There are various reasons holes can appear in your drywall.
Maybe you were hammering in a nail and missed the mark. There's also the chance a house party gets a little out of control or the property inspection revealed a few holes before you purchased the house. In any case, you'll have to patch them.
Luckily, this is one of the simpler maintenance tasks you'll have to perform as a homeowner. With a few supplies and a bit of time, your drywall will look good as new. One caveat is the size of the hole will change the supplies you need, but you still won't need to shell out a ton of money for the repairs.
Here's a list of what you'll need:
- Backer board
- Drywall patching plaster
- Drywall saw
- Drywall screws
- Drywall tape
- Dust mask
- Electric screwdriver
- Putty knife
- Sanding sponge or sandpaper
- Scrap drywall
- Self-adhesive wall patch
- Utility knife
Taking care of smaller holes
If you are dealing with a hole that's not too large, you need fewer supplies. Tiny dings or holes from screws or nails can be repaired with patching plaster such as spackle and a putty knife. Simply spread a thin, even layer of plaster over the holes with the putty knife. When it dries, sand it so it's flush with the rest of the wall. Always wear a dust mask when sanding. Prime and paint the wall after you're done sanding.
For holes where the wall is punctured, such as from hammering through the wall, you need the self-adhesive wall patch. Peel the backing off the patch and adhere it to the wall, centering the patch over the hole. Apply some plaster with the putty knife over the patch and the drywall until the patch is completely covered and remove any excess. You want a smooth layer. Once everything dries, sand the plaster until it is even with the rest of the wall. Apply a second coat, and repeat the process. Again, prime and paint after sanding.
Taking care of larger holes
You'll need many of the supplies for this repair. Larger holes are ones that are caused by doorknobs, fists and other bigger objects punching through the drywall.
First, cut a patch from scrap drywall using your drywall saw. Go with a square patch that is bigger than the hole. Then, trace the patch over the hole. Use your saw to cut out the damaged section of drywall along the traced lines. Removed any frayed edges with your knife.
Next, put your backer boards, which are 1 foot by 2 inch strips of wood, into the hole in the wall. They should be cut and positioned so that they extend an equal distance beyond the top and bottom edges of the hole. Secure the backers by the left and right edges using your screwdriver and drywall screws, positioning the screws above and below the hole. The wood should be visible in the middle, as you'll be placing your patch on it. Keep in mind this step isn't necessary if the hole is over a stud.
Put your patch into the hole and secure it to the stud or backer boards with drywall screws. Use drywall tape to cover the seams, and apply a coat of plaster with your putty knife, ensuring you cover the drywall around the tape, as well. Let it dry and sand the plaster. Repeat the plastering step, extending the second coat a little bit beyond the first coat.
After it dries and you sand for the second time, prime and paint the wall.