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Do any "EXPERTS" know how to PERFECTLY patch 1/2"-diameter sheet rock holes?

Do any "EXPERTS" know how to PERFECTLY patch 1/2"-diameter sheet rock holes?


Old 01-06-18, 11:03 AM
HareKrishna's Avatar
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Post Do any "EXPERTS" know how to PERFECTLY patch 1/2"-diameter sheet rock holes?


Over the last year, I made some 1/2 inch holes in my apartment sheet rock walls. The holes were made with self drilling plastic anchors which I used for hanging things on the walls. I have attached a picture.

Now, I am moving out of this apartment, and I need to "fix the damage" I've done -- and make these holes invisible through proper patching, then paint over them with touch-up paint (I have some that matches the current wall paint).

I don't have any experience in using spackle or mud or whatever. But I want to learn how to use the techniques a professional would use to cover up these holes!

This is my first post on "Doityourself", and I was wondering if any "Professionals/Experts" would see my request for help and give me their "coaching"?

I need to learn the steps a professional would use, one at a time with all the details. I will be happy to buy any tools needed (maybe small rotating finishing center? Anything else I need?).

I need these patchings to "disappear" (as far as the landlord is concerned) -- to be undetectable when I am all done. So I can then paint over them before the landlord gets a chance to see the damage I have done.

I don't want to end up with little raised for sunken mounds of spackle (I have seen some friends make amateur attempts at filling holes, which are clearly visible after paint is applied to them).

So, you get the idea, I just want perfectly flat, 100% undetectable surface ready for printing.

I throw myself at the mercy of the handymen/professionals in this forum, who have experience in such things. If there any YouTube videos, or any other tutorials that you personally recommend, by all means give me the links. But I took a look over there on Youtube, and found so much conflicting advice. Mostly by amateurs, I think (?)

Thanks for anybody's time who knows what the heck they are doing and can become my mentor in this new area of sheet rock hole repair!


(Bewildered in Toronto)
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Old 01-06-18, 11:44 AM
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It's hard to fill a deep/empty hole like that so I would reinsert the anchor. The anchor you show is available in a metal version if the old anchor doesn't grab.
Screw in the anchor so that it is just below the surface of the drywall paper, making a shallow dimple.
Overfill the dimple with joint compound and let it dry for 24 hours, push the compound in fully with a putty knife and then overfill.
Sand the dried compound very lightly until it is flat. If you mess up you can try it again, the compound can be wiped off with a wet sponge.
To match the texture try applying a tiny bit of compound and dabbing it with a course rag or sponge.
You will also need to carefully scrape off the paint lines and gently sand those. The worse paint line I see is at the left of the hole.
Old 01-06-18, 12:06 PM
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I agree, it's a lot easier to patch with the anchor still in the wall. I normally take the handle of my putty knife and push it in slightly, if that doesn't work - a light tap with a hammer will. I don't like to sand so I'd apply the joint compound and make it smooth/level with the wall. Once dry a 2nd coat which may need sanding, then texture. A little bit of j/c thinned down to around paint consistency dabbed on with a sponge works well.
Old 01-06-18, 12:10 PM
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I dont thing putting the screw in is required, the key is to fill, lightly sand, repeat if necessary, and PRIME.

Adding a couple layers of primer across the now smooth patch and into the surrounding paint is the key to make the patch disapear, the texture that the primer adds is the key.

If you simply paint that patched spot it will show itself like a flashlight at night!

Those small pink 3" rollers are perfect for small touchups!
Old 01-06-18, 12:18 PM
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I've never had much luck with using just primer to texture a repair, but thinned downed j/c works great!
Old 01-06-18, 12:24 PM
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Thank you for taking the time to educate this "beginner". I really appreciate it.

Okay, I think I understand your strategy.

Please forgive the total newbie questions, okay?

QUESTION #1: would you please recommend the specific brand and product name of "joint compound" I should get? I went to Home Depot the other day, and there must've been 20 different types of containers of "spackle, filler, wood putty, other putty, some stuff that is pink then turns white when dry" etc. I have no clue what I should get. Obviously, I don't know what I'm doing!

QUESTION #2: I have arthritis in my hands, (age 63) so manual sanding might be painful for me Is there some kind of small handheld Sander that would work for this task? I saw some small "finishing sanders" online at Amazon. I will attach a few pictures below. Would you look at them and tell me if one of those would work? If not, can you recommend some other type of electric sander that you like? I have to fill around 20 of these little damn holes. Any advice is appreciated. I don't want to buy the wrong equipment for the job.
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Old 01-06-18, 12:38 PM
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Most any brand/type of joint compound will work, even spackling will do ok. You are over thinking the sanding. Joint compound is soft and super easy to sand. If you apply it smoothly you only need to hit it a lick or two with sandpaper or sanding sponge. An electric sander is too aggressive.
Old 01-06-18, 02:12 PM
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I typically use Plus 3 joint compound as it is easy to sand. As others mentioned, just a few swipes with a sanding sponge and that is all you need.
Old 01-06-18, 02:46 PM
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Plan on painting entire walls if you want things to blend. Touch up to a fresh patch usually stands out no matter how well you perform the patch work. If the paint has a sheen, it will differ most likely from the surrounding areas. Not great news, just giving you a heads up if the landlord is that picky.

I would use a setting type joint compound as it dries harder and doesn't shrink. It can fill your 1/2" holes easily with one or two passes. The bigger obstacle is matching the texture which is a trial and error exercise. On the final coat of compound, while it is still wet, dab with a sponge and see what happens. You can also pull the patch while wet into the existing texture to blend before sanding.
Old 01-06-18, 02:53 PM
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Another reason repairs stand out is because people turn a 1/2" wide repair into a big 6"x6" patch, creating a big flat spot in the wall texture. Or they leave too much mud on the wall instead of making it flat. Someone mentioned a wet sponge. After you have sanded the joint compound down with a dry sanding sponge (god no, dont use an electric sander) use the wet sponge to wash off any joint compound on the wall around your old anchor hole so that it's not 6x6. If you do that I would not worry about wall texture at all. Looks like its just paint texture from a heavy nap roller to me.

Filling large holes always requires at least 2 coats because of shrinkage.
Old 01-07-18, 08:30 PM
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Smile "expert"

An "expert" is only an ordinary person out of town. Or in this case on the internet.

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