Textured drywall makes a lovely finish, but fixing holes and other damage can be a problem. Small holes like those made with nails can just be spackled and painted but larger holes will need a bit more work to blend them in with the original finish. You have two choices: you can completely redo the wall, or you can try to match the original texture.
Repair the Hole First
Before you start, you will need to repair the hole in the drywall. Draw a rectangle or square around the hole, making sure the corners are square. Cut out the hole with a drywall saw. Cut out a piece of drywall or a light board that is a little longer than the hole, poke it through the hole, and glue it to the back of the wall behind the hole. Now measure the hole and cut out a piece of drywall to fit. Glue the new patch onto the back. Tape, mud, sand, and allow to dry.
Repairing Your Textured Drywall
Orange peel texture is also known as eggshell or splatter texture. It is a popular finish and the easiest texture to match. Although it is not to hard to match, you should practice on a cast-off piece of drywall or scrap cardboard first.
Mix enough joint compound to fill the bottom reservoir of a paint tray so it is the consistency of runny pancake batter. Apply the compound to the repair using a nap roller, using a lighter pressure as you move away from the repair area into the textured area. Do a final roll in one direction.
This will not match the texture yet but allow to dry before beginning the nest step.
With 220-grit sandpaper over a hand sanding block, lightly sand the prepared area to create an orange peel effect. Rub the area with a piece of lint-free cloth to soften the edges of the repair.
Prime and paint to match the surrounding area.
You can buy texture patch kits for repairing most drywall finishes. These adhesive patches are placed over the hole after smoothing the edges of the hole lightly with sandpaper. They are then primed and painted.
Another way to repair texture is to purchase an aerosol spray texture that is specially made for these problems. Test it out on a bit of cardboard before using it on your patch. Hold the can about 12 inches from the surface and don’t overdo the texture, you only need about 70 percent area coverage over the patch.
A simple fix for thin cracks and small holes is to mix coarse sand with matching paint and paint it over the area. You can roughen it by drawing a damp sponge over it and pulling it away with a rolling motion. Consider using cloth or wadded paper to texture the area, this method takes some practice, but it can be a cheap way to match your wall texture.
If your repair is not as good as you hoped, you can spray it down with a little water, give it a very light rub, and redo it.
See, repairing your textured drywall is suitable project to take on yourself. Now you can hang pictures with reckless abandon.