Asked on Feb 26, 2020

Is there a way to patch drywall holes for reuse?

by John

Drywall anchors for a shelving unit came loose-is it possible to patch up the original wall holes for reuse with anchors? I have considered moving the bracket; but it doesn't align with the other mounts on the wall-it will stick out like a sore-thumb. If this is possible, what are the different techniques and materials to achieve a strong enough bond for reuse?

Thank you!

  11 answers
  • Pamela Pamela on Feb 26, 2020

    Hi ! You can spackle the holes to fill them , let it dry , then sand down to blend with the wall , then paint . But ...I wouldn't trust it to be used to screw into the same

    spot ! I would move it over some ...but since you said you can't...we had this problem in our bathroom , where the towel bars pulled out of the wall . My husband came up with a great , easy solution . He screwed a piece of wood to the wall , into the wall studs , then the brackets for our towel rack can be screwed in to the wood !

    you can see my tutorial , that I posted on this site called secure towel rack solution

    good luck !!!

  • Lucky Home Today Lucky Home Today on Feb 26, 2020

    I wouldn't re-use it. I would move the anchor to a different area and patch for cosmetic purposes.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 26, 2020

    Yes you can but I would do a small patch rather than just fixing the holes. Cut a larger section out, until you get to the stud. Cut a piece of drywall to fit then screw in, tape,and mud. With a damp sponge, smooth the mud. Repeat 3x and paint.

  • Handyman Handyman on Feb 26, 2020

    As you have discovered the hard way, wall anchors have some real limitations when it comes to anchoring weight. If you absolutely have to mount in the same spot and cannot mount into wood, then the repair needs to be such that this doesn't happen again. A good way is to spread the weight out across the back of the drywall rather than having it concentrated on a small anchor spot. So ...

    Cut out a 4" (approximate size, can be a bit larger) square of drywall around the hole. This will give you a bit of room to work and will make it easier to make a clean patch.

    Cut strips from 1/2" x 2" wood that are at least 6" longer than your drywall hole is wide (even longer if there is room behind the drywall).

    Slip the wood strip(s) through the hole and center it so you have 3" or more wood on either side of the hole. Make sure one wood strip is behind where your new wall anchor is going to be. Using drywall screws, screw through the old drywall and into the wood to mount it firmly.

    With the wood in place you now have 1) an easy way to install your patch piece of new drywall, and 2) something that will spread out the weight of the shelving unit quite a bit.

    Cut a piece of new drywall to fit the hole and patch & paint as usual.

    When you mount the shelving unit again use drywall toggle anchor, installing the anchor so that the toggle lines up with the wood strip.

    Hope this helps 😀

  • on Feb 26, 2020

    Did you use hollow wall anchors the first time?

    • John John on Feb 26, 2020

      Yeah I used the metal wall anchors where you screw in and the anchors should to spread out in the circular shape.

  • Betsy Betsy on Feb 26, 2020

    Hi John: What you can do is to get a piece of wood, maybe 1/2 inch thick and at least 3 inches wide and as long as you need, but make sure it crosses over 2 studs. Paint this wood to match your wall and screw it onto your wall, on the studs, the widest part of the wood on the wall. Then, you can attach anything you want to to this wood and it should hold up quite well. If you are spanning more than 2 studs, screw the wood onto the stud at every stud. Good luck.

  • William William on Feb 26, 2020

    I don't like the look of wood boards for supporting shelf brackets. Even painted they just don't look good. I like a clean look. I always use toggle bolts to hold shelf brackets that will take a lot of weight. The butterfly expands inside the wall.

  • Patching the hole and reusing it sadly isn't going to pan out. You can to through the effort of opening up the wall some and adding wood backing but that's a lot. Ideally go up or down if you can and use the screw in wall anchors, the type that look like large screws. Anything less than that will not be sturdy enough.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Dec 31, 2020

    Ya you can patch it up with compound

  • Betsy Betsy on Jan 03, 2021

    Hi John: Drywall is not really sturdy enough for shelving as a general rule. Can you move the shelving unit to studs? If not, the only thing I can think of is to get a board long enough to cover a couple of studs, maybe about 3" wide and a 1/2 inch thick, paint it to match your wall and attach that to your studs, horizontally. Then, attach your shelving unit to that. It will be much sturdier than the drywall.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Oct 31, 2021

    compound would work