Repairing cracks and holes in sheetrock does not require you to replace the entire section of sheetrock, but just fix the area that was damaged. Depending on the size of the damage, you can simply use a joint compound and putty knife to repair the area. Larger cracks and holes will require you to use a patch or replacement section of sheetrock.
Here are the tools, materials and steps necessary to repair cracks and holes in your sheetrock walls. This type of repair can be handled by any do-it-yourselfer and can be done relatively quickly, inside a weekend afternoon or less.
Step 1 - Measure the Dimensions of the Repair Area
Use a tape measure in order to measure the dimensions of the area that is damaged in the sheetrock. This will help you determine whether you can simply spackle the area or need to place a patch over the hole or crack.
Step 2 - Get Supplies
Since most people do not commonly keep repair supplies for sheetrock lying around the house, go to a hardware store or home improvement center and purchase the supplies as listed above. If the size of the hole in your sheetrock is larger than 2 inches in diameter, you will need to obtain a gauze patch (or a small piece of sheetrock if the hole is much larger). This material is easy to find–ask a sales associate or attendant at the store if you have any question about locating the patch.
Step 3 - Cut a Square Pattern into the Sheetrock
Use your razor knife to cut around the hole in your sheetrock. This will give you a uniform area to work in when applying the drywall patch to repair the hole. For cracks and small holes less that 1 inch, take the putty knife and the joint compound and spackle over the area. Be generous with the joint compound, working it into the hole or over the crack in even strokes.
Step 4 - Place Patch and Tape
Place the patch, cut to size using the razor knife, over the hole in the sheetrock. Use the drywall tape to cover the 4 sides of the patch. With the patch set securely in place, apply joint compound over the tape edges, using the putty knife. Apply the joint compound both over the tape and out over the edges of the tape in order to hide any resulting seams.
Step 5 - Sand the Joint Compound
Take a sanding block or a piece of medium grit sandpaper and sand the joint compound. This should be done when the joint compound has dried. Sand the area until it is smooth.
Step 6 - Paint the Wall
Take a sponge and some warm water and wipe the entire sanded area clean. Once the wall dries completely, paint the wall to match. You have completed the repair of your damaged sheetrock.