How To Patch a Hole in the Wall

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

A nice big piece of art can hide a world of trouble on the wall behind it — and a few of my pieces did until I recently discovered how little effort it took to repair those minor accidents.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

I’m never really sure what I’ll get when I start working on the walls in my home—might be plaster, might be drywall, might be a layer of each— so my first (and let’s be honest, second) attempt at trying to put a screw in the wall didn’t go so well. The small little hole I was trying to drill turned into a giant hole. Oops. I’d love to say I’m a perfectionist and that I painstakingly research each project before attempting it, but I’m not and I don’t. I get really excited to see the end result, and often times my excitement and lack of research can lead to a big disaster, which leads to me learning from my mistakes, so it all works out in the end.

What You Need


  • Lightweight spackle


  • Putty knife
  • Sanding sponge


  1. Prepare the holes by first cleaning out any excess debris. You can use the corner of your putty knife, or grab a firm bristle brush to get the surface really clean. Be sure to knock off any pesky little hunks of drywall that are kind-of-sort-of attached so you have as much of a clean, inverted work area as you possibly can.
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)
  1. Load your putty knife with a generous amount of spackle and force it into the hole in the wall. Don’t worry about getting it all over the wall, you’ll take care of cleanup in the next step.
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)
  1. Line up the flat edge of your putty knife against the wall, just above the filled-in area and drag it across the hole once more, forcing the spackle into the hole and cleaning off the excess on the surface as you go.
(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)
  1. After the area has completely dried, lightly sand down any rough edges with a sanding sponge.
  2. Prime and paint the speckled area and you’re all set! See how easy that was?!

Note: I used Onetime spackling compound which contains very little moisture, so I only had to do this step… one time. If you choose to use a compound with more moisture, you will more than likely see shrinkage in the effected area after the compound dries, and you will need to repeat step 3 a few more times, sanding between each step after the area dries.