Patch up a drywall ceiling

Drywall ceilings aren’t as vulnerable as walls, but when they need some patching, then it should be done differently from wall patching. First of all you need to buy a special kit for a cathedral ceiling. Remember that cathedral ceiling drywall is thicker than wall drywall.


  • Drywall saw
  • Drywall compound
  • Hand sander
  • Drywall tape
  • Wooden cleats/braces for attaching the patch
  • Ceiling drywall for patching hole
  • Drywall screws
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife

Step1. Measure the hole. Measure out a square which reaches to the farthest point of damage in each direction.

Step2. Cut out a square in the ceiling. Use a drywall say to cut a rectangle out of the ceiling, thus removing all the damaged parts. Then, use an utility knife to remove any rough edges.

Step3. Cut out a square patch. Use the same measurements as the cut out piece of damaged drywall to cut a patch. If the patch you are cutting is thiner then the ceiling drywall, then this is not meant for the ceiling, but for the walls. Test to see of the patch fits and then cut any rough edges.

Step4. Securing wood cleats. Two wood cleats can assure the fixing of the patch. Now fix the cleats inside of your ceiling so that they can act as a backing for your square patch. Secure the cleats to the drywall with drywall crews, leaving much of them to hang out of the hole.

Step5. Securing the patch to the cleats. Now, press the patch into the hole and secure it to the wood cleats with some drywall screws.

Step6. Fill in Joints and Screw Holes. Spread a thin layer of drywall compound over the cracks and also on the screw holes to fill them in.

Step7. Applying drywall tape. Cut 4 pieces of drywall tape to cover the joints. The tape doesn’t have to overlap so cut the precise measures. Use a medium sized utility knife to smooth out the tape. Then take a smaller joint knife, and work out the excess compound towards the outside edges of the tape. Go over again with the larger knife, and press with long strokes that go lengthwise, not width wise.

Step8. Applying more coats of compound. Apply a layer of drywall compound over the entire patch, using a large utility knife. Allow it to dry before applying any more coats. Increase the thickness of each layer applied. Smooth the layers with a large knife repeatedly and often. The layer of compound should be thicker than the original drywall sheet.

Step8. Sanding before painting. All you need to do now is slightly sand the layers and the paint the area.

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