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Fixing small holes, less than 1” diameter in drywall are on of the easiest do-it-yourself projects you could do.
First, clean the edges of the hole. Drywall is made up of a paper type material that will tend to fray around the edges. Cleaning up the edges will allow the putty to be applied smoother, which translates to less sanding you will have to do.
Apply the putty. You can purchase ready made putty at any local big box hardware store like Home Depot, Lowes, or even Wal-Mart. In most cases, you want to get the smallest container. What you don’t uses will tend to dry out. It is a fairly inexpensive item and can be repurchased when needed again.
When picking up the putty, get a 3” trial knife. The trial knife is important to a clean finish. It will have a straight edge that anything else just won’t have. It is a good investment, and I have gotten a lot of use out of mine.
When applying the putty, don’t be shy. Apply the putty just like frosting a birthday cake. Try not to over work the area, just get it as smooth as you can.
Let it dry for several hours and sand the area with regular sandpaper (~200 grit). The putty will shrink a little as it dries. Next, wipe it clean with a lightly damp cloth.
Reapply the putty again. Let it dry and re-sand, then wipe clean. Besides smoothing out the putty, sanding will allow the paint to have something to stick to.
You should only need to apply the putty two or three times to get a nice smooth surface.