How to Repair a Door Knob Hole in Drywall

One of the best ways to repair a door knob-sized hole in drywall is called a “hot patch.” The name stems from the fact that pros often use fast setting, or “hot”, joint compound for this job.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Trace around the damaged area with something square, like a coaster, to create clean lines.
  2. Cut all the way through the drywall along these lines with a utility knife and remove the damaged drywall.
  3. With a small piece of NEW drywall turned face down, trace the same coaster, or other square object on the brown paper backing. Position it 2 inches away from the edges in one corner
  4. Draw two more straight lines the same distance away on the other two sides, so you’ll have a square within a square.
  5. Score the outer lines with a knife and snap drywall cleanly along them. You’ll have to slice the paper facing on the other side to finish the cut.
  6. Now you have an eight inch square of drywall with a four inch square drawn in the center. Using a ruler or straight edge, extend each side of the smaller square out to the edge of the piece and score along it with the knife. When all four lines are scored, snap them one at a time. But this time don’t cut the paper facing. Simply peel away the backing and the gypsum core to leave the face paper.
  7. Apply a generous amount of joint compound around the hole in the wall. And carefully press the repair piece, which should be a four inch drywall square with an attached two inch paper border, into the hole.
  8. Next use a drywall knife to press the paper border into the joint compound. Pull from the center of the repair outward to squeeze out the excess joint compound.
  9. Finally, apply multiple, thin layers of joint compound across the whole repair, allowing it to dry and sanding between coats.


  1. Looks good but there’s no backing, so it won’t hold if pressure it put on it. There’s no way to pack any mud around the patch, so it will push out. You have to place some backing, then the patch/plug idea will work.

  2. Excellent idea! I enhanced it by adding to pieces of wood behind the plug just to give it a little more strength.
    Made the repair today and just need to make a.couple.more.passes.with the mud to finish. Thank you!!


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