A very common question that I get is, “How do you patch a hole in drywall.” This process can be somewhat tedious, but a careful DIYer can accomplish it with a little effort. See the photos below for step-by-step directions.

This customer had a leak upstairs which required opening up the ceiling below. I’m squaring off that opening in preparation for repair. I’m also making sure that I’m exposing a joist so I have some anchor points.
Squaring off the area with a reciprocating saw.
Measuring the new hole.
Making the initial cut in the new drywall. I’m using a box cutter and a square.
A quick snap, twist, and slice, and the cut section separates easily.
The first attempt to see if it fits. Rats, it is a bit too big!
A micro-adjustment will fix that.
Screwing in the drywall with drywall screws.
I’ll use Quick Set for the first few mud applications. This compound is great as it chemically drys very quickly. However, you have to work fast! Quick set comes in different versions, some that set faster and some slower. I find that the 20-minute version is about right.
Add water and mix to a consistency of mashed potatoes.
Fill the gaps first and then cover.
I like using mesh tape for quick repairs as it is easier to work with than paper tape. However, pro-tapers usually prefer paper tape.
Applying the tape.
Mudding over the tape.
Here I have applied a couple of layers. If you are a DIYer, it is easier to spread several thin layers rather than one thick layer. Quick set does not shrink and can be a filler if needed.
For the final coat, I’m using Plus 3, which air dries. It will take up to several days for it to dry, but it is easier to work with for this final coat. I like using the tinted version so I can easily see where I place the mud.
Soothing the mud out.
When dry, the repair needs to be sanded. I’m using a fancy sander to do that, but you can also use more traditional methods.
Here I’m making a different repair. There are no good anchor points, so I’ll add some scrap wood to give me a place to attach the new drywall.
Attaching a new patch using my installed anchor points.