Indoor Drywall Repair




About: We're homeowners sharing our DIY adventures as we learn to maintain, improve, decorate, and use tech in our homes.

I (Steph) had a pipe leak in my bedroom, and the plumber had to cut two holes in the wall to find where the leak. I installed an access panel where the leaking pipes were found (you can watch that project here, and I repaired the drywall where the leak was not found.

The plumber did a great job cutting into the drywall. He cut out a big enough square so that there were two studs available to reattach the drywall piece back in place. If he had cut the drywall smaller, I would not have been able to attach the drywall to the studs.

Step 1: Watch the Video

Step 2: Gather Materials


  • Joint Compound
  • Drywall Joint Tape
  • Drywall screwsJoint/Putty knife
  • Sand paper
  • Note: If the original drywall is not usable, Home Depot sells small sheets of drywall for these types of projects. You can usually find them across the aisle from the full size drywall

Step 3: Mark Stud Location With Sticky Note

Step 4: Remove Old Screws

Step 5: Put Drywall in Place

Step 6: Fit Around Outlet

The outlet was in the way so we turned off the power (using a voltage tester to verify) and unscrewed the outlet to get the drywall in place.

Step 7: Screw Drywall to Studs

Step 8: Sand Loose Drywall

Step 9: Wipe Away Dust With Damp Cloth

Step 10: Put Joint Tape on All Sides

Step 11: Use Joint Knife to Apply Joint Compound

Step 12: Let Dry, Sand, Reapply Joint Compound If Needed

Step 13: Sand Again

Step 14: Paint to Match the Wall Color

Step 15: Done!

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11 Discussions


2 years ago

I like to cut a nice square size of drywall and use it as a outline by tracing it on the wall that needs the repairs. If i dont break it on the studs, i use a 1x4 to re enforce the seams. I also use fast set powder mud mix it in the pan with just a little water, not too thin, and then use a hair dryer to dry it between coats. You can use a sponge to smooth out the rough areas. Then use the texture in a can. Perfect everry time.


2 years ago

Your concepts were spot on. However, you should have opened the hole up to the next wall studs and cut the drywall so it split that stud on both sides. Then cut a new piece of drywall to fill in the opening. That way you have support of the new piece so if you hit the repair, it doesn't crack and open up again. And follow your procedures to tape and fill and sand. But sand and blend the finish totally smooth. Prime and paint and enjoy your efforts. You did a pretty good job, but be careful not to hit the repair or it could crack and open up again. Thumbs up.

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

This person recognises the problem and comes up with a similar solution.


Reply 2 years ago

Your plumber did not do a 'great job' of cutting the drywall... They were lazy and inept in cutting it.

They should have cut it at the timber studs, not between them, allowing you to fix to half a timber. Leaving you with a rigid join, able to take knock.

You've done a good job though, well done!


Reply 2 years ago

I agree.

Fixing short lengths of batten to the existing timbers would support the new insert. The existing timbers would support the old board right up to the edge.

Far more robust.


Reply 2 years ago

stateit, I have to disagree with you. The plumber did a better job than many of the trades people I've seen. Inept? That hole looks pretty square to me. If you cut on the studs you'll wind up hitting screws/nails and possibly making your patching job harder. If you want to make the cut joint a little more rigid, you can use 1X3s cut a little bigger than the opening. Attach it to the existing sheetrock with screws, then attach the old piece.

MotherDaughterProjects, Good repair job. Instead of sanding, you can also use a clean damp white (It has to be white. You don't want other colors possibly running onto your patch job) tee shirt. Rinse it often and it should make a nice clean smooth joint.

Okay, time to switch to decaf...


Reply 2 years ago

I made my comment as someone who does this all the time: I'm an electrician.


2 years ago

I had a wall leak from a faulty metal roof seam. The water from wind blown rain would find its way along a top wall beam and then travel down a stud causing sheet rock damage. Once I finally isolated the leak, I decided it was time to repair the damage. The most daunting was a panel similar to yours in which the builder installed a below the window piece of sheet rock and did not terminate the end on a vertical stud. Water and winter expantion and contraction always cracked any attempt to repair with only joint compound and careful sanding and painting. Without that mesh tape, the wallboard seam would always crack. I was successful like you but the secret in a hidden repair is to fan out the joint compound far from the midpoint of the mesh tape. Use as wide a spackle blade as you can get your hands on. I use a large rectangular blade about 12" long for the final coatings. If I didn't have the store bought mesh, I was tempted to use a very thin mesh, found in fabric stores. It is called tule (used on wedding veils etc.). One would need to use carpenter's glue or white glue to secure it to the wall. I like it because it is very thin and cuts down on the thickness of the mesh with the resulting covering joint compound.

Without stud support around the perimter of the cut out wallboard. you could glue backing boards to the existing installed wallboard and secure with clamps while carpenter's glue is drying. This added strength will help the unsupported wall board seams if any inward pressure is placed on the repair. I have used cut scraps of dry wall to provide backing strength to drywall seam and hole repair. Anyone can be a pro with continued experience...just be patient and use your finger tips to feel imperfections in the wall surface when sanding. If you can feel the imperfections, you will see them in the end.