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I'm trying to repair 8 holes left by an electrician who apparently didn't know how or was too lazy to fish line a wire through the wall. The holes are all relatively small (<6" along each dimension), so I'm trying the quick-and-dirty approach of bracing the area behind the holes with paint stirrers—and have run into a snag.

I can't seem to get the drywall screws to penetrate into the surface of the wall. Each of them is raised. I bought a DeWalt Drywall Screw Setter to countersink the screws, but it doesn't seem to be doing a lick of good.

Any idea what's going on? Is the issue that I'm not actually screwing into any studs, such that the screws are just spinning? That the wall is painted, so I'm not sinking into straight regular drywall paper as the bit intended?

And, regardless of those questions, just how awful would it be to drill out the surface enough to sink the heads in? I know you're not supposed to break drywall paper, but since we're talking about a surface that's primed and painted AND not a real joint, does that matter so much here?

Thanks in advance!
 

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What you need is called a dimpler and one other problem is the stir sticks are probably splitting because they are too thin, so the screw is just spinning.
 

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I agree with all of the previous statements.

Your drywall screws are simply stripping the holes in the paint stirrers. You need to use wood that's thicker so that the trumpet shaped head of the drywall screw sinks into the drywall BEFORE the thread of the screw strips the wood.
 

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Simpler is nice...but not necessary. Their function is to put the screw in TO the correct depth but not PAST it. Philips bit in a screw gun will do as well with putting the screw in if you are careful. Ron. PS you can ALSO do it by putting strips of 1/2" Sheetrock as the backer, will screw in and dimple up just fine.
 

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Another way, -screwing into a stirstick is overkill. Put a rubber band around the stirstick, put a gob of glue on each end of the stick, stick it in the hole, and put something around the rubber band to pull it towards the wall, like an empty toilet paper tube.
 

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Simpler is nice...but not necessary. Their function is to put the screw in TO the correct depth but not PAST it. Philips bit in a screw gun will do as well with putting the screw in if you are careful. Ron. PS you can ALSO do it by putting strips of 1/2" Sheetrock as the backer, will screw in and dimple up just fine.
What do you mean by a "screw gun"? A "drywall screw gun" will always have a Phillips #2 bit in it and will always drive the screws to the depth you set it at.

I have tried to drive drywall screws in with a variable speed reversible drill, and there's just no way I can do that with any consistency no matter how careful I try to be. I have a bit more luck with a cordless drill, but it's still not a good job.

The only way I know of to get drywall screws to a consistently correct depth without a Dimpler or drywall screw gun is to use a 1/4 inch drive ratchet to turn a 1/4 inch socket which turns a Phillips #2 driver bit. Then, you can get the screws to the correct depth every time, but it's slow going doing it that way.

you can ALSO do it by putting strips of 1/2" Sheetrock as the backer, will screw in and dimple up just fine.
You're saying that you can use pieces of drywall instead of wood here?
If so, we must have very different ideas of what the OP is wanting to do.
 

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What you need is a drywall dimpler https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=drywall+dimpler+screw+setter&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 A drill/driver will set drywall screws but is WAY to easy to set them to deep. When they are set too deep they loose their holding power. They need to be set so the head is below the surface but not below the paper. The dimpler will do this. This is why an impact driver is a bad idea, it's too hard to control the depth because drywall is so soft. Even though we have all used them on occasion.

Forget the stir sticks they are not hard enough or thick enough. Just take a stir stick and drive a drywall screw into it and see how many times it splits. A piece of 1x material will work or a piece 2x although its a little harder to work with. And if drywall screws won't hold in one piece of drywall why would it hold in 2 pieces?

If the holes aren't too big forget the backers and screws and use a hot patch (cali patch it's called here). Or go to the box store and buy the clips that allow you to put your patch in then you break the little tab off and mud and tape as usual.
 

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It has taken me more time to type here than it would have to have fixed all of the holes. Nestor substitute drill/driver for the words screw gun. And I know exactly how they all work. A drywall gun or a dimples would be nice...but is NOT necessary for a job this size.

Tool seeker, I say the screw will hold in two pieces of drywall bed because I just DID it a couple of weeks back because that is all that there is available.

And to all, the guy has a hole in his drywall. You get something that will fit THROUGH the hole and is thick enough not to split and a put a quarter of the theists of the hole and screw through the outside drywall and the inside support. Do the same at the BOTtom part of the hole. Cut your patch to fit INSIDE the hole, screw it to the supports, done and done. ALL the op needs are thicker pieces in back that won't just split. Ron
 

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Whoa!!! - How 'bout a hot patch instead.

Working from the back side of scrap drywall, score to match opening. Then break and tear the paper from the cut-off side leaving an area of paper 3-6 inches bigger all around than the size of your hole. You just made a patch. Muck-up the hole edges and the back side of the paper of your patch. Push in your patch and work a 6 inch or wider drywall knife from center of patch to edge of paper and squeegee the excess compound. Come back in a couple days when completely dry and finish the job. The patch will be just as strong as the wall.
 

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Kind of a funny thread. Countersink the drywall? lol Drywall dimplers required? c'mon.

Throw out the paint stirrers. Use real wood furring. If you can't get the screws in correctly with just a regular driver/drill bit, then you shouldn't be allowed to use one. Of course the dimpler bit helps if you have many screws to drive. Or use a california patch liek throrope suggested.
 

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It has taken me more time to type here than it would have to have fixed all of the holes. Nestor substitute drill/driver for the words screw gun. And I know exactly how they all work. A drywall gun or a dimples would be nice...but is NOT necessary for a job this size.

Tool seeker, I say the screw will hold in two pieces of drywall bed because I just DID it a couple of weeks back because that is all that there is available.

And to all, the guy has a hole in his drywall. You get something that will fit THROUGH the hole and is thick enough not to split and a put a quarter of the theists of the hole and screw through the outside drywall and the inside support. Do the same at the BOTtom part of the hole. Cut your patch to fit INSIDE the hole, screw it to the supports, done and done. ALL the op needs are thicker pieces in back that won't just split. Ron
So your saying if you overlay drywall such as in soundproofing you don't need to hit the studs with the second sheet just screw it to the first sheet?
 

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Kind of a funny thread. Countersink the drywall? lol Drywall dimplers required? c'mon.

Throw out the paint stirrers. Use real wood furring. If you can't get the screws in correctly with just a regular driver/drill bit, then you shouldn't be allowed to use one. Of course the dimpler bit helps if you have many screws to drive. Or use a california patch liek throrope suggested.
Don't forget this is a DIY site. Most on here don't hang drywall a lot. I would venture to guess some don't know for sure the proper depth for the screws. A DeWalt dimpler is what $5 then you don't have to guess if it's deep enough or too deep.
 

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Don't forget this is a DIY site. Most on here don't hang drywall a lot. I would venture to guess some don't know for sure the proper depth for the screws. A DeWalt dimpler is what $5 then you don't have to guess if it's deep enough or too deep.
Well, not just DIYers. My carpenter insists on using his impact driver to hang drywall. Literally every one of his screws is overdriven, so that it countersinks too low and damages the drywall.

If dimpler is what it takes, so be it. Just trying to save some money for a project that's only going to take 8 screws. You could hand screw those with a screwdriver :)
 

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If you think you need a dimpler bit, go to lowes in their tool section and among all of the drill bits etc. you can buy three of them for like four bucks.

As to Jeffinnc, pretty commonly done around here, works just fine. Equal choice one by three? Worst choice, paint stirrer! Ron
 
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