Introduction: Patch a Screw Hole

You’ve got a screw hole in your wall!

You need a perfect, smooth, white surface - maybe something you could project an image on in a pinch. Fear not! That hole can be patched in just 5 easy steps (lunch included):

You will need

Spackle - This is the stuff that will fill the offending hole. In college I knew more than one person who would patch holes with toothpaste. I suppose that would do in a pinch, but I would suggest dropping three dollars on a product better suited to the task at hand. I’m particularly fond of this DAP spackle because it’s purple when first applied but dries white. More on that soon. Be aware that you may need to obtain an MSDS and notarized approval from all relevant government agencies before using this (likely edible) product.

Sandpaper - I would suggest 220 grit but just about anything will do the job.

Wood block (optional) – Basically anything flat. I suppose you could even use your cell phone. If the hole is small, you can just fold the sandpaper up into a pad and forgo the block. You want to sand the spackle flush with the wall. Backing up the sandpaper with something solid prevents you from inadvertently sanding a little dip where that rude screw dug a hole.

Screwdriver – Something needs to coax that screw out.

Buckle your helmet. We're going in…

Step 1: Remove the Screw

You need to remove the screw so you can gain access to the hole. I would suggest the previously mentioned screwdriver.

Step 2: Fill the Hole With Spackle

Yes, I know civilized people often use putty knifes to scrape it smooth but I’m too impatient for all that. I just dig out a wad with my finder and squish it on the wall.

Step 3: Wait for It to Dry

This is a good time to catch up on all those emails. Don’t rush it. Give it a couple hours. Maybe get lunch after that last email. Make sure you keep your energy levels up. Squishing all that spackle around can wear a maker out.

Step 4: Sand It Flush

See! All the purple is now white (if you can still see a little purple, go get an ice coffee). Now grab that sanding block and knock off that ugly white lump. Once it’s flush with the wall it’s time for…

Step 5: Painting

Once I mix the paint thoroughly, I just dab my finger into the can and smear a little on the wall. I know, I should use a brush or roller or airless rig and shoot the whole wall. Keep in mind you’re trying to repair a hole about the same diameter as the tip of that retro wooden pencil stuck behind your left ear, so let’s keep it simple today, okay? If you want it to blend with the wall properly, you need the same can of paint you initially painted the wall with. Don’t have that available? Go get a gallon of paint and re-paint the wall with a roller. This time remember to save whatever is left so you can easily patch a small hole.