut a piece of drywall to fix the ceiling but when i screwed it on the drywall was not flush with the rest even thou they both measure 1/2 inch did i do something wrong.

  10. I have a repair to do just like that. I knew I turned down the 400.00 bid for a reason. Thank You for video

  11. Great video. What would you do if replacing a small piece that doesnโ€™t have support beams to tie the new piece down. I ordered a new bathroom ceiling fan/light/heater but itโ€™s smaller than the old cut out so I need to insert a 14 โ€œ x 3โ€ piece. Seam tape perhaps?

  12. I think that ceiling is prepared to look easy and perfect to make these demo look so easy.Ive never seen a ceiling so square with a complete opening

  13. Great Job! You explain well and now I'm ready to tackle a place in my ceiling where a roof leak caused the drywall ceiling to give up!

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