How To Patch Screw Holes In Drywall

How To Patch Screw Holes In Drywall

If you’ve hung pictures with a screw or recently removed drywall anchors, no doubt you have some small holes in your wall.

While these holes are a nuisance, they are pretty easy to fix, even if you’re a total beginner. 

If you’re wondering how to patch screw holes in drywall, you’ll need to fill the holes with a premixed joint compound. Adequate patching usually takes two coats of compound followed by a light sanding.

Here’s what else you need to know.

The Type Of Joint Compound You’ll Need

There are many types of drywall mud to choose from. But, if you only need to patch a screw hole or two, your best bet is a small pale of premixed joint compound.

Premixed all-purpose joint compound is the perfect consistency for filling in your walls.

You can use spackle if you’re covering super small nail holes rather than larger screw holes. Spackle is similar to the joint compound but lighter and great for tiny holes.

Material List For Patching Screw Holes

Here’s what you’ll need to patch drywall screw holes:

How To Patch Screw Holes In Drywall

How To Patch Screw Holes In Drywall_b

Step 1: Prepare the Face Paper

Before you can fill the hole, the area around it needs to be clean with no frayed face paper. Sometimes fixing this is as easy as using the end of your drywall knife handle to gently tap the edge of the hole so that it becomes concave.

If tapping the holes doesn’t produce a clean result, you’ll need to trim the face paper. 

To do this, carefully cut around the edges and then peel the paper off the wall. Next, run your hand over the area to ensure it’s smooth.

Step 2: Butter Your Drywall Knife

Dip your drywall knife into the joint compound so there’s compound on the front edge of the blade. If there’s any hanging off or on the sides, wipe with a paper towel.

Avoid putting too much mud on your knife. This will only create a big mess.

Step 3: Apply the First Coat

Now, angle the knife with mud toward the wall. Run the knife over the hole to fill it with joint compound. (If the spot has divots, repeat this step.)

Next, run your knife over the hole again only perpendicularly. Doing this will flatten out any high spots.

Once you’ve applied the first coat, allow the joint compound to dry thoroughly. For small screw holes, this usually takes 1-2 hours, but you can refer to the joint compound container for accurate drying times.

Step 4: Apply the Second Coat

When the joint compound dries, it shrinks and sometimes cracks. Because of this, you’ll need to apply a second coat to screw holes.

Apply your second coat following the same steps you did for your first. Only make sure that this coating is very thin.

Step 5: Sand Rough Spots Down

Once your second coat is fully dry, use a fine-grit sanding sponge to lightly sand over the area. Sand until smooth, and wipe away any dust with a clean rag.


Patching screw holes in your drywall is relatively easy. Even if you have zero DIY drywall experience, you should be capable of making these repairs.

Use a premixed all-purpose joint compound to make the process as easy as possible. Two coats of compound and a light sanding will result in a smooth, hole-free wall.