Patch Drywall Screw Hole

No matter how much cautious you are towards the maintenance of your house, at some point, you will definitely come up with some screw holes in your wall. Whether you like it or not, you will have to patch them if you want clean and smooth walls.

There are two types of holes in drywall:

  • Drywall screw depressions (divots)
  • Actual holes

Divots occur mostly during the installation when the drywall screws should ideally sink just below the paper’s surface without ripping it. They form small depressions that should be chocked before painting the wall.

The other form of holes usually occurs during the fixing of shelves, pictures, and cabinets to the wall. These holes are the actual holes that infiltrate through the panels of drywall. And, you realize them after removing the screws.

But, nothing to worry about, because fortunately, patching drywall screw holes is quite an easy job these days. Moreover, it also does not require much time and experience. You can do it in few steps with the help of an ordinary drywall joint compound.

How to Fill Screw Holes in Drywall?


When you have screw holes in your drywall, this is how you can fill them so that they become completely invisible.

Access and Prep the Hole: If you cannot remove the screw or wall fastener, knock it into the wall. Then press down the drywall paper, making a small depression. If necessary, shave down the edges with the help of a utility knife. Do not skip the prep; otherwise, you would get bubbles when you fill the hole.

Apply Mud: Use joint compound and a drywall knife on bigger holes. On the other hand, use a spackle and a putty knife on smaller holes. Spread mud in one direction and then scrape it off in another. A common mistake is not using enough compound to fill the entire hole and the surrounding area. But, make sure to wipe away any excess.

Let It Dry and Repeat: The second coat fills in depressions and shrunken areas. If it’s still not smooth, you may need a third coat.

Sand smooth: Use fine-grit sandpaper to make the compound flush with the wall. Now, the wall is ready for priming and painting.

Things Required to Fill Screw Holes


  1. Utility knife
  2. 4-inch drywall knife/putty knife
  3. Screwdriver


  1. Drywall joint compound/spackle
  2. Fine sandpaper
  3. Paper towels

Detailed Instructions

Step 1: Scrutinize and Spruce the Face Paper

Before filling the holes with joint compound, make sure that your wall is clean, smooth, and dry. If there is any visible ruck-up face paper on the drywall, spruce it. Because if you want to cover the hole smoothly, it needs to be concave.

Step 2: Load the Drywall Knife

To load the drywall knife, dip its end into the joint compound. This process is known as buttering. A small amount of compound on the flat side of the knife is perfect. To avoid any mess, do not overload your knife.

In case you have put excess joint compound, use a paper towel or shop towel to wipe off the extra quantity of compound, particularly from the side ends of the drywall knife. Its purpose is not to completely clean the knife from the sides and back but to remove any hanging material that can cause a mess by dropping.

You can apply the joint compound for small holes using an ordinary putty knife in place of a drywall knife.

Step 3: Apply the First Coat

Hold the knife at such an angle that the mudded side faces the wall. Apply the compound across the hole by pressing the front side of the knife against the wall. Examine the hole to ensure that the joint compound is filled smoothly and completely in the hole.

If you still find any indentations, fill them quickly with another pass without worrying about the surface to get completely flat. After this, make a second stroke perpendicular to the first one. Scrape off the excess mud with the edge of your knife. Avoid the repeated passes of the knife, as it can pull the joint compound from the hole. Let it dry for some time.

Step 4: Apply the Second Coat

The joint compound usually shrinks on drying. Although it is very slight, you still have to apply the second coat of mud. When it comes to large holes, it becomes more important because the joint compound appears cracky after drying.

After the first coat is completely dried, load your knife with some more joint compound and make a thin second coat on the hole. It will cover almost all the depressions and pits. So most probably, there will be no need for a third or fourth coat.

Step 5: Wait for It to Dry

Now leave it and let it dry completely. Give it a couple of hours, and do not rush. You can catch up on your emails or have lunch to keep your energy level up.

Step 6: Sand it Flush

After complete drying of the second coat, feel the patched area with your hand. If you sense some roughness, sand the area with fine sandpaper. Sand it delicately so that it cannot damage the face paper. Once it gets flush with the wall, you can paint it.

Step 7: Paint

Basically, if you are trying to blend the patched area with the wall, you need the same paint you used initially to paint the whole wall. And if you have that, dab your finger in the paint can and smudge a little on the wall. But if you do not have that same paint, bring a new paint gallon and re-paint the whole wall properly with a roller.


So, this is how you can patch drywall screw holes. We are sure that these small holes are no longer a problem for you after reading this article. You can easily fill them and blend them with the wall with the help of just a few things. Best of luck!

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