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How to Repair Screw Holes in Drywall

Whether you have moved into a new home or are renovating your current house, you may notice that there are holes in the drywall. A drywall hole can be caused by hanging a picture, shelf or another wall hanging using nails or screws and wall anchors. Drywall screws can also cause holes that should be covered. Even a small hole can be an eyesore and make your wall vulnerable to cracks, dents or further damage. Honest Renovations can guide you through all of the steps you need to follow to patch drywall holes quickly and easily.

What You Will Need:

  • Putty knife or 4-inch drywall knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Paper towels
  • Joint compound / Drywall patching compound
  • Sandpaper
  • Wall paint

Filling Holes Caused By Drywall Screws

a man with a screwdriver in his hand fastens drywall to the wall

1: Inspect The Area

The first step in a drywall patch is to assess the area and plan your next steps. Small holes caused by a nail, push-pin or screw are relatively easy to repair. Large screw holes in drywall left by drywall screws take longer to fix but will look just like new after everything is done.

2: Cut Any Loose Face Paper

If you notice that there is a fraying happening around the screw holes, that is the face paper of your drywall that has frayed or ripped. No new compound can be spread over this area because the paper will rip further and settle into the compound. This will cause your wall to look uneven, even after you have taken the time to fix it.

Carefully trim the paper’s edges with a utility knife. If there are tears from inside the wall, use a screwdriver or nail to push them back into the holes in the wall. This will work for any difficult-to-cut pieces. If you are filling a small nail hole and don’t see any tearing, skip to the next step.

3: Fill The Drywall Knife With Joint Compound

Next, dip the edge of the putty knife into the joint compound (also called mud). The compound will be thick and look almost like putty. There should be a small amount of mud on the edge of the knife; it’ll be just enough to patch the hole but not enough to leave a thick layer on the wall’s surface. If you fear that you have too much on your knife, get a paper towel or cloth and use it to wipe away any extras.

repairman works with plasterboard, plastering dry-stone wall, home improvement

4: Apply 1-2 Coats and Let It Dry

After you have prepared your knife, it is time to fill the hole! Using the putty knife, hold it at an angle to the wall and with the compound side facing the wall. Press the front edge of the knife to the wall and slowly drag it across the hole. You will smooth the patching compound across the hole and patch it. Make sure not to get the mud on any nearby wood or other larger areas because it can crack and dry.

After, check that the spackle has filled the hole, then do a second pass with the knife at a different angle. Continue to do this until the hole is filled, then let the first coat dry for at least one hour before going back to apply a second coat. It is important to note that 2-inch or larger holes in drywall will typically need at least one layer of compound to patch it correctly. Remember to let each layer dry thoroughly, then continue to fill it with mud.

5: Sand

After the mud is dry, use a piece of sandpaper to sand the wall. Sanding will help fix any uneven spots on the wall’s surface and ensure that it is smooth. We recommend that you use a 220 grit piece of sandpaper because it will finely sand down the mud.

6: Paint

After sanding the area, dust it off and apply a coat of paint. If you didn’t just install drywall and were fixing a preexisting wall, make sure that your new coat of paint will match the old one.

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