What to Do with a Medicine Cabinet Hole

After removing the medicine cabinet, how do you deal with the big hole left on the wall? Medicine cabinets are usually installed in bathrooms by cutting a space in the drywall so that it fits the depth of the cabinet. This enables the doors to be closer to flush with the wall while the space behind the drywall is used for storage. This works well if you want to save space in your bathroom, but when removed, you are faced with a huge rectangular hole. Fret not because there are different ways to patch up or cover the drywall. We will talk about those ways below.

What to do with medicine cabinet hole? You can cover the hole on the wall by filling it with wood filler or you can also use drywall putty. Once it is dried, you can sand it and paint it over with a color that matches the color of your existing wall. If you do not have time to fill the hole, you can temporarily hang a mirror or an artwork to cover it.

If you decide to remove a medicine cabinet from the bathroom wall, sometimes, there will be a large and rectangular hole left behind. This is mostly the case when the cabinet is recessed into the wall. The size of the hole may seem like a challenging task to do, but it is a simple repair job that needs a few standard tools.

What to do with medicine cabinet hole
Photo by Blue Bird from Pexels

How do You Cover a Hole from a Medicine Cabinet?

One way to cover the hole is to use drywall mounting tabs that are installed on the edges of the hole and are held in place with the use of a drywall screw. While this is an easy method, it is not sturdy. Another way is to add two wood planks on the inside of the hole which are screwed into the existing drywall and attach the new piece of drywall to the supports. Your goal is to fill the gap that is left by the medicine cabinet. Choose a method depending on your skill level as well as the size of the cabinet hole. If you are not familiar with working with drywall, you can ask for help from someone who knows or hire the services of a professional.

How to Fix a Medicine Cabinet Hole

Below are the steps that you can take on how to fix a medicine cabinet hole. Take note that there are different methods to fix a hole in a medicine cabinet. Below is just one way to do it.

  • Cut the top and bottom of the recessed area on the wall with the use of a drywall saw. You need to slip the boards behind the edges of the drywall to patch the hole.
  • Get a plank that measures 1 by 3 inches. Measure the length of the rectangular hole and cut the plank at least 2.5 inches longer than the measurement.
  • Place the planks on both sides of the rectangular hole. Make sure to position the board so that each end overlaps the drywall by 1.25 inches. Screw the boards into the drywall.
  • Cut a patch of drywall the same size as the hole on the wall.
  • Apply construction adhesive to the surface of the 1 by 3s. Place the drywall to the hole by pressing it to the adhesive. Screw each side of the drywall to secure it.
  • With the use of the joint compound, cover the edges of the drywall to fill the cracks on the edges.
  • Allow the joint compound to dry. Once it is dried, sand the compound until it is smooth. Make sure to cover the area with two more layers of drywall compound and let it completely between coats.
  • Once the final coat of joint compound is applied, sand it to get a smooth finish.
  • Apply the same color of the paint as the wall.

✅ Video – Fixing Large Holes in Walls

MonkeySee shared the video below on YouTube. In the video, Ken Collier shows how to fix large holes in walls. If you have removed a recessed medicine cabinet from the wall, it will leave a huge hole. Find out how you can repair that hole by watching the video below.

Can You Remove a Medicine Cabinet?

You can remove a medicine cabinet whether it is mounted or recessed. If you are renovating your bathroom, it might be necessary to remove the medicine cabinet. Both recessed and surface-mounted medicine cabinets can be easily removed from the wall. While removing the medicine cabinet is easy, repairing the wall can be hard especially for recessed cabinets that leave a gaping hole into the wall. You can also check out this article that we have written titled, do bathrooms need medicine cabinets? We have shared the different reasons why you need to have a medicine cabinet in your bathroom.

Removing the Medicine Cabinet

When removing a medicine cabinet from the wall, you need to cover the sink area or the countertop with a cloth or a towel so that no debris or screws will fall into the sink drain. Tiny screws and debris can clog the drain and even damage the countertop. On the other hand, if the medicine cabinet is not near the sink, make sure to remove anything that rests below it to make cleaning after the removal of the cabinet easier.

Patching and Covering the Hole

This process can be a bit complicated depending on the damage to the wall and your DIY skills. If you are not planning to install another medicine cabinet on the wall, you need to patch the screw holes from the surface-mounted cabinet and the bigger hole from the recessed cabinet. It can be easy to patch screw holes because it can be smoothed out with spackling and a putty knife. On the other hand, patching a huge wall from a recessed cabinet can take a lot of work. The hole is in the shape of a rectangle so it is most likely easy to patch.

How Do I Replace an Old Medicine Cabinet?

If you want to change the existing recessed medicine cabinet to a new one, you need to choose a cabinet with the same or close to the same size as the original medicine cabinet. This is to make sure that it fits in the existing hole on the wall. If the cabinet that you are planning to install is larger, measure the additional space required and cut the wallboard with a drywall saw to enlarge the opening. On the other hand, if the hole on the wall is larger than the cabinet that you would install, the job can become more complicated because you have to apply new wallboard, tape, and compound into the hole to make it smaller. You can also check out this article titled, what can I replace my medicine cabinet with? We have shared different alternatives that you can use for medicine cabinets.

✅ Video – Medicine Cabinet Replacement

BRI2K TV shared the video below on YouTube. It shows how to replace a medicine cabinet with a new one. If your old medicine cabinet is damaged or you want to replace it with a new one that is more stylish, there are a few things that you need to consider to get the job done. You can choose the same size of the cabinet so that there is no need to modify the existing hole on the wall. You can check out the video below for more tips and ideas.

How Do I Measure for a Replacement Medicine Cabinet?

To measure the replacement of the medicine cabinet, remove the cabinet door and unscrew the cabinet from the framing. Measure the width and height, and depth of the hole. If you prefer to have a cabinet with a larger or different shape of the door, you need to measure the clearances between the opening and any obstacles like your light fixture or the faucet. We have also written this article that discusses if medicine cabinets are outdated. Check out the article for an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Is it Easy to Replace a Medicine Cabinet?

How easy it is to replace a medicine cabinet will have to depend on your skills and well the type of medicine cabinet that you are working with. Replacing a surface-mounted medicine cabinet is easy because it can easily be screwed into the wall. On the other hand, replacing a recessed medicine cabinet can be complicated especially if the replacement cabinet has a different size than the old one. You will need to make the hole on the wall smaller or bigger which can take time and effort. We have shared this article that discusses the different tips on how to replace medicine cabinets with shelves. You can check out the article for an in-depth discussion about the topic.


You have reached the end of this article that discusses what to do with a medicine cabinet hole. A moderate level of construction knowledge is usually needed to replace a medicine cabinet, especially if structural changes are required. If you are not confident with your DIY skills, you can hire the services of professionals. They can also work with electrical lines for integrated lighting and other replacement processes. Thank you for reading!

Recent Posts