Accidents happen, and sometimes the consequence is a hole in the wall. No matter how the hole happened, now you have to fix it. It's one of the most important DIY skills you could have as a renter.
The first step for drywall repair is to figure out how severe the damage is.
For small holes (no more than 4 inches at its widest point), you can usually use a simple patch to repair the drywall. This fix is especially helpful for holes caused by accidental impacts that are unlikely to happen again.
Drywall patches are available for purchase at most hardware stores. They're made of cross-hatched steel mesh with an adhesive backing.
To ensure your patch goes on smoothly, clean up the hole before-hand. That may make the hole slightly larger but removing dangling or protruding pieces of drywall will help in the long run.
Wetting the edges of the hole with warm, soapy water can also help the finished product be more seamless.
Cut the patch to size and apply it directly to the hole. Use a putty knife or similar tool to push out any air bubbles.
After the patch is securely attached, cover it with drywall mud. This is also available in most hardware stores and will be formally known as joint compound.
The goal is to completely cover the patch but make it as thin and smooth as possible. Keep cleaning your tool and smoothing it out to make it as seamless as you can.
Wait for the drywall mud to dry, then use an electric sander or a single piece of sandpaper to get rid of any bumps. This will make a lot of dust, so be ready for the cleanup.
All that's left is to paint the area to match the rest of the wall.
Larger holes require more work, but it's still fairly simple. To repair a larger hole in the wall, you'll need:
Use a straightedge or carpenter's square to mark an even square around the hole with a pencil. Following the lines, cut out the section of drywall with a small saw or a utility knife.
Cut a replacement section of drywall from a new piece about three inches bigger than the hole on all sides. Drywall has a paper layer on the front that you'll use later as an overhang to make the repair seamless.
On the back of the replacement square, mark the actual dimensions of the hole in the center of the replacement piece. You'll need to use a knife to remove only the plaster on the back of the replacement square, leaving the paper intact.
Once you've removed the plaster, your replacement square will fit perfectly into the hole leaving a few inches of paper overhang on the front.
Finish the drywall repair with mud, getting the layer as thin as possible while covering the paper seamlessly. Sand any remaining bumps and paint the wall to blend the repair.