Repair Doorknob Holes In Drywall

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One of the most common drywall repairs consists of repairing a hole made by a doorknob. The easiest way to repair this in a way that will last is to fasten a patch piece of drywall onto strips of plywood that have been fastened to the drywall on the perimeter. Here is what you do:

1. Draw a square area around your damage and then cut out that square. Some will recommend using a drywall saw, but you risk chopping into an electrical wire. Instead, I would recommend using a utility knife to cut out this square region. Save the cut out piece and use this as a pattern for a patch piece.

2. Fasten some plywood strips, as shown below. You will drive screws through the existing drywall into the plywood. The plywood strips should be about 4" longer than your hole length so you can fasten about an inch away from the edges of the drywall. Also, it is helpful to dab a little wood glue on the strips where they contact the drywall. This will give you a very solid connection.

Repair Doorknob Holes In Drywall - Drywallinfo - holerepair1-1.jpg

3. Cut out a patch piece and fasten it to the plywood strips with screws and a little wood glue.

Repair Doorknob Holes In Drywall - Drywallinfo - holerepair2-2.jpg

4. Before you apply any joint compound, you should trim off any loose paper of the edges of the cut out area or patch piece. If your repair is in the middle of a drywall sheet (not an edge) you do not need to tape this joint since there will be no lateral stresses to cause cracking.Place a 4" coat of all-purpose joint compound over the joint (I like USG brand). Keep the coat fairly thin. Let this dry completely. Use a taping knife to knock off any bumps sticking up (this is important to do since it gives you a level surface for the next coat). Follow up with progressively wider coats using a 10" or 12" taping knife, knocking off any bumps before re-coating. See photos below.

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5. When you think you have it right, shine a lamp or trouble light on your surface. This will perhaps reveal some ridges or drag marks. Place light thinned-out coats of compound over these ridges, drawing off the compound with your taping knife perpendicular to the direction of the ridges or drag marks. I like to use my 4.5" taping knife for this finishing work. I thin out the compound by dipping the knife in some water and mixing with the compound.

6. Finish up with some 220 grit sandpaper on a 3.5" x 8" block, very lightly touching up the surface with random circular motions. You should not be removing large amounts of compound. Note that you should not sand at all until this very last step. Prime your repaired area and repaint.

Repair Doorknob Holes In Drywall - Drywallinfo - holerepair4-4.jpg

Michael Sakowski is the owner and author of, a website that provides tutorials and videos for do-it-yourselfers for taping, finishing, and repairing their drywall.

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