A few years ago at my engagement party, the guys (after a few beers) figured it would be a good idea to bring out the beanbag couch and conduct head-first slide contests.
The contest didn’t end with a clear winner, but I did end up with a foot-sized hole in the drywall by the front door. Here's what what we did to repair it step-by-step, in hopes that it will help you!
First, cut out a square around the hole. To do this you’ll need a drywall saw. You will also need to purchase a sheet of drywall to place into the square. Cut the drywall square the same size as the square you cut out in the wall.
You will also need some lumber, enough to surround the perimeter of the hole. 1" X 3" would be a good size.
Place the wood on the inside of the square, and send 2-3 screws through the drywall and wood on each side of the square, making sure that you can have half, or at about 1” of the wood on each side through the drywall.
The square piece you’ve cut to place into the hole will attach to that exposed portion of the wood.
Then, attach the square of drywall you cut out onto the wood.
NOTE: make sure the screws are counter-sunk into the drywall.
Next, tape the perimeter around the square to cover any holes or gaps. Drywall scrim (a mesh tape) is recommended over a paper tape. Cut the scrim to the size of each side of the square and attach.
NOTE: the drywall square, while it needs to be close to the perimeter of the hole, can have variations because the tape will cover up any holes or gaps.
Next, apply drywall mud. Using a drywall trowel (in this case, a 4” or 6” sized), mix the drywall powder with water in a drywall mud pan, until it gets to a consistency similar to peanut butter (not too watery like gravy or too thick like clay). Apply the mud in coats; 3 as a rule of thumb.
After you mix your first coat of mud, you’ll have an idea of how much you need for subsequent coats. That way, you won’t waste the mud.
NOTE: drywall mud can be purchased that dries overnight, 60 minutes, 45 minutes, even 20 minutes. For a small repair like this, the 20-minute mud is recommended. While it can be more expensive, the biggest advantage of the faster drying mud is less wait-time between coats.
Once the coats are on and the drywall mud is dry, an optional step is adding texture. Some interior walls have texturing on the wall. If the hole is in a textured wall (like mine was), there is texture spray available that can be used to reproduce texture. There are different types available, with some cans having a dial you can turn that produces different texture levels. Spray some on a piece of cardboard and hold up to your well to help determine the level of texture you need to match your wall. Do the cardboard test BEFORE you apply the texture to the wall!
NOTE: Some textures come in a color that disappears after a few minutes. This helps with identifying how much texture you’re putting on the wall.
After the texture dries overnight, just paint over it, and you should be all set!