How to Paint Over a Wall Patch

A wall with a large crack and hole.
  • 3-6 hours
  • Beginner
  • $50-100
What You'll Need
Drywall compound
Putty knife
Safety goggles
Face mask

Painting over a wall patch so it looks invisible isn’t easy — ask anyone who’s tried it. It needs to be done carefully in order to look good. With care, it can be managed, and once you learn the technique there should be no further problems. It doesn’t require any special tools or materials. Here is how to paint over a wall patch.

Step 1 - Use Drywall Compound

drywall tape and compound

Once you have a patch on the wall you’ll need to put drywall compound on it. Use a thin layer and work the compound beyond the wall patch with a putty knife. Feather it out into the surrounding wall so that the patched area is level with the rest of the wall. The feather should extend about 4 inches to 6 inches beyond the patch.

Step 2 - Sand

Sanding a wall

You’ll need to sand the drywall compound so it’s level with the remainder of the wall. This is necessary for the wall patch to be completely level with the wall. Don’t use too fine a grit on the area. The sandpaper should be no more than 180 grit. Don’t worry if there are small grooves on the sanded area, as the primer and paint will fill these in.

Don’t sand until the drywall compound on the wall patch is completely dry. In this instance, wet sanding (using a sponge on damp compound) isn’t the best answer. Sand all the way to the edge of the feathered area. Don't forget to put on safety goggles and a face mask before you start sanding.

Step 3 - Use Primer

You need to put primer on the drywall compound before painting it. Just use a thin coat and apply it with a brush. Don’t worry if your brush strays slightly beyond the compound since you can cover it with the paint. Once the primer has been applied, make sure you cover the entire area of the wall patch and leave it to dry completely before continuing.

Step 4 - Paint

It’s vital that you use exactly the same paint you used on the rest of the wall in order for the wall patch to match the rest of the wall. If the paint has been on the wall for several years it will have aged, especially in areas of the wall that receive sunlight for several hours a day. In that instance, the simplest solution can be to repaint the entire wall to ensure that the color remains even throughout.

Where the paint is quite recent, start by applying a thin coat over the primer and leave it to dry. Examine it once dry. You will probably still be able to see the outline of the patched area. Add a second coat to the wall to give good coverage.

Optional: Add Texture

If your wall is textured you’re going to need to duplicate the texture in order for the wall patch to look convincing. Do this at the wall compound stage.