How to Fix Ceiling Damage Caused by a Flush Mount Ceiling Fan

In removing a flush mount ceiling fan from a room in your house, you may notice a large opening in the ceiling. At this point, you can choose to replace the fan, hire someone to repair the opening or do the repair yourself. To repair this opening and any damage that might have occurred to the ceiling around the opening you'll need the right material, tools and instructions such as those you'll find below.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Stepladder
  • Pencil
  • Straightedge
  • Stud finder
  • Utility knife or drywall saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Drywall
  • Drywall nails or screws
  • Hammer
  • Drill with screwdriver bit
  • Drywall tape
  • Drywall compound
  • Drywall knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Sander
  • Goggles
  • Damp sponge
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint roller
  • Helper

Step 1 – Mark Off Your Repair Area

Examine the ceiling from where you removed your ceiling fan. If ceiling joists remain undamaged, you'll likely need to replace only drywall that was removed or damaged when the fan was installed. For this article, we'll assume your joists do not need repair. Use your stud finder to locate ceiling joists at each outer edge of  the area to be repaired. Use a pencil and straightedge to mark off the damaged area. Each outer edge should be marked at the center of a ceiling joist. This will give you a solid surface onto which you can attach your new drywall

Step 2 – Remove the Damaged Section of Drywall

Use your straightedge and a utility knife to cut through the drywall at each of the four edges of the damaged area. If necessary, use a carpenters square to be sure the area you've marked is square. You'll need to replace this drywall piece with a new piece, and it will be much easier to replace if the opening is reasonably square. You'll need a helper to support the piece you'll be cutting out, so it doesn't fall when you've cut completely through it.

Step 3 – Install Your New Drywall Piece

Measure the dimensions of the opening you've cut in your ceiling. Cut a new piece of drywall with the same dimensions as you have in the ceiling opening. Be sure the drywall thickness is the same on both the new piece and the old piece. Have your helper hold the new piece in place against the ceiling joists while you use drywall screws or nails to attach the new drywall.

Step 4 – Close Drywall Joints

Use your joint knife to spread a thin layer of joint compound or mud along each of the four joints in your ceiling drywall. Then cut joint strips and press them over the open joints and fresh mud layer until the strips adhere. Apply a second coat of mud over the joint paper, and smooth any raised edges left by applying the mud. Allow the mud to dry.

Step 5 – Finish

When your applied joint compound is dry, sand all raised edges until smooth. If necessary, apply a second layer of mud and allow it to dry, then sand again. Use a damp sponge to wipe off any sanding dust. Apply your primer and let it dry. Finally, use a paint roller to apply 2 coats of paint that match the ceiling paint.