How to Patch a Wall

How to Patch a Wall



  • Joint Compound / Spackle
  • Powder
  • Putty knife
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Patch kit
  • Wood strips
  • Drywall saw
  • Drill
*each type and size of hole may require slightly adjusted materials and equipment



A Mesh Patch Kit is perfect for small holes. Mesh Patch Kits are self adhesive mesh squares that you use to reinforce the strength of the hole in the drywall before applying spackle. Each kit comes with easy-to-follow instructions and is available at any hardware store. 

1. Attach the mesh patch over the hole.

2. Use your putty knife to cover the entirety of the patch kit with spackle in an x-pattern.

3. Feather out the edges so they gradually get thinner/taper off so the patch blends with the surrounding wall better.

4. Let dry, sand smooth, and paint if needed


1. Gently scrape away (either with your hand or sandpaper) any debris or excess drywall around the area.

2. Using a putty knife or your finger, smooth out the spackle until the spackle covers the area and is flush with the surrounding wall.

3. Let dry 

4. Gently sandpaper any bumps away from the area

5. Repaint the area using a sponge or small paint brush if needed



California Patches (also called butterfly patches) are specifically for holes under 8 inches. A California patch uses a piece of drywall to 

1. Cut the hole into a square shape.

2. Cut a piece of drywall that’s two inches larger on all sides than the hole.

3. Score the brown paper on the back of the drywall patch an inch from all sides.

4. Snap off the gypsum from the scored part of the drywall piece so the paper is left intact surrounding the piece.

5. Set the piece into the hole so the gypsum is against the wall with four paper edges flared out. Using a pencil, trace around the gypsum on the wall (don’t include the paper flaps in your trace).

6. Using a drywall saw, cut the drywall that’s on the wall to match the traced lines.

7. Apply joint compound to the paper border on the gypsum side.

8. Place the piece inside the hole you’ve just created, flaps with compound flared out on all four sides.

9. Cover the entire patch with joint compound.

10. Use sandpaper to gently smooth out the patched area and repaint if needed.


1. Cut a piece of drywall that’s a few inches larger on all sides than the hole.

2. Trace the patch around the hole on the wall.

3. Using a drywall saw, cut the hole to match the patch outline.

4. Using a drill, attach a slim piece of wood (furring strip) to all four sides of the hole. Make sure the screws are sunk into the wall (not flush or raised) so you get a smooth final result.

5. The patch should fit perfectly within the hole, so you can attach the patch to the furring strips on all four sides. 

6. Once again, make sure the screws are sunk beneath the drywall surface.

7. Apply joint tape (a mesh tape similar to the mesh patch) around the edges of the hole to strengthen its perimeter.

8. Apply joint compound, sandpaper the area smooth, and repaint as you would in the previous two examples.



To mimic the raised texture, after patching and sanding the hole, mix joint compound with water and apply a thick layer to a stiff-bristled brush. Using a gloved finger, flick the mixture onto the patched area. You can use a putty knife or your finger to flatten areas if necessary.


If you have a few holes or dents that are spread out on a wall, touching up individual areas is probably best. If there are a lot of holes and/or they’re large in size, it might be worth it to repaint the entire wall once you’ve patched. In this case, be sure to prime the walls before you paint. The primer will act as a masking agent for any disparate textures or colors in the patched areas.

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