How to Fix Small Holes in Drywall
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Well, it’s officially time to get a start on Baby Boy’s nursery! Today, we’re kicking things off with a little DIY in the closet. My plan is to tackle the closet first and then move to the rest of the room. Fingers crossed we’re able to get everything done, finished, and organized by September. If this baby makes an early debut, I want to be ready for him!
The Current Closet
Here’s a look at the current closet setup. I added wire shelves in here when we first moved in and it’s been fine. It just holds an overflow of clothes for both Finn and me, along with some extra pillows and linens. Oh, and can you spot my high school letterman jacket? Some things are just too difficult to part with!
I started by removing all of the items in here and finding new homes for them. Then it took me about five minutes to rip everything out!
I was then left with an empty closet with lots of holes in the walls from the old wire shelves. There were seventeen holes to be exact! Some were smaller holes from screws and other holes still had anchors in them.
I used pliers to remove all of the anchors, so in the end, I had a mixture of small holes to fill and holes up to 1.5 inches wide. Now, let’s get onto the DIY project at hand…how to fix small holes in drywall.
Wall Repair – Supplies
Since I had a mixture of really small holes and slightly larger holes, I grabbed a variety of supplies.
- 3MTM Pro Grade PrecisionTM Sanding Sponge Block in 120 Grit
- 3M™ High Strength Small Hole Repair Kit
- 3M™ High Strength Small Hole Repair, All-in-One Applicator Tool
- Primer & Paint Supplies
How to Fix Small Holes in Drywall – Video
Sometimes it’s a lot easier to see projects like this in action, so I created a little video to walk you through the step by step to fix small holes in drywall. You can view it above or over on YouTube right here.
But don’t worry, if you need to see everything in picture form, I’ve got you covered below.
Small Screw Holes, Step by Step
First, here’s how I tackled the small holes in the closet that were less than 1/2 an inch. For these, I used the 3M™ High Strength Small Hole Repair, All-in-One Applicator Tool. This little gadget is so convenient because it has everything you need all in one tool – a sanding pad, primer enhanced spackle, and a putty knife all in one.
This is one of those tools that’s nice to have in your toolbox or drawer in your home. If you ever have to quickly fill a nail hole or dent in your drywall, you can just whip this bad boy out! Here’s how I used it to fix the small holes here in the closet.
P.S. Both the small and large hole repair formulations are strong enough to hold a nail or screw in place once it completely dries. Good to know since I’ll be adding another closet system in here!
Sand & Wipe Away Dust
First, I used the end of the tool to sand the holes and get rid of any excess drywall or debris. You want a smooth surface before adding your spackle. I then used a rag to wipe the wall and get rid of any dust.
Fill with Spackle
Then, I popped open the spackle and squeezed some out and into the hole. The squeeze bottle is nice because you can control how much comes out.
I flipped over the tool and used the built-in putty knife to smooth the spackle over the hole and feather it out on the edges.
Let Dry & Sand
It didn’t take long for these small areas in the closet to dry. I probably let them dry for about thirty minutes and then sanded the extra away. For smaller coverage, you can use the sanding pad that comes on the All-in-One Applicator Tool. When working on a large surface area, you can use the 3M™ Pro Grade Precision™ Sanding Sponge Block in 120 grit.
The patterned side of the sanding sponge is great for detail sanding and the opposite side is optimized for flat surface sanding.
And there you go, the hole is gone! I was amazed by how well this little tool worked in here.
Larger Anchor Holes, Step by Step
Now, onto those slightly larger holes that were left from the closet anchors….For these, I’m using the 3M™ High Strength Small Hole Repair Kit. This kit is good for holes up to three inches, so it was perfect for these larger holes. If you have a hole bigger than that, I’d go with this 3M™ High Strength Large Hole Repair Kit.
The 3M™ High Strength Small Hole Repair Kit comes with everything you need for a repair like this. It has a putty knife, primer enhanced spackle, 4-inch drywall repair screen, and a little sanding sponge all in there!
Sand and Wipe Away Dust
Just like the smaller hole, I started by sanding and wiping the dust away.
Cut Patch to Size & Attach
Next, I took the patch and cut it down to size. You don’t want to take the patch and simply put it on the wall for this size hole. Instead, it’s much better to cut it so that it’s a little bit bigger than the hole you’re trying to cover. I took some sharp scissors and cut the patch to size for each of the holes in the closet.
The patch is sticky on the back, so it will adhere right to the wall.
With the patch in place, I then took the spackle and put it right on there. You’ll want to make sure you completely cover the patch and then try your best to feather out the spackle on the ends, using the putty knife. It will be a tad thicker right over the patch and then the spackle will gradually get lighter as you spread out over the hole.
Let Dry & Sand
I then let it dry for about an hour (this spackle repairs three times faster than traditional spackling compounds) and went back over it with a sanding pad. Make sure you don’t sand too much so that you reveal the patch underneath. If that happens, it’s okay. Just add more spackle, let it dry, and sand again!
And just like that, the holes disappeared!
With all of the holes fixed in the drywall, I then gave the entire closet a coat of primer. The spackle is primer enhanced for better hiding power, but given all the wear and tear in here – I wanted to give the closet a fresh coat. Since we’ll be wallpapering this space, it didn’t need to be perfect. But I wanted to make sure that everything was evenly coated so we have a good base when it’s wallpaper time!
Our Closet Now
All of the small holes in the drywall are officially fixed. You’ll never spot those seventeen holes in here! It’s now a fresh and clean space that is ready for the next step in this room makeover.
Now, this closet is all ready for wallpaper…yay! I’m so excited to add some color and life to the space. I’m planning to wallpaper with my friend, Erin (from Relativity Textiles) in a few weeks, so stay tuned for that.
I hope this post was helpful to learn how to fix small holes in drywall around your house. I know people are often nervous to hang things and mark up their walls, but I hope this tutorial has proven to you that it’s pretty darn easy to get your walls looking good again, especially when you use the right products!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.