6 Easy Steps | Patching Screw Holes in Drywall

Eddie Shekari
February 28, 2020

Holes in drywall are a common affliction in any household. Whether you want to repair drywall before moving out of your apartment or mend holes in your longtime family home, it is likely that you will need to patch a hole at some point in your life. Many people go with fast, cheap remedies by using household items like toothpaste, bar soap, or craft glue; these can certainly get the job done in a pinch but if you want to learn how to patch screw holes in drywall in a way that will last, keep reading. 

patch holes with drywall

How Do You Fill Small Holes in Drywall?

To properly fill the hole, you’ll need the following items: 

  • Spackling paste
  • A putty knife or sharp utility knife
  • Sandpaper or a sanding block
  • Paint 
  • A small paintbrush or paper towel 
  • Gloves

Spackling paste is a putty-like patching compound that is used to fill holes, small cracks, and other minor defects in wood, drywall, and plaster. The compound can be purchased in powder form which the user must then mix with water to form the putty. It can also be purchased already in putty form, usually stored in a small tube or jar. 

The putty knife is what you’ll use to apply the compound to the wall surface. They come in various sizes and shapes, all best suited to various types or cracks and holes. For your purposes, a small one should work fine. 

You’ll need the sandpaper or sanding block after the putty has dried. It’ll get rid of the excess putty and then smooth it to give it an undetectable texture that looks cohesive with the rest of the wall surface. The paint that you choose should be the exact color of the rest of the wall, or at least similar enough that the difference isn’t easily noticeable. While this can be done well enough with a paper towel, purchasing a small, inexpensive paintbrush is likely to give you a smoother finish.

While spackling paste can be resolved relatively quickly with water,  there is no need to ruin your manicure. Wear some gloves to avoid getting gunk all over your hands. 

paint wall

How Do You Fill Screw Holes and Nail Holes in Drywall? 

These are the steps you should follow: 

  1. Make sure the wall surface is clean, dry, and free of debris. The last thing you want is for something to cause your spackling paste to not smooth well or dry improperly. This will just make the entire process longer than it needs to be. 
  2. Apply the spackling paste to the wall. This can be done with either your finger or the putty knife. Depending on the size of the hole, the amount of spackling paste will vary; if it is only a small nail or screw hole, a quarter-sized amount should do the trick. Applying too much will cause the paste to take longer to dry. 
  3. You’ll then need to use the putty knife to smooth the spackling paste, Slowly drag the knife over the surface to fill the hole
  4. Clean your putty knife with a damp cloth and drag the clean tool over the area to remove any excess putty. If you do this properly, it should only take the putty an hour or so to dry. However, it is recommended that, if the hole is larger or the layer of putty applied is thicker, that you should allow 24 hours for it to dry before proceeding. 
  5. After the putty has completely dried, use the sanding block or sanding paper over the patched areas to ensure an even surface. Once the area feels smooth, go over it with a damp cloth to remove any sand dust. 
  6. Finally, use the paintbrush or paper towel to apply the paint to the newly patched areas. Avoid applying a heavy coat of paint over the holes; this may leave obvious spots on your wall. 

Now that you know what to do, it’s time to get to work! If after reading this, you still don’t know how to patch screw holes in drywall, don’t think that you can do it, or just don’t have the time to sit around for spackling paste to dry, call Pro Painters for a free quote today. 

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Eddie Shekari

Eddie founded Pro Painters in 1995 to meet the growing need for high-quality residential and commercial painting needs in Houston. In nearly 20 years, Pro Painters has exponentially grown our client base, serving residents across the greater Houston area. Our core principles have helped us achieve the highest standard of workmanship and customer satisfaction. Our years of experience have allowed us to become an extension to our customers as the all-in-one solution for home makeovers.