7th Dec 2022 -

Plasterboard can be damaged quite easily, whether it’s by hanging too much weight on a fixing, impact from a sharp corner, or cracking after screw removal. As plasterboard is often attached to a stud wall, holes cannot simply be filled in, due to the void behind them.  

However, there are simple methods for filling holes both small and big, that can restore your plasterboard walls and ceiling to a visibly perfect condition. For all hole fixing you will require a plaster filler, which in the UK is available in both pre-mixed and powdered. It is also worth buying a stud detector if you are going to be cutting out any plasterboard, to avoid damaging pipes or wiring within your walls.

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How To Repair a Small Hole in a Plasterboard Wall

Repairing small holes in plasterboard walls is a straightforward process. If the hole doesn’t fully penetrate the plasterboard, it’s easiest to fill the hole with plaster filler. Firstly, use a sharp craft knife to cut out any damaged or loose plasterboard. Then clean out the hole with water, being careful not to make the plasterboard too wet. 

Once the hole is clean, overfill it with the plaster filler, then use a damp decorators knife to spread the plaster filler and level it out with the surrounding area. This filler may shrink after drying and require a second coating. Afterwards, this can be sanded and painted over, which should blend seamlessly with the rest of the wall.

For the smallest holes, such as screw holes, the process is the same, scrape off rough edges and fill with plaster filler. You can buy smaller tubes of filler which may be more suited to screw holes or holes from other removed fixings. It’s important to use enough filler to smooth out the hole with the surrounding area.

How To Repair a Big Hole in a Hollow Plasterboard Wall

Probably not this big!

There are two main techniques for repairing a big hole in a plasterboard wall, either replacing the damaged section or plastering over a piece of wood attached to the back of the plasterboard. 

To patch a hole in your plasterboard wall, you must first cut a straight-edged rectangle around the damaged area and remove it from the wall. Measure the rectangle you are removing carefully so that you can cut a new rectangle from a piece of plasterboard for replacement. Your replacement section will need to be a few mm shorter on each length so that it will fit in the hole. Then you should insert a support batten through the hole, and drill it in place above and below the hole with drywall screws. 

Your batten can be made from any wood, but something that is easy to screw into is essential. If the cut-out section of plasterboard is directly over a wooden stud you may be able to use that instead of a batten. If not, use dry lining screws to attach the batten, sinking the heads just below the surface of the plasterboard. When the batten is secure, insert the new plasterboard patch you have cut into the hole, and screw it into the batten, again sinking the head below the surface. This new surface can be finished with an application of filler to plug all gaps and hide screw heads, and then sanded when finished. It may require a second coat of filler to properly hide all elements.

To plaster over a large hole, first clean up the hole with a craft knife, before washing around it. Then, take a wooden offcut and cut a piece that is large enough to cover most of the hole while being able to fit through it when tilted. Drill a hole through the centre of the wooden piece and thread a string through, tying it on the other side. 

Cover the face of the wooden piece with filler before inserting it into the hole, pulling it flat against the other side. Then, spread the filler into the hole, plugging gaps and sealing the wooden block to the back of the plasterboard. Then, cut off the string on your side and leave the first layer to dry. When dry, apply another coat of filler and flatten the surface with a plastering trowel. Let that dry before sanding to give a smooth finish.

How to Fix A Hole In A Plasterboard Ceiling

It’s important to use safety goggles and a dust mask when repairing a hole in the ceiling, to avoid getting dust or particles in your eyes or lungs. Also only use a sturdy step ladder when working on a plaster ceiling

The batten approach from repairing holes in walls can also be used for holes in plasterboard ceilings, cutting a new panel of plasterboard and screwing it with drywall screws to a batten above the ceiling, then using filler to cover the patch and screws, and sanding to give a smooth finish. 


There are several methods to fix holes in your plasterboard walls and ceilings, with smaller holes easily plugged with filler, and larger holes requiring either replacement plasterboard or plastering over a piece of wood behind the plasterboard. While holes in the walls or ceilings of your home can be concerning, with careful smoothing and sanding, you can make the repaired section of your plasterboard walls indistinguishable.

Fill plasterboard holes with top-quality solutions

Building Materials Nationwide offers a comprehensive range of top-notch products designed to fill plasterboard holes with precision and ease. Our selection includes high-quality joint compounds, spackles, and patching compounds, all engineered for exceptional adhesion and minimal shrinkage. These products are not only easy to work with but also provide excellent durability, ensuring your plasterboard surfaces remain smooth and blemish-free for years to come. 

Trade customers who regularly work with plasterboard are welcome to sign up for a Building Materials Nationwide trade account. You can enjoy competitive trade pricing, seamless cash and credit transactions, as well as personalised support from your designated trade account manager. We understand the unique needs of trade professionals and are dedicated to providing the best materials and services to help you excel in your construction jobs. Sign up straight away or drop us a message below with your questions.

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