DIY – Replacing and Repairing Ceiling Drywall

By Mike Jones

Recently, I removed the old kitchen ceiling lighting fixture from my condo. Once the old fixture was removed. I found there was a rectangular shape hole in the ceiling that was never sealed correctly. I was surprised it passed inspection from the city. Well, this was my problem to fix once and for all.

Next, I decided to get a few quotes over the phone on how much with time and materials for a 10×12 inches repair work. They estimate work would take a few days because of drying. These contractors came back with a quote between $175-$350.  One contractor told me save some money and do it your self. I told him I have a fine art background and he said you should not have a problem. The average Joe can do this project too.

Before starting any DIY project, check on for any related videos, which may help you. Expect this project to take about two weeks to complete. Professionals can completed this project within a shorter amount of time.

Everything needs to be planned out before starting. Trust me. Here are the steps:

  1. Do your own research on the project
  2. Ask a professional questions on what material to use
  3. Purchase your material needed for the entire project
  4. Do you have all of the equipment needed for this project?
  5. Turn off the power to the area you are working before removing a light fixture. Make sure the power if off by turning on the light switch. If it is off, then move on to the next step.
  6. It may take two people to take down a light fixture. Ask for help!
  7. Assess the next step before starting the next process.
  8. For this job, cut to size a piece of drywall sheet rock that will over laps the hole by 1-2 inches
  9. Make sure your hole is squared or rectangular.  Circular holes are hard to repair
  10. Next, cut down 1-inch tall flat support plywood. One will be building a frame around the hole. Make sure the length overlaps the hole by 2-3 inches. Make sure the wood is flush on the surface of the drywall.
  11. Now screw down your plywood on top of the ceiling existing drywall.
  12. Next, hold in place the cut drywall and place it in the ceiling while trying to secure it in the ceiling with drywall screws.

Here are the supplies list needed for this repair project. They are:

  1. Any brand ½ in x 2ft x 2ft drywall patching panel, cost about $4.98
  2. Paper Joint Tape, cost about $2.18
  3. Drywall screws, small box, cost about $6
  4. All Purpose Pre-Mixed Joint Compound 3.5 Qt, cost about $6.98
  5. Any type of window screen, costs about $2.50
  6. Knock Down and or Popcorn Ceiling spray texture, cost about $19.98
  7. Can of paint to match ceiling color, cost unknown
  8. Black electrical tape (optional)
  9. Electrical box with T-grid bar hanger (optional)

Here are the tools needed for this project. They are…

  1. A tape measurer
  2. A pencil
  3. T-square for straight edge fort cutting
  4. Clear plastic for drop down cloth
  5. Step-stool and or ladder
  6. Power drill
  7. Power extension cord
  8. Sandpaper block
  9. Paint Platte knife
  10. Paint tray and or mud pan
  11. Any type of facemask for your safety
  12. Safety eyewear for the dust particles
  13. (2) Empty buckets
  14. New clean large sponge
  15.  Trash bag for any debris
  16. Broom and dustpan
  17. Consumer grade Shop vacuum and or household vacuum cleaner

While doing this project, here is what I discovered. At a home improvement store employee says you need a certain supply item. One may not always need every single item. Always double-check before opening any product packaging. I ended up not needing the Wal-Board Tools Drywall Repair Clips. They seemed not to work correctly for what I needed them for.

The All Purpose Pre-Mixed Joint Compound needs 24 hours to dry. It is recommended small layers with smooth light coats of compound (mud). Do not spread heavy compound on the ceiling. This will cause a problem. Set and repeat compound and sanding until it is even with existing ceiling. Then you’ll know when this project will be almost finished.

When sanding the ceiling make sure you have safety eyewear and a facemask on. There will be a lot of dust particles. Don’t forget to place a drop cloth on the floor. If the ceiling texture looks rough then continue to sand down for a smooth surface. The goal is to have a smooth flat surface for the next compound layer.

Do not clean your tools with compound and water down your sink drian. This will cause plumbing problems in the future. Instead use a bucket of water then dump the dirty water outside in the backyard. Problem solved!

For dust particles please use a shop vacuum with a clean filter and emptied dirt bay. This should be done daily until the project is finished.

Finally, I made it through this project. I wrote this article to educate the general public on this DIY project. I hope you have the same results. Do this project at your own risk. I’m not responsible for your outcome of your DIY project. For a major disaster please call a professional drywall repair contractor. Good Luck!

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