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DIY Ways to Fill Nail Holes

Fill a nail hole

There are a multitude of DIY ways to fill nail holes. Of course, like other do-it-yourself projects, there are shortcuts for a quick fix and methods to actually repair the wall. If you are moving into a home with holes, chances are pretty good that you want these holes filled properly. However, if you are moving out of an apartment or rental home, and simply want the walls to look good to get your security deposit back, there are a few tricks you can use to achieve this.


Wall Putty

Wall putty is a super-easy fix. Buy a small tube of wall putty. Dab a tiny amount on an old knife or the end of your finger and push the putty into the hole. You only need a dab. If you get some on the surrounding area (most people do), just use an old damp cleaning rag to wipe it away. When it is dry, you can use a small painting brush from the craft store and brush a little paint over the hole. You do not have to buy a gallon of paint. A bottle of acrylic art paint that closely matches your wall color will do just fine. After all, it is a very tiny hole.


Ivory Soap

Your old landlord is coming to do a walkthrough with you in an hour, and now you notice all the small holes left behind since you pulled everything off the walls; what do you do? Well, providing your walls are white, like they are in most rentals, you can do a quick fix with a bar of white ivory soap. Rub the bar over the hole so it fills in, and then use a rag to wipe any excess soap away. Avoid using a damp rag if you can, or you might wash the soap away.



Similar to using soap, white paste toothpaste works just as well. Toothpaste does have a tendency to shrink and crack rather quickly though. So, you do not want to do this more than 24 hours prior. If the toothpaste (or soap) looks a little shiny compared to your matte wall, aspirin can help. Crush an aspirin up to powder. Add the smallest drop of water to make a paste, smear it on, and wipe anything extra away.


Proper Way

From the hardware store you will need spackling, fine grit sandpaper, either a compound or putty knife, and paint (assuming you are painting the walls). Put a little spackling on the knife and apply it to the hole. Use the straight edge to scrape away any excess from the wall. Allow this to dry, and repeat, if needed. Use the sandpaper to file the area down. Once all the holes are filled, you can paint the walls.

Filing in nail holes can be a straightforward process with various do-it-yourself methods. Whether you’re moving into a new home or trying to leave your rental in good condition to secure your deposit, there’s a good DIY option for you. Wall putty, white ivory soap, and even toothpaste can serve as quick fixes, ideal for last-minute touch-ups. However, for a more lasting and polished result, the proper way involves spackling, sandpaper, and paint. 



About the author

Ashley Hernandez