Drywall Repair: Tips for Patching Drywall

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If you are planning on painting an area of drywall in your house, you will want to get the surface as smooth as possible, ideally without the expense of hiring a drywall repairman, even in a big city like washington dc. Fortunately, drywall repair is not actually all that complicated, as long as you know how to fix hole in drywall. Once you’ve got your head around how best to approach the damage, the project isn’t that difficult, even if you are dealing with a large area of damage.

Here at Best of Machinery, we’ve got a selection of top tips for how to fix a hole in drywall without needing to call a professional. No matter whether you are new to home repairs and related areas or a practiced DIY expert, we’ve got all the information you might need about repairing drywall. Read on below to find out more about how to repair drywall!

Tips for Patching Drywall

Dealing with a small area of damage to your wall or ceiling isn’t too large a project, but you might be wondering how to deal with a larger project, such as a big hole in your wall or ceiling that might take a lot of work to deal with. You could call a professional in, if you want to get it done fast, particularly if you live in a large city like washington dc, or you could give the project a go yourself even if you are not even close to being a professional at drywall repair. If you follow our top 10 tips, you should be able to complete the project without making too much of a mess, and you won’t even need to hire a professional!

Self-Priming Filler

If you are patching up a hole in the wall, you will usually need to cover it with a sealing primer before painting. If you don’t do that, then the filler will show through from the back of the paint as a cloudly, smudgy patch. You can make your life easier here by using a self-priming patching material to fill the hole, allowing you to keep all the walls in your home looking smooth and clean with minimal extra work required!

Setting Compounds and Larger Holes

Patching compound is perfectly good for smaller repairs like screw holes and also small dents, but if you are dealing with a larger repair project in the drywall of your home, then you will want to use a joint compound that includes a setting chemical. These are harder to sand than simple fillers, though, so be careful when applying this, and try to cut it back to flush with the wall when you initially apply the filler, so you don’t have to go back over and over again, sanding back and forth to get the wall as smooth as possible again.

Fill several Holes at Once

Home renovations in older cities like washington dc often lead to discovering whole rows of related holes. Rather than filling these one at a time, back to back, try just sanding the whole line of holes in a single, smooth swipe. It is much faster than filling them individually back to back, and also doesn’t actually need as much skill as you might expect!

Knock back Old Paint

If you remove a nail or other object from your drywall, you will often find that it leaves a little ridge of old paint. To make this smooth again, you will need to knock it back down. Use the back of your putty knife, and make a dent in the surface that you can fill back up with repair materials later. Also, make sure you don’t hit it too hard! Gentle, consistent pressure is much better than smashing it hard, and once you’ve done that, you will find that you get a much more professional looking result.

Stick-on Patches

If your drywall has moderately sized holes in it that are relatively deep, you can avoid enormous amounts of work by sticking on a mesh patch before you start to patch the hole. Sand the drywall surface before you apply the patch, and you will be good to go!

Repair Spray

You might find that there are a lot of small stress cracks in your walls, particularly if your home is an older building, like many houses in washington dc and other older cities. Fortunately, you can buy professional quality crack repair spray that can cover this damage up perfectly without needing to go back to get the job done better later.


Older, dented, uneven walls are common in older cities like washington dc, and these can be unsightly and annoying to repair. Fortunately, uneven drywall like this can be returned back to smoothness by simply skimming a layer of joint compound over the top of the entire drywall surface.

Sealing Exposed Drywall Paper

Peeling off old adhesive can tear and damage the drywall surface paper that protects the surface. If you patch over it without sealing it, you can cause further damage and require further repairs to the drywall. To avoid this, just spray an oil or shellac-based sealer over the paper before you start to patch it!

Patching up Textured Walls

Older houses, like those found in old cities such as washington dc, often feature textured surfaces over drywall areas. These can be annoying to patch up, and you will notice a lot of houses in washington dc have unevenly patched drywall walls in many rooms. Fortunately, you can buy spray-on textures that you can apply to a patched area to match the drywall surface around it!

Angled lights

A bright light can make drywall repair much easier, but if you want to get the smoothest surface possible, position your light, so it is angled to the side. This will highlight any imperfections, allowing you to spot the places where you need to smooth it down a bit more.

How much does it cost to Repair Drywall?

The cost of repairing a drywall surface will depend on the scale of the damage, and whether you do it yourself or hire professionals. In the washington dc area, most professionals seem to charge around $50 to $75 per hole, which means that you will usually be expecting to pay $150 to $300 for most projects. If you are in more rural areas than washington dc then this cost may vary, though!

Repairing your own drywall will be cheaper and will generally only cost the materials and tools required. That means it will be much cheaper if you already have drywall filler and spreaders available in your house!

How Big of a Hole can you Patch in Drywall?

Small holes in drywall are easy to patch over with filler, but larger holes are much more difficult to patch up and will require some specialist drywall maintenance tools and supplies that could be hard to get hold of. In general, you can repair holes in drywall of up to around 6 to 8 inches across without too much difficulty.

What Tools do you need to Repair Drywall?

As well as the repair materials themselves, you are going to need a few specialist tools for patching up drywall. Here are the most important ones:

There are other useful tools too, but these are the most essential tools that you can’t really get away without!


Drywall can be repaired at home as long as you have a basic idea of what you are doing and have all the supplies required for the task at hand. Our tips above are not an exhaustive guide, but they should help you to get started with fixing holes in your drywall. With a little bit of experience, you can get your walls looking smooth and perfect again without having to shell out for an expert!

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