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How To Fix A Hole In The Wall

We know how to fix a whole in the wall efficiently and without leaving trace. Read about the materials needed, its cost and best tips to fixing that hole.

A hole in the wall can happen from natural causes or due to a mishap in the home. Moving furniture, hanging paintings, installing cable and many more things lead to putting holes in walls. The good news is that fixing holes in the wall is a common DIY project for many home owners. There is nothing difficult about it, so no experience is required to get the job done right. If you look at it closely, the cheap and easy way is not that much different than what a professional would do. If the hole isn’t the size of a television screen, you are better off fixing the problem on your own. The longest part of the project is letting the material set and dry without interfering with the process.

The Pros And Cons Of Fixing A Hole In The Wall

Keep in mind these instructions cover small to moderate sized holes. Anything that is considered large will need a much different guide. If you’ve ever painted a home before, about half of the materials you need will already be in your possession. In areas where there is a lot of furniture and appliances blocking a clear path to the hole, you will have to either move it or improvise. And for holes that are up high, caution or a helper is recommended so that you don’t fall off the ladder. By following directions you won’t make a mistake that will make the hole worse.

Pros

  • Low costing DIY project that can be finished in under an hour. Experience isn’t necessary to completely cover the hole and make the area look brand new.
  • Can be used on small to medium holes, patching them up in a matter of minutes. Makes it less likely for insects to crawl in or out of the holes if they remained open.
  • Materials are easy to find, even if it is at a local corner store. You’ll have plenty of materials left over to use if there are more holes to patch. Once you start this project, you’ll most likely not have to worry about buying materials to patch a hole for at least a decade.
  • Better drying material will make it easier for you to reinforce weaker areas of a wall. After it dries, you can hang pictures and other items on the repaired area.

Cons

  • If the paint you’re using for the wall is hard to find, you may have to improvise. You could be looking at repainting the entire wall just to make it match the color of the area you patched up.
  • Some of the solutions used for covering holes requires mixing water (or other materials) to make a paste. It’s not hard, but it does make it more likely that mistakes can happen with the mixture. If cost isn’t a concern, then going with materials already premixed is the better idea.
  • Large holes require a completely different guide to repair, and different skillsets. Leaving a large hole exposed is a bad idea, so will give you little choice when deciding between a DIY project and calling a professional.
  • Holes that are high up require the use of a stepladder. For safety purposes having a helper there to keep you steady is recommended.

Materials Needed

Paint is the only real ‘unknown’ about this project. Everyone has different paint, and not all stores will carry your specific color. That is the only difficult part of the project, although many users have turned that problem into a pro by repainting the entire area. Others choose to leave the area unpainted and cover with a television, picture, furniture or other objects. You can decide on what you want after the hole is patched.

SandpaperBasic and tough. You can use any of the variations of sandpaper available as long as it can smooth out a tough area. You can even find tools that have them on sticks to reach higher areas.

Putty KnifeThis hand tool can be used for multiple purposes, but for this project it will be used to get rid of excess material around the patched hole. Two or three passes is enough to smooth out the material so that it dries on its own.

Drywall Patching CompoundYou have two choices with this material; spackle or plaster. Either will do the trick, and every hardware store will carry a variation of it.

Wall Hole PatchA kit will give you everything needed in one package. Some of them even come with extra materials like sandpaper or a putty knife so that you don’t have to buy it separately. Whichever kit you choose, make sure that the included directions are followed.

Spray BottleThis is filled with water and used when needed to get the wall hole patch to stick. It isn’t a must have item, just a helpful one.

Wall Texture SprayStrictly by opinion, going with a water-based wall texture spray is a good idea. There is nothing wrong with other types, but this is the one that is used the most for DIY wall patching projects.

Paint/PaintbrushPaint will be the easiest or hardest part of the entire project. If you don’t know the exact color of your walls, you can always take a couple of paint color strips from the store. Comparing this with a photo will help you to find the color on the walls. And if the store has an interactive kiosk, then you job just got 100% easier.

The Job

The most time consuming thing about this project is finding the right paint. If this isn’t a problem, then the job is a breeze. Before getting to work on fixing the hole, make a decision about whether you want the wall colors to stay the same. After patching up the hole you could combine it with a painting project for the room. Before starting, clear the area and make sure nothing valuable is in your way.

Start by getting rid of any pieces of the wall that are loose where the hole is present. You want to make it as neat as possible before patching it up. If the hole is big enough, check inside for loose wall pieces. Once that is done, sand down the edges of the hole so that the surface is ready for the drywall patching compound. Before you get to the compound, read the directions for the wall hole patch. It needs to be in place before you add the compound. Now this is where things get interesting based on the brand you go with. Usually you only have to remove the backing paper from the sticky side when using a wall patch. But all brands are different, so it’s best to follow there directions. Apply the patch and leave at least ½ an inch on each side of the hole. Some walls will give the stick parts of the patch trouble, so wet it with the spray bottle just enough to keep it in place.

Apply the compound over the edges of the patch while working your way into the middle. The putty knife will give you full control over how well it is applied. It may be a good idea to let the edges sit for a while before coming back and filling in the middle. Smooth out all of the compound with the putty knife, but there is no need to go overboard. Then whatever is leftover will be sanded after the compound dries. By doing a good job with the putty knife there will be less work to do with the sanding. Once it dries, sand the area down with sandpaper. You want it smooth, so take your time with all of the motions. It should only take a few minutes if you did a good job with the putty knife from before. Wipe the area down with a wet rag and let it sit for about fifteen minutes.

Wall texture spray comes next, and just like the wall hole patch the directions need to be followed. Every brand is different, so be aware of how much you use. Once it is applied, let it dry before moving over to the last step; painting the wall. You should already have the paint needed at this point, so consider the project done.

Essential Tips For Fixing A Hole In The Wall

Most of the time spent with this project involves waiting for things to dry. Actual time spent working is less than twenty minutes if you’re fast. Although this is a simple job, it can be messed up badly if you’re not careful. Follow the instructions and this will be one of the easier DIY projects that you’ve ever undertaken.

  • Getting paint that is ‘close enough’ will make the wall look bad. If you plan on covering the area with something and can’t find your exact color match, then leave it as is without any new paint.
  • Take care when preparing the surface while sanding. Too much pressure will damage the area you just patched up.
  • Large holes require a completely different guide. Don’t use small/medium size hole instructions for projects that are larger than it can handle.
  • You can use a wet sponge in place of the water bottle. This may prove useful in getting specific parts of the job done faster.
  • Don’t skip the drying process. Moving too fast will cause the area to weaken. Use the drying time as a way to take a break or prepare for the next phase of the project.
  • Save time by smoothing out the compound correctly. The smoother you apply it, the less time is needed for sanding.
  • Follow the directions carefully for wall hole patches and wall texture sprays. Even if you’ve dealt with them before, all brands have different instructions to follow.

Cost

You won’t even crack $100 when trying to fix a hole in the wall. Name branded products are nice, but totally unnecessary for this kind of project. The only thing that will set you back (probably) is the paint, and that is dependent on the type you have currently.

Sandpaper is available as many different types, with the easiest acquisition being general purpose. You can go for the different variations like sanding blocks, but it is totally unnecessary. $1-$3

A putty knife can be purchased on its own or with a wall hole patch kit. Either one is fine since there is no advantage to having a high end putty knife. Plastic, metal or any other material will do the job just fine. $1-$4

You can get a big tub/tube of drywall patching compound for cheap. Spackle or plaster is fine, and you’ll always have plenty left over for other projects. $4-$20

It was mentioned before that wall hole patch kits sometimes come with a putty knife. You save a couple of bucks by purchasing this combo, just make sure to read the directions before using. $4-$9

Spray bottles can be purchased for ridiculously low prices. Sometimes it’s easier to just repurpose the bottle of a cleaning product that has run out. $1

When choosing wall texture spray, prioritize products that dry the fastest. All of the major brands are around the same price, so you really won’t go too much out of pocket by doing this. $10-$20

Paint/Paintbrush is going to be the hardest thing to define. It will be different for all households, and can cost a couple of bucks or be the most expensive item for the project. $4-$60

Video Resources

FAQ

Is It Necessary To Paint Over The Patched Area?

It’s only for design reasons, so no. You can always hang a picture, television or other item over the patched area instead of painting it. This will come in handy if you plan on repainting the entire room later.

Are There Any Dangers To Fixing A Hole In The Wall?

The presence of mold, loose wires and a damaged support beam through the hole should halt the project. If you see any of these things then it is not safe to continue without professional help.

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