Everything from a swinging fist to a doorknob can punch a hole in drywall, leaving an unsightly blemish on the wall of your home. Fortunately, repairing a punched wall requires relatively minor home improvement skills and only basic tools and supplies. Rather than replacing the entire sheet of drywall, fixing damaged drywall typically means adding support to the punched area, then using joint compound to blend this section into the surrounding wall.
Holes Measuring 6 Inches or Less
Cover the hole with a drywall repair patch, which can be found at major home improvement stores. Choose a self-adhesive patch measuring roughly 2 inches larger than the hole on all sides. Peel the backing off and stick the patch to the wall so that it covers the hole.
Dip a putty knife in joint compound and spread a thin layer of joint compound over the drywall repair patch. Scrape sway any excess compound with your knife, then allow the wall to dry completely.
Sand the dry joint compound with a sanding sponge or sandpaper.
Apply a second coat of joint compound over the first, then scrape away any excess. Allow the compound to dry completely, then sand smooth.
Add a third coat of joint compound and allow it to dry before sanding the wall to create a smooth finish. Wipe away sanding dust and prime and paint the patched area to match the surrounding wall surface.
Holes Measuring 6 Inches or Larger
Cut around the damaged area with a keyhole saw or utility knife. Use a carpenter’s square as a guide to remove a square or rectangular section of drywall that contains the entire punched or damaged area.
Extend the edges of your cut square or rectangle to the support studs on each side of the opening. Once you’ve located the edge of each stud, move your saw over 1 inch to find the middle of each of these studs. Extend the cut section once more so that roughly half of the stud on each side of the opening is exposed.
Cut a piece of one-by-three lumber with a saw so that it measures 2 inches longer than the height of the opening you cut in the wall.
Insert the one-by-three vertically into the opening and position it behind the drywall. Use two drywall screws at the top and two at the bottom to secure the lumber to the existing drywall.
Cut a piece of drywall the exact size of the opening using a utility knife.
Place the piece of drywall into the opening on the wall. Install drywall screws at each corner of the drywall, placing the screws at least 1 inch from the edge of the new drywall section. Insert an additional screw at the top and bottom of the drywall to fasten it to the one-by-three lumber.
Cover the seams of the patched area with self-adhesive fiberglass mesh tape, centering the tape over each seam.
Apply a coat of joint compound over the strips of tape using a 6-inch drywall knife. Scrape away any excess compound, then allow the wall to dry completely before sanding the joint compound smooth.
Cover the mesh tape with a second coat of joint compound. Extend the edges of the joint compound slightly beyond the edges of the existing layer to create a feathered effect. Wait for the compound to dry then sand smooth.
Apply a final coat of joint compound to the wall, extending the edges of this coat up to 6 inches on each edge of the mesh tape. Allow the compound to dry completely, then sand smooth. Clean any drywall dust then prime and paint the wall to match the surrounding surface.