DIY: How to Fix Holes in Your Wall

Mixing joint compound to patch wall holes

Holes in the wall are just a part of life. They might happen thanks to rowdy kids or pets, or you might even get them when moving furniture in, hanging artwork on walls, or otherwise decorating your home.

Whatever the reason, you’ll likely want them fixed at some point or another — whether it’s to prep your home for sale or just to please your landlord.

Fortunately, wall fixes are usually a fairly easy DIY repair. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered:

How to fix small holes in the wall

Need to patch up a few nail or anchor holes before you leave your current rental? Those are an easy fix.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Buy some drywall tape and drywall joint compound, and have a utility knife, putty knife, and sandpaper on hand.
  2. Use your knife to prep the hole. Make sure there are no fly-aways or stray pieces of drywall sticking out. You want it flat and unfrayed.
  3. Cut a small section of drywall tape and cover the hole, overlapping an inch or two on all sides. Repeat with a second piece of tape to ensure full coverage.
  4. Cover the taped area with drywall compound using your putty knife. Make sure the compound is smooth.
  5. Sand, prime, and paint the area once dry.

Fixing larger holes in your wall 

If you have a larger hole to deal with (say, your toddler ran his Power Wheels into the garage wall), then it will take a little more work — but it’s not impossible to fix by any means.

First, head to a home improvement store and buy your supplies. You’ll need a piece of drywall, a few thin strips of plywood, drywall screws, drywall joint tape, and a tub of joint compound. You’ll also want basics like a pencil, tape measure, saw, a drywall knife, and sandpaper on hand.

Next, follow these steps:

  1. Use your knife to trim the edges of the hole and create an even square or rectangle. You might want to use a pencil and ruler for this.
  2. Put one thin strip of plywood at the top of the hole (behind the drywall) and attach it using drywall screws about six inches apart. Do the same at the bottom of the hole.
  3. Cut a piece of drywall to fit your hole. Try to get as close as possible in size, though it’s okay to overlap just a smidge, too (try to keep it to a very small fraction of an inch if you do).
  4. Use drywall tape to cover the seams of your patch and cover the tape with joint compound using a drywall or putty knife.
  5. Once the compound is dry, use sandpaper to smooth it out. You can then prime and paint the patch to match the rest of your wall.

Have a Bigger Problem?

If your issue is more than a foot or two in diameter, you may want to bring in a prop for the job. You’d also want professional help if there’s electrical wiring behind the wall you’re working on.

Need cash to pay for that pro consult? A cash-out refinance might be able to help. Get in touch to learn about your options.

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By Aly Yale / April 9th, 2020 / Categories: / Tags: ,

Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.