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2 Ways on How To Fix Loose Or Damaged Drywall Anchors

Did you just drill a bigger hole on your drywall? Is the drywall anchor not fitting in well? It is a common problem that happens to all of us. 

No, this doesn’t mean you need to punch in another hole in the wall. You don’t want to get a series of holes and see through them. Instead, you can do some quick fixes to minimize this issue.

Then, you ask, exactly how to fix loose or damaged drywall anchors?

To fix drywall anchors, you can use two types of drywall plasters. The first one is by using a wet cotton weave plaster. Wrap around the weave over the anchor and insert it inside the drywall hole. You can use a mud-joint compound to fix the damaged drywall anchor. Try to avoid ineffective methods.   

By reading this article, you’ll get to know about those fixes in detail. I’ve also added some methods at the end so that you’re aware of the ineffective fixes. 

Why Do Drywall Anchors Get Loosen or Damaged Too Quick?

Drywall anchors fail for a lot of reasons. But you have to understand the mechanism of a drywall anchor first. 

These anchors are the support system for a screw to drill through the drywall. 

Sometimes you will see the screw is not holding the hanging material properly. In some cases, you’ll see it failing to nail down the screw. 

Can you guess why this happens? There are a few reasons drywall anchors don’t act like what we expect. 

Here are some scenarios below that indicate a loosen or damaged drywall anchor:

  • You failed to choose the right type of anchor for the preferred cause.
  • The drywall anchor is smaller or weaker than the load. 
  • The drywall anchor doesn’t have enough grip to hold in the drywall.
  • The drywall you are using is weak for the preferred cause.
  • You didn’t use good quality compounds to fill in the gaps. 
  • You drilled the hole too big than the preferred size. 

You can see that mostly the reason behind a failed drywall anchor is using the wrong material, size, and compound. 

That’s why you must ensure the anchor and the material complement each other in all aspects. 

Moving on, how would you understand you got a damaged drywall anchor? In the next segment, I’ll explain what a damaged drywall anchor looks like.

I know you already got a failed drywall anchor. You can match the description with me below. It’ll help you to understand if you’re on the same page with me. And on the latter sections, you’ll get to know about your preferred fixes.

Diving straight into it!

How to Detect a Damaged Drywall Anchor?

You can detect a damaged drywall anchor in a few ways. Here’s what you’ll take as a sign of a loosen or damaged drywall anchor:

Drywall Anchor Keeps Spinning

You got some good plastic anchors. They are expansion anchors to be precise. What you did is hammer them into the drywall. You keep screwing until it gets tight.

But guess what it doesn’t fit accurately. You’ll see the drywall anchor is spinning along with the screw. 

This doesn’t mean you have chosen the wrong sized anchor nor the hole is big. What happened here is that you chose the wrong material for the anchor. 

Plastic anchors don’t work well with drywalls. That’s why when you screwed it in, it didn’t fit correctly. It got loose quickly and kept spinning the whole time.

Drywall Anchor Went Through the Wall

Another signal you have a loose drywall anchor is when the anchor goes through the wall. You push the screw in and see the anchor doesn’t stick around. 

This usually happens when the hole is too big for the anchor. Also, when you don’t put enough plaster, the anchor fails to stay tightly.

Eventually, the anchor goes through the wall when you try to drill in the screw. It’s not a good sign. You’ll need to fix the hole as early as possible. Just like you fix a sunken electrical switch on drywall. 

Drywall Anchor Moving

When the drywall hole is big, you’ll notice another problem. You’ll see the drywall anchor is moving when you’re trying to pin it down.

It is an extreme inconvenience when you’re trying to hang a frame. If you don’t notice it earlier, chances are you’ll break delicate hangings. 

Here the main issue arises when the hole doesn’t support the anchor enough. It’s much like the spinning issue where the anchor can’t stay stable. 

You have to use a well-built anchor and take care of the big hole in the drywall.

It’s time we move on to the next scenario – screws don’t stay still in the wall. 

Screws Not Staying in the Wall

You’ll notice that even if you do everything right, the screw isn’t staying in the wall. You try to hang a picture, but the screw is coming out. Hey, watch out! You might hurt yourself here!

There are a couple of reasons the anchor isn’t supporting the screws in the wall. 

First of all, check the weight and resistance power of the anchor. Then, match that with the weight of the material you’re trying to hang on there. 

If the weight of the material exceeds the limit of the anchor, the screw will fall off. 

All of these failed drywall anchors have some easy fix methods. I have incorporated two of the most effective methods that you can apply easily.

Follow the next segment to know how to fix loose or damaged drywall.   

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Fix Loose or Damaged Drywall

After experimenting with a lot of methods, I have narrowed down two of the best methods. Not kidding, they actually work! 

You can definitely give them a try and see how they work. It’s like repairing a hollow core door like an expert.  

I’ll start with fixing a drywall anchor using a cotton weave plaster. 

Method 1: Using a Wet Cotton Weave Plaster

You’ll see different types of plasters in the market. For this, we will be using circular cotton weave fabrics. These weaves have a special type of plaster formula impregnated in it.

Want to know which brands are the best in the market? Take a look at the table below:

Product 1
Product 2

Back to the procedure. Here’s how you can fix a drywall anchor with cotton weave plaster:

Step 1: Create the First Drywall Anchor Coating

First, take a cup and fill it to a quarter at the bottom. Then, you have to take a cotton weave and submerge it in the water. 

Don’t leave the cotton weave in the water for too long. You just have to make sure it’s wet enough to stick to the anchor.

Then, take the wet cotton sheet and cover up the anchor nicely. If the drywall hole isn’t too big, this anchor coating will do. 

But if the anchor is still small for the whole, follow the next step below. 

Step 2: Create the Second Drywall Anchor Coating

Just like the first step, you have to dip the second cotton weave in the water. Wrap it around the previously coated drywall anchor.

You’ll notice that the anchor got bigger and fuller in size. It’s like a small anchor baby!

Then, take that anchor baby and put it through the drywall hole. It should fit the hole perfectly. 

Step 3: Wait for the Results

After you have secured the anchor, put the screw inside the drywall anchor. Make sure you smoothen the coating around the hole and secure it correctly.

Then, wait for at least 3 minutes. You can wait as long as you want. The more you let the plaster dry, the more it hardens. 

After it dries out completely, you can hang the thing you wanted to. It’s all ready for use!

Method 2: Using a Hot Mud Joint Compound

This mud joint compound is another plaster formula that helps to squeeze in the drywall gaps. Here’s how you’ll use it: 

Step 1: Mix the Compound with Water

Take a cup and fill the bottom quarter of it with water. Then, add the joint compound 2x the amount of water. 

Mix it very well until it looks like a cement paste.

Step 2: Fill in the Drywall Gap

Next, you have to take the paste and put it inside the drywall hole. Just like you’d fill hollow spots inside vinyl pink flooring

You have to be quick while doing this because the paste will dry out very fast. Then, put the anchor with a screw inside the hole. 

Make sure you have secured the outer side of the hole with the compound.

Step 3: Wait and Test

After you have done the previous two steps, wait for at least 10 minutes. Let the compound dry out completely. 

The time can vary from person to person. You just have to make sure there isn’t any runny substance around the hole. 

Then, test the strength of the anchor by hanging your preferred material. Voila! It’s all done!

These are the two most effective methods that you can try out. But there are some ineffective methods that you should be watchful of.

What Are the Ineffective Methods of Fixing Damaged Drywall Anchors?

Here are some inefficient methods of fixing damaged drywalls:

  • Using a pink spackle to fill in drywall holes.
  • Using expansion foam to fix damaged drywall.
  • Using regular wood filler inside drywall holes.

Try to avoid using these elements as a filler. You won’t get any positive result from them.


Can you screw into a drywall anchor twice?

No, you can’t screw into a drywall anchor twice. The plastic of the anchor gets stretched out as you hammer on the first screw. This makes the drywall anchor a bit worn out. For this reason, you can not screw in another screw in the same drywall anchor. 

How much weight can drywall hold?

Plastic drywall can hold up to 10 to 25 pounds. On another note, thin dry walls hold  1.2-1.6 pounds per square foot. Thicker drywalls have more holding power. They can hold up to 1.5 pounds to 2.1 pounds per square foot. The weight actually depends on the type of drywall material here. 

Can you mount a 60-inch TV on drywall?

No, you can not mount a 60-inch TV on drywall. Usually, drywalls have low-weightage holding power. Mounting a 60-inch TV means the drywall would require additional support. Some drywalls can support up to 100 pounds. You have to ensure it beforehand. I would suggest not taking any risk in this case. 

Final Thoughts

I hope you got the idea of how to fix loose or damaged drywall anchors. You can choose any one method of the two procedures I’ve discussed above. 

Hopefully, you won’t have any problems with drywall anchors anymore. Take care and be safe while hammering down those screws. 

Best of Luck!