Drywall has been the wall finishing material of choice for most of a century, because it's so easy to install and finish. And when it's damaged, it's easy to repair.
Listen to ON PATCHING DRYWALL, or read the text below:
For scratches or small dents, a quick swipe of joint compound and a bit of sanding before priming and painting will do fine. For small holes up to three inches, self-adhesive plastic mesh tape and then a coat or two of patching compound should work.
For medium-size holes between four and six inches, try a drywall “bandage.” Cut the hole into a neat square or rectangle. Transfer that shape onto a piece of new drywall, adding two-inch margins. Trim off the back and gypsum in the two -inch margin but leave the face paper uncut. Spread patching compound around the outside edges of the hole and press the “bandage” into it, feathering the edges. Let it dry, then sand and re-coat with compound.
For holes bigger than a foot wide, cut the drywall back to expose the two nearest studs halfway. Cut a new panel of drywall to fit and attach it as you normally would with drywall screws, joint compound, and tape.
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For more on drywall, consider:
Quick Tip: Installing Drywall
Quick Tip: Choosing Drywall