Drywall is a common material used for interior walls in homes and commercial buildings. It is easy to install, can be textured a variety of ways and is a great backdrop for paint or wallpaper. However, drywall is very susceptible to dings, scratches, holes and water damage. Should a section of drywall around a window — or anywhere on a wall — need to be repaired, unless it is a very small hole that can be spackled, the best method is to cut out and replace the damaged drywall.
Pull out any loose or damaged drywall from the area around the window that needs to be patched. Break away a bit of drywall to create a small hole in the damaged area.
Insert the blade of a keyhole saw into the hole. Make shallow, back-and-forth cuts to the right until you hit the stud on the right side of the hole. Ensure you do not cut into the stud. Repeat the process to the left of the hole until you hit the corresponding left-side stud.
Remove the keyhole saw from the wall. Rotate the teeth on the blade so they are pointing downward. Hold the saw perpendicular to the wall at the left end of the cut. Tap the end of the handle with the heel of your hand to force the saw into the drywall. Saw downward through the drywall along the edge of the stud until you have cleared the damaged area by four to six inches. Return to the horizontal line and repeat the cut upward until you clear the damaged area by four to six inches. Repeat this step along the right-side stud, matching the length of the cut above and below the horizontal cut line.
Cut straight across the top of the damaged area from the top of the left cut to the top of the right cut. Remove the loosened section of drywall. Cut across the bottom of the damaged area, between the lower end of the two vertical cuts. Remove the final section of damaged material. You should now have a rectangular opening with four square corners. Clean up any cuts that aren’t straight and square to the corners, using the keyhole saw.
Measure the distance between the exposed studs, using a tape measure. Cut two pieces of one-by-two lumber at this length. Position one of the boards horizontally flat along the inside, bottom edge of the hole in the drywall. Half of the width of the board should be behind the drywall with the other half protruding upward inside the hole. Secure the board to the drywall, placing a screw every four to six inches through the drywall, just beneath the bottom of the hole. Repeat this step at the top of the hole, using the second board.
Measure the distance between these two boards. Cut two more pieces of one-by-two lumber at this length. Position one board flat against the stud to the left of the hole, with the front edge of the board even with the front of the stud. Attach it to the stud every six to eight inches, using 2-inch wood screws. Attach another one-by-two board to the right-side stud in the same manner.
Measure the height and width of the hole in the drywall. Cut a fresh piece of drywall to match these dimensions, using the drywall saw. Position this new piece of drywall into the hole, against the four boards you installed. Tack the new piece of drywall to these four boards, using a drywall screw every four inches around the perimeter.
Apply a thin coat of joint compound around the joint surrounding the drywall patch. Cut and place a piece of joint tape over each joint. Apply another thin layer of joint compound. Allow the compound to dry for 24 hours, then lightly sand it until it is smooth.
Apply a second layer of joint compound about 4 inches wider than the first sanded layer. Wait for this layer to dry before sanding and applying a third layer of compound and a final sanding.