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Drywall Ceiling Repair

With the right approach, performing repairs on the ceiling is a simple project that anyone can do.

Minor Hole Filling and Patching


Fixing ceiling holes is not an uncommon task. The breaches in the panel are usually due to where a point of attachment, like from a toggle screw, have been removed.

The trick to reparing small holes, of approximately 1" or less, on the horizontal surface, is found in the preparation and the patch.
Repair of Ceiling Anchor Hole
  • Begin by making sure the mode of attachment has been fully removed. Not only any outer threaded portion, but the female portion on the wallboard side securing them. Threaded drywall anchors can simply be unscrewed as can metal toggle bolts, and the screws of molly bolts can be turned back out but the internal part should be punched through, as with threaded toggles in common use with builders like for hanging wire shelving. With plastic expansion anchors the screw counterpart should be pulled out with needle nose pliers after screw removal or punched through with a nail tap. In any case no part of the attachment should be left stuck within the wallboard, it will change the quality of the patch.


  • Determine if the hole must be mesh taped. If the resulting exposed hole is a half inch or under, you can probably get by with a straight patch. If the hole is larger and/or it has a questionable makeup then taping is suggested. Make room for the tape by scrapingbeyond the actual hole if this is not a flat drywall surface. You will also have to balance the location and orientaion of the patch with texture to be matched, if it exists. But smaller holes generally don't need this and can be concealed quite readily.

  • Fill Depth of Hole, 3/4 inch Knife

  • Mix quick dry/hot mudd in a small disposable cup with a narrow putty knife. There is no need to create larger messes by mixing in a pan and, the hot mudd does result in a tougher cleaning chore. Favor a thicker mix, less apt to the effects of sagging.




  • Patch Bubbles Downward

  • Push in the patch. Ideally, to the other side where it can buldge through, and function as a retainer by virtue of its shape. At first, the patch will bubble downward, as it does on wall repairs, but that's alright. The droop will sink back to concave during the dry cycle.



  • Combination of Dry, Wet Sanding
  • When dry, for sanding -- fold a small square of sandpaper and lightly abrade with the pressure of your forefinger in a tight circular motions.


  • Apply all purpose compound to the surface in a broader stroke and wait to dry. Sand with a combination of the sand paper or a sponge block to establish the combining level. It may help to wet sand to get a match.



    See Also
    Taping and Mudding Hanging Ceiling Drywall Finishing


    Other Patch and Repair







    Ceiling Texture Topics
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