How to Patch Large Drywall Holes

Evan and Katelyn
by Evan and Katelyn
10 Materials
30 Minutes
Big holes in drywall (6”+ across) are a little tricky to tackle. They’re too big for a patch, so you’ll actually need to buy a panel of drywall and patch it with that. We’ll show you how!
The hole we’re patching was in our garage when we first moved in. I think someone might have rammed it with their car - ouch!
First you need to cut a hole around your hole. Which I know seems counterintuitive, but it’ll make it possible for you to patch it with a piece of drywall panel. We held up our drywall panel and traced it because our hole was almost as big as the panel itself.
Then we cut through the drywall using our serrated knife. After it’s cut, you can pull out the drywall chunks so you’re left with a clean square. You’ll have a rough edge around your cut, so sand it with a 150 grit sanding block and wipe off dust with a paper towel.
Our hole was a little under 2ft x 2ft, which is the size of the drywall piece we bought, so tracing the drywall piece made sense. But if your hole isn’t quite that big, you would do things a little differently. You’d cut a square around your hole, then cut out a piece of your drywall panel that was the same size. You can either measure your square hole and then measure out what you need to cut from the drywall piece, or if the square you cut out is intact you can trace it onto your drywall piece.
Now it’s time to attach your piece of drywall as a patch. You need to attach it to something solid. If you have studs behind your hole like we did, you can screw it into those.

If you don’t have studs, you’ll need to grab a piece of 1×4 and attach it inside the hole to the back of the drywall using 1-1/4″ drywall screws. Then, instead of screwing your drywall piece into the studs, you’ll screw it into that.

So we popped our drywall patch into the hole we cut and screwed it into our studs on either side. We did three screws on the left, three on the right.
Then we used the mesh drywall tape to tape the four edges around the patch. It comes in a roll and is slightly adhesive, and helps the joint compound stick in the gaps.
Get some joint compound on your putty knife and press it over your patch, starting in the middle and feathering it away, making sure to go at least a couple inches past your patch. It helps if your putty knife has some bend to it like the one we link to in the materials. Let this dry overnight and then come back and do a second coat. You’ll basically repeat the steps from before. First sand over any rough parts and wipe it down. Then apply another coat of joint compound. This time you’ll want to feather the edges a little bit past your original application.
Most tutorials online will recommend doing a third coat as well. If this was inside our house or in an area that wasn’t going to be potentially covered with shelves/pegboards/various other storage type stuff, we would do three too. But for our garage, we decided two was just fine.
I can't believe it took us 3 years to get around to this!! It was totally doable and now our garage looks a lot more finished. Let us know if you have any questions if you do it!!
Suggested materials:
  • Drywall panel   (
  • Mesh drywall tape   (
  • Joint compound   (
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 5 questions
  • Jaz11557489 Jaz11557489 on Aug 02, 2017

    My husband attempted to glue the towel brackets to our drywall in the bathroom. So you can imagine the mess he made. So can I scrape out that area as shown in the video and follow the same instructions that you suggested? Thanks Joan

  • Lyn Tully Lyn Tully on Sep 02, 2017

    How to make a fly screen for a window

  • Julenetodd Julenetodd on Sep 24, 2017

    How do you attached the2x4 yo the back before apply the sheet rock piece?

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3 of 39 comments
  • Vicki Newman Vicki Newman on Aug 15, 2017

    Thank you for the guide! I have two to fix, one behind the washing machine where the water taps hookup. Fun Fun! Thank you

    • Julie pickell Julie pickell on Jan 15, 2023

      I know this is 5-6 years ago but I need to do this where my washer and dryer are. Do you have any pictures or remember how you repaired this?

  • Vilma rosa Vilma rosa on Dec 19, 2018

    Gonna get all my stuff together and start my work