Have a hole in the wall from hitting it with something or from an angry family member? These things happen so we're here to help you repair it.
Before painting you will need to patch the hole. The way you patch it will depend on the size of the hole and the material that comprises the wall.
Large holes in wallboard can be fixed using a simple self-adhesive wall patch. These typically comprise a fiberglass mesh with a metal backing and some newer products are as easy as just wetting and applying (see the Hyde Tools Wet and Set Repair Patch). Trim the hole so it is smooth and flush to the wall surface, and simply place the patch over the hole. Then you apply a thin layer of patching compound over the hole, let it dry and sand it before priming and repainting. The patches come in three sizes (wall patch 4-inch , wall patch 6-inch or wall patch 8-inch), so match the patch to the size of the hole you are repairing.
Repairing a hole in a plaster wall is a bit more difficult. You will need to take out any loose plaster within the area. Thump along the wall and listen for hollow and dull places where the plaster is broken. These are the areas you want to remove and redo to ensure a complete repair.
You will need to drill screws into the wood if you have exposed wood lath so that the new plaster will have something to adhere to when you apply it. It is better to use drywall screws for this than nails because they last longer in this type of material. You can use patching plaster for larger holes. This will make sure that the plaster doesn't sag as you must apply it in layers.
You job will be much easier if you use a spackling knife that is larger than the area you are patching. This will help you apply the spackling compound or plaster smoothly, reducing the need for lots of sanding. A mud pan also helps because you can better manage the compound on the knife.
Patching walls can be a simple process and when you have the right supplies and equipment. You can be confident that by following these techniques you can do simple things around the house that can save you money.