First time home owners, I’m sure I already made things worse than they needed to be but I’m trying. Basically the previous owners worshiped drywall anchors. I did one test run with spackle and attempted to fill one of the larger holes. Needless to say, this ain’t gonna cut it.

Do I pay for professional patching? Do I just get new drywall panels? Is that something I can do on my own or would I make things even worse? I’m definitely hands on and willing to do it myself if it isn’t going to turn into something half ass. I just want it fixed the right way the first time and move to the next project on the growing list.

Also, don’t judge what I’ve already done wrong please. This is all new to me, I’m learning and also studying for my board exam while working full time. YAY FOR FIRST TIME HOMEOWNER RESPONSIBILITIES:)

Not sure how to add more than one pic, but in this room alone there are over 30 holes from anchors ranging from craters to just anchor size holes 1

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    "Spackle" or a similar drywall compound is the fix here. Being a new homeowner, it's better to practice the technique and learn how to do it for pennies than pay someone a couple hundred bucks (or more) to come and fix it every time you find a hole in your drywall. If you can even find someone willing to come and do it. Holes in the drywall happen much more frequently than you'll want to be hiring someone for such a simple fix. Youtube has hundreds of videos to show you how to fix holes in drywall.
    – gnicko
    Jul 29, 2023 at 17:04

4 Answers 4


What I have found to be the best way to go about these types of repairs is to first, remove the loose paper from the holes. I sometimes grab the loose edge and pull in such a way that the paper does not tear farther out, at least not by much, maybe not much more than an inch beyond where the paper facing is intact again. Sometimes this is not so easily done, and when that is the case, I lightly score the paper beyond the loose paper and use that score as a tear line. This is an important step, for if it is not done, when the wet drywall mud hits the flap of paper, it will show as a bubble under the mud, usually not until it is dried. Should this happen anyway if one is missed, score lightly with a razor knife to remove it and mud it again.

The product I use is a fast setting joint compound. It is a dry mix, available with various setting times. Just add water and mix to a peanut butter consistency. It can be found as 5 minute set, 20 minutes 40 minutes and 90 minutes depending on who makes it, Get the "Easy sand version". Otherwise it hardens like a rock. This material shrinks very little. I found that it in some cases like yours, it does not need tape to keep cracks from forming, which when using regular drywall mud it will crack, the tape eliminates the cracking due to so much shrinkage.

To do your repair, I would use a 40 minute setting compoiund, it will give plenty of time to smooth over the holes with a 4" drywall knife and clean out the pan before the 40 minutes is up. Clean it while it is still soft, it is a bugger to clean after it is set. I usually set a small blob aside to see how the hardening is going to know when to do th next step if I need to get it done asap.

After the first coat is done and set up, there may be some sagging in some of the larger holes. This is where I take the 4" knife and scrape or carve the bulge flush with the rest of the wall. ow you are ready for the second if not the last coat. THe can be mixed a little more loose, like toothpaste. Do what you can to get an air bubble free, thin layer, about a 1/16th to no more than an 1/8" thick over the first coat, "feathering" it out over a larger area so the hump of added drywall mud is not so detectable. It is the same thing that is done with nail or screws that hold drywall in place.

Here is a tip, When I apply drywall mud, rarely I use even pressure across the width of the blade, I always apply more pressure on one side or the other to get the knife the run on the wall while the other edge is building up the thickness I need. I have 8" and 12" knives to aid in doing this. These larger blades, I curved so the blade will contact the wall and leave material in the middle. This is an oversimplification, but it gets the idea across, I hope.

Fast set tutorial

  • 1
    +1 to hot mud. A little tricky to get used to, but well worth it. I mix in disposable containers. Jul 29, 2023 at 17:12

Simplest fix is to remove the outer ring by drilling into the center with a bit just slightly larger than the hole. Optionally, you can then poke the rest of the anchor into the wall. Spackle over the hole, dab on a bit of matching paint, done.

("Drilling or grinding the head off" is a useful last-ditch trick to keep in mind when a fastener can't be persuaded to unfasten any other way.)

  • 1
    I think the biggest obstacle here will be paint—particularly matching the color and texture. Odds are the OP will need to repaint the whole wall.
    – Huesmann
    Jul 29, 2023 at 13:47
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    I've had surprisingly good luck with the ancient cans of paint the previous owner left me. And for a flaw this small, an exact match is often not needed, especially if you feather the edges; nobody but you is likely to look closely enough to notice.
    – keshlam
    Jul 29, 2023 at 13:53
  • The previous owners did leave paint, but the plan is to repaint the rooms anyway. Does that make a difference for what approach I should take?
    – Btd2632
    Jul 29, 2023 at 20:33
  • Not really. Remove the hardware, patch, and paintml. If it was a larger hole matching the texture of the existing surface might be more significant, but for holes this size I don't think I'd worry about that.
    – keshlam
    Jul 30, 2023 at 3:26
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    If you end up with an area that's too smooth and it bugs you, prime with a thick primer (like Zinsser 1-2-3) first, so you get a little roller stipple on your patch, before painting the finish coat.
    – Huesmann
    Jul 30, 2023 at 13:11

Skip the spackle, use drywall compound, and enough patience to do a coat, let it dry fully, and do another coat until the surface is perfect (it shrinks as it dries, so the first and second coats are very unlikely to be perfect when dry. It may take more than 3 coats. Just do it until there's nothing to see where the holes were.)

If you recoat when the deep hole part is still damp but the edges are dry, you fail the "fully dry" part and the repair will be doomed until you stop long enough for "fully dry" before doing more.

You could use setting type compound for the first coat, if you're in a hurry.


My preference when covering holes like those is to wad a little paper and stuff it into the larger holes. Push it in deep enough that it is below the wall surface.

Then use drywall compound with a 4 inch taping knife to apply the compound. Let it dry.

When dry, use a damp grout sponge to feather the edges. A little bit heaver pressure on the edges and light over the center and the area will blend very even with the wall.

If the surface is textured, ( we can't tell from the pic) add texture and paint. If the wall is smooth just paint.

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