Drywall repair: Repairing a medium hole


One of the most common questions on house improvement is how to repair drywall, and it's not about just repairing, but how to repair so that no one could notify that it's been damaged. Well It’s tough work. With drywall covering just about every square inch of your house, condo, or apartment, it’s bound to get messed up. So it is better to Learn the right way to repair holes in drywall, cause you don't want to call repair guys every time and cost yourself a lot of money.

In this article we're going to show you how to repair a medium-size hole in drywall and make you your own repair guy. Rest assured Once you master this skill, it will serve you well and save your money until the day that drywall become old fashioned and something better comes to houses. Although we show you tips to improve your work. You can find more tips in this link. Take a look at the list below to start.

Materials List

Here are the materials you’ll need before you get started.

  • Drywall
  • Mesh tape
  • Setting compound
  • Backer boards
  • 1-1/4″ Drywall screws

Drywall: Available in several thicknesses. Most interior walls utilize 1/2″ drywall, and ceilings are usually 1/2″ or 5/8″. You'll need a 4′ x 8′ sheet of drywall based on where your wall is damaged. That’s way more than you need for this project. You can buy smaller sections measured 2′ x 2′ in almost every home improvement center. This pieces are great for making repairs. Plus, you can save the “leftovers” for the next time.

Mesh tape: You can use either mesh tape or paper tape. But since we think mesh is easier to work with and it's better for repairs, we'll go with that. Of course you can use paper tape if you want. You'll see it really comes down to personal preference more than anything else, if you talk to some contractors.

We need a backer board to screw the new piece of drywall into it. You have to pass it through the hole so make sure to size your backer board.

Setting Compound: Setting compound or hot mud is a powder that you mix with water. Unlike joint compound which dries through evaporation, setting compound dries through a chemical reaction, shrinks very little and dries very hard. Setting compound is differentiated by setting time (in minutes), and you’ll find 5, 20, 45, 90, etc. We suggest you to buy 45 minutes so you can work relax and don't rush through it.

Tip: You should know that mud that has “set up” isn’t completely dry. You can apply another coat safely once the mud has set up. Remember before you sand it, you should Let the mud fully dry overnight.

Backer Boards: To repair a hole, You need some sort of backer board to screw the new piece of drywall to it. A small piece of 1/4″ plywood should do the job.


Alongside materials, you'll need tools:

  • Drywall saw
  • 6″ Drywall knife
  • Drill / driver or screwdriver
  • 100 grit Sandpaper

Tip: You need a drywall knife that has a metal heel at the end of it for pushing defects into the surface of the drywall. A good drywall knife should be made from stainless steel.

Step 1: Square the Hole

Squaring the hole is the first thing you have to do. Don't worry about making the hole bigger. It's just not worth it to cut your piece of drywall to a circular shape. So be a man and square up the hole!

Step 2: Inserting the Backer Board


Tip: For smaller holes screw the backer board so you can hold on to something after you put the board through the hole.

After inserting backer board put four screws in to hold it in place. Countersink the screws just below the surface of the drywall.


Step 3: Cut a New Piece of Drywall


Cut a new piece of drywall and fit it into the square. Use your drywall saw.

Step 4: Cover the Joints with Tape


Use the tape to cover all the edges. One side of the tape has adhesive which makes it easier to position.

Step 5: Apply First Coat (Using Mixed Compound)

For a good compound mixing, you should keep adding powder/water to rich thick, “mashed-potato” consistency. Then apply first coat using 6″ drywall knife.



This is only the first coat so don't worry about it. Just make sure you embed all the mesh tape, and try to eliminate any air pockets. Smooth it out as best you can.

Step 6: Second Coat

Second coat is for feathering out the edges. While the first coat set up, mix another small batch of compound and apply it so that the drywall makes a smooth transition over the repair. You can do this with two coats of mud, if you'r good.

Step 7: Final Coat

Another coat helps to save you from having do a lot of sanding. Try to feather out the edges even further, and make it as smooth as possible.

Step 8: Sand Smooth

Now you should smooth over all the edges and remove any dimples or ridges. Use the sand paper and make sure it’s all even.

Step 9: Prime

Prime is a necessary step before painting and if you skip this step, after you paint the wall you can see the difference between repaired area and other areas. It’s a rookie mistake to skip priming. Compound absorbs paint differently.

Step 10: Paint

Now you can paint your wall and make it as good as new. If you've been saving any paint you can use that or just go to the local DIY center with a sample that they can color-match. Rolling the paint on will match the repaired area texture with rest of the wall.

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