You open a door too hard. Your teenager gets too energetic with his sports equipment. Eventually, our walls get dinged up – or punctured – and it’s time to start patching. Here are some simple steps to get your walls looking 100 percent again:

1. Cut out a patch
First, locate an extra piece of drywall the same thickness as your wall and cut a patch for the hole. Hold the patch over the hole and draw an outline with pencil. Place an X on the wall above the hole and an arrow on the patch pointing to the X.

2. Prepare the hole
Cut the edge of the hole to the outline using a drywall saw. Switch out the pieces inside the outline and cut one loose with the knife.

3. Push back the drywall
Push the pieces of drywall inside the outline and cut the pieces free using the knife.

4. Use wood strapping
Apply a bead of wood adhesive to a 1×3 wood strapping that is six inches longer than the hole’s height. With the adhesive facing out, insert the strapping into the hole adhesive out. Press the strapping against the damaged drywall and place two screws through the drywall, attaching them into both ends of the wood. Be sure to stop the screws when they are just below the wall’s surface.

5. Apply the patch
Place the patch aligned with the X and press it tightly on the adhesive. Drive two screws through the patch and through to the strapping.

6. Cover up the seams
Apply a thin layer of joint compound over the patch using a 6-inch taping knife.

7. Prevent cracks
Prevent cracks between the patch and the wall by cutting a piece of screen a few inches larger than the patch and pressing it into the wall with a trowel. Then, apply additional compound, working from the center of the patch out so you won’t wrinkle the screen.

8. Apply the last coat
Once the compound is dry (probably the next day), apply another thin layer using a 12-inch taping knife. Smooth it to six inches beyond yesterday’s boundary. After this layer has dried, use a fine silicon-carbide sandpaper to sand the area. Be sure not to expose the screen. After you wipe away the sanding dust, the area will be ready to paint.