How to patch a hole in a wall


Master contractor and all around good guy Ed Del Grande demonstrates how to fill in a hole and leave a nice, smooth surface ready to touch up with a paint brush.

How to patch a hole in a wall If you can stick your finger in the hole it’s big enough for a patch. Find a patch kit containing all of the materials you’ll need (keep one around the house for future patch jobs) at your local hardware store. Place the drop cloth under the area you’re patching and you’re ready to go.
  1. Clean the hole of any loose drywall so the patch has a good surface to stick to.
  2. Stick the self-adhesive patch to the hole, smoothing it down with your hand or the putty knife.
  3. Put some spackle on the putty knife and place it in the center of the patch. Work the spackle out over the entire patch.
  4. Let the spackle dry for a couple of hours (if you use pink-tinted spackle it will be white when dry).
  5. Smooth the dry spackle with the sandpaper, then paint to match the wall.
Transcript LISA:  Hi. I’m Lisa Birnbach for You know that hole in your wall that’s driving you crazy every time you walk past it. Well, Ed Del Grande is here to tell us how to fix it he is the author of House Call. How are you?

ED:   I’m doing great but your wall-

LISA: This is driving me crazy!

ED: I may be good but your wall is not good. Ahh, you know a lot of people ask me, Ed, when do you know when to use a patch instead of just spackling a smaller hole?

LISA:   I would just sell the house for that hole.

ED:  No. Well here is the rule of thumb, as a matter of fact were gonna use a finger, so its close to a thumb. When you stick your finger in a hole that big is enough to qualify for a patch. So were going to patch this up for you right now.

LISA:  Ok. What are patches made of?

ED:  Well, first you can buy this kit for under ten dollars, it makes it very easy. See it comes with Spackle, you also have your putty knives, and then you do have the patches included so I would get one of these kits. Keep it around the house you can use it over and over.

LISA:  Ok. And so in that one kit you have everything you need.

ED:  Everything you need. As a matter of fact I opened up another kit already, and here’s the main thing you need right here is the patch.

LISA: Which is made out of what?

ED:  It’s a mesh that will actually hold the spackle in place, and plus, feel how that’s tacky. It will stick right to the wall for you. But, before you stick it on the wall you have to prepare the wall. And that’s the pro trick.

LISA:  Ok.

ED: Get a knife, a razor knife, a sharp knife, and just get all the loose stuff out of there. Now the patch has something to stick to so-

LISA:  And that was enough?

ED:  Yeah, that was enough, remember this is tacky. You just want to cover that hole and use that hole for a bull’s eye. Put it right in the middle and see how it’s looking already.

LISA: Yeah.

ED:  And then just…

LISA:  And then I can have people over for dinner.

ED:  Well good, see your learning already. You just stuck that up there nice and tight.

LISA:  Now Ed, you don’t have to trim the patch?

ED:  Nope. Because remember we’re going to go over that with the spackle, and if you really wanna stick it down, this is another pro trick, you can use the putty knife itself to get it good and tight to that wall.

LISA:  Ok.

ED:  Now here’s the magic spackle. This is my favorite spackle; you can see its pink.

LISA:  Radioactive pink.

ED:  Well, no, not radioactive. But, that pink is a very important color, you know why?

LISA:  Why?

ED:  When its wet its pink, when its white it means its dry and you can sand it.

LISA: Oh. Fantastic.

ED:  Plus you can see what your doing to the wall. Now watch, then we just get a nice glob of it right here, start where the hole is, and your going to feather it out. Now see what I’m doing here?

LISA:  Yes.

ED:  A little bit will drop don’t worry; use some drop cloths on the floor. And this will really get into all that mesh screen. See, I’m working it in.

LISA:  Uh huh.

ED:  It will take some practice before you actually get to the wall that you’re fixing so just-

LISA:  But this is important, you’ve done this a million times and you are biologically a man, but for-

ED:  The last time I checked.

LISA:  Right, but for people like me who have never done this, is it going to be this easy?

ED:  Yes, it should be this easy, maybe not as quick that’s the only difference between a pro and an armature. The pros are just a little quicker.

LISA:  So Ed, we just went to the movies, were back, the thing is white and dry.

ED:  Well now you’re ready for sanding, and once you sand it you can wipe it down with a tack cloth, then you can paint it. But remember Lisa; the paint has to match the walls for the hole to really disappear.

LISA:  Oh, right. Ok. But you really think I can do this myself?

ED:  Absolutely.

LISA:  And the hole is gone.

ED:   It’s gone for good.

LISA:  Ok, thanks so much Ed.

ED:  Your welcome.

LISA:  For I’m Lisa Birnbach.
meet theexpert
  • Ed Del Grande

    Ed Del Grande Master Contractor Ed Del Grande is a master contractor and plumber and the author of House Call: Foolproof Tricks of the Trade from a Master Contractor. He hosted Ed the Plumber on the DIY Network and currently writes a home improvement newspaper column.
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