Fixing Drywall Damage

Damaged drywall may look catastrophic, but most dents and dings—and even some large holes—can be easily repaired by homeowners. While larger repairs may require professional help, the following guide can help when fixing minor drywall damage.

Nail holes, dents, and dings

Begin by scraping away any remaining debris from the hole. Fill small dents with fast drying spackle; let dry at least 24 hours before sanding smooth.

Popped nail heads

Popped nail heads occur when the nail backs out of the stud, popping back out through the drywall. Begin by driving in a new drywall screw 1-2 inches above the popped nail, sinking the screwhead in just below the surface of the drywall. Drive the popped nail back into the drywall before covering both with spackle. Let dry completely before sanding.

Small holes

Small holes, such as those created by a doorknob, can often be repaired using a patch kit. Place drywall mesh over the hole before covering it in a lightweight joint compound; take special care the feather the edges around the patch to ensure a smooth transition between drywall and patch. Let dry, apply a second coat if needed, and sand smooth.

Large holes

Larger holes will require a patch made using small pieces of drywall; the method of attaching the drywall will vary based on the size of the hole.

  • Holes smaller than six inches can be repaired using a California patch. Begin by cutting the drywall two inches larger than the size of the hole, with two additional inches for both height and width. Score the back of the drywall about one inch from each side before snapping and removing the gypsum, leaving the paper backing intact. Apply joint compound to the back of the paper border before fitting the gypsum into the hole; cover the entire patch with at least two layers of joint compound, taking care to feather the edges.
  • Holes larger than six inches. Cut a piece of drywall slightly larger than the hole; set the patch inside the hole and attach to the studs using drywall screws. Apply joint tape to the borders of the patch to further stabilize the wall before applying joint compound.

Need additional help?

Sometimes drywall repairs are too difficult or complex for even the most intrepid DIY-er. In those cases, it is best to call a professional handyman for additional help! In the Topeka and Lawrence areas, trust the experts at Graystone Painting & Refinishing to help with drywall repair and finishing. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you with your drywall repairs!