How To Fill Nail Holes In Your Walls
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If you really want to transform your rental into a space that feels more special, personalized, and stylish, you will most likely need to hang things on the wall. And while I have become a big fan of hole-less hanging via Command Strips in recent years, there are still some things that require nailing or screwing into drywall . This shouldnt stop you though because patching up drywall holes is quicker and easier than you might think. Today, I want to show you how to fill nail holes in your walls using an easy, inexpensive all-in-one product. This tutorial is sure to come in handy whether youre getting ready to move out or you just made a mistake hanging your new art. Lets get to it!
How To Fix Small Holes In Drywall
- Total Time: 6 – 9 hrs
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $10-20
Drywall is an inexpensive, easy-to-install surface. It is easy to hang, drill into, finish, and paint. One of the drawbacks of drywall construction for walls and ceilings in residential homes is that it can be damaged fairly easily, with cracks, dents, and holes appearing with only moderate impact. Fortunately, holes in drywall are easy to repair, and the fix takes little time at all.
The most common cause of holes in drywall is when a door swings open and the doorknob dents or punches a hole in the wall. Houses with children often have walls with small holes from a variety of kid activities. Accidentally hitting a wall with a chair can cause holes as well.
Drywall is by nature a fairly brittle, fragile material. Drywall is meant to be that way so it can be cut and fitted quickly during installation. Most wall and ceiling surfaces are only 1/2-inch thick drywall is not meant to be impervious. Additionally, drywall is faced with paperequally as fragile as the underlying gypsum.
Supplies That Youll Need To Fill Nail Holes
You dont need a lot of supplies to fill a nail holejust a few basics:
- Paint and paintbrush
- Adhesive-backed fiberglass mesh tape
You can consolidate some of these tools by opting to purchase a spackle/putty knife hybrida tool that allows you to squeeze out spackle and smooth it onto the wall without the need to buy two separate tools.
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How To Fill Nail Holes In Your Wall
Whether your holes were caused by a small nail, screw, dry-wall anchor, or other random item, here is the simple process for filling them fast!
Start by using either the backside of a hammer , a screwdriver , or a needle-nose pliers to remove your hardware from the wall. Pull straight out from the wall to reduce the risk of creating a bigger hole to fill.
Removing screws or dry wall anchors will likely cause the drywall to slightly protrude outward. Use the sanding cap on the All-In-One Small Hole Repair Tool to smooth the drywall down as much as possible.
Next, remove the cap and squeeze a generous amount of filler into the open holes. Then use the putty knife on the other end of the tool to scrape off any excess. If your hole is large, you may need to repeat this fill+scrape process a few times until the contours of the hole are flush with the wall.
For tiny holes, you can likely sand right away. However, larger holes that require more putty will need an hour or so of drying time before sanding. Using the sanding cap again, remove any excess putty on top of and around the hole.
TIP! If after sanding, your hole is not perfectly flush with the wall, repeat with more putty+scraping+sanding.
Once your hole is filled, flush, and dry, paint the patch job with a small brush or roller. If your paint is a perfect match and you used the same roller type as the existing paint treatment, your paint and patch job should be undetectable once fully dry!
Patching Small Drywall Holes:
- Start by removing the nail or screw from the wall .
- Use the cap of the 4-in-1 Patch Plus Primer to lightly sand down the wall to remove any paint or drywall flakes.
- Squeeze a bit of the Patch Plus Primer into the hole you want it to completely fill the hole and overflow just a little.
- Use the back end of the Patch Plus Primer tube to press the spackle into the hole and scrape off all of the excess. Youll want to apply a little bit of pressure here to make sure you arent left with a ton of extra spackle.
- Allow it to dry for about 30 minutes.
- Come back with the lid of the spackle tube and lightly sand so that the patch is smooth with the rest of the wall.
- Paint over the patch with the wall color!
There are a few frequently asked questions about this, though, so lets address those.
Is it hard to make sure the paint matches?
It kind of depends on several factors. If the paint has been there more than a year or so and the sunlight hits it often, it may be slightly faded and not match exactly. You can play around with the tinting of the paint if you need to!
Youll also want to make sure that you fully stir your paint and if you have to buy more paint to buy the same sheen.
If you dont have extra paint lying around, my recommendation is to head back to the store and just grab a sample size of your wall color . Then, you can keep it on hand for any future painting touch-ups too!
How does this work on texture walls? Is it visible?
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Fixing Small Holes Or Dings
First, when dealing with small holes or dings, you’ll want to brush off any loose pieces of drywall or paint so you can apply the drywall spackle evenly and efficiently. You can do this with the putty knife or the sandpaper to scratch off any loose pieces.
Don’t get rid of those paint pieces just yet, though. You might need them. If you’re renting and don’t have access to the exact paint color, you can take one of the chipped pieces of paint to a hardware store or a paint specialty store to get it color matched.
Now to cover up the hole, apply the spackle with the putty knife and try to fill it in as evenly as possible. It’s OK if it’s not perfect. You can always add another layer or two to get the surface area even. Next, you’ll want to wait a few hours for the spackle to dry. Again, the DAB DryDex spackle is great because it dries from pink to white, so it takes the guesswork out of the drying time.
Fill With Patching Compound
Fill the damaged area and the holes left by the new screws with lightweight patching compound. Use a flexible putty knife to apply the compound and smooth it. Apply two or three coats, allowing each to dry completely before recoating.
Popped drywall nails and screws are common in old and new homes alike. Its tempting to just pound the fastener back in and fill the divot. But this is a short-term solution. To permanently fix the problem, drive a new nail or screw to reattach the drywall to the framing and remove or bury the old fastener. Dont be scared off by the extent of damage in the photos. This is an extreme case where the nail pop was made worse by an overzealous drywall installer. In situations like this, the crushed drywall must be removed before you fill the hole.
We used lightweight spackling compound to fill the damaged area. It dries quickly, doesnt sag and is easy to sand. Expect to apply two or three coats to cover a hole this large. The drying time between coats will depend on how deep the hole is. Use a fine sanding sponge or 100-grit drywall sanding paper to sand the patch before priming and painting.
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Can You Use Toothpaste To Fill Nail Holes
Filling nail holes in drywall using toothpaste is an easy and inexpensive alternative to spackle or paint.
If possible, find a tube as close to the color of the wall as possible. Then, squeeze a small amount directly into the hole and use a putty knife or a playing card to remove any excess product.
For better results, try mixing toothpaste with a crushed Aspirin tablet to create a paste and use that fill the nail hole.
This mixture helps prevent cracking, so nail holes appear less noticeable. This is especially helpful if you do not intend to paint over them afterward.
How To Fill Screw Or Nail Holes In Drywall
- Working Time: 5 – 10 mins
- Total Time: 1 – 2 hrs
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $5 to $10
Holes in drywall come in two forms: drywall screw or nail depressions , which occur when drywall is initially attached to the studs, and actual holes, such as those that occur when wall anchors, screws, or nails are used to attach cabinets or wall hangings.
During installation, the drywall screws or nails should ideally sink just below the surface of the paper, without tearing it. This leaves a slight divot that must be filled before the wall can be painted. On finished walls, holes can occur when wall anchors or screws are used to anchor cabinets, shelves, or pictures to walls when these screws are removed, you are left with holes that penetrate through the drywall panels.
Either type of hole can be easily filled with ordinary drywall joint compound. It is among the easiest of all DIY home repairs.
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What Causes Nail Pops
Modern drywall systems are largely installed with drywall screws. Drywall screws may occasionally snap off but they will never pop out. Instead, the nail pops in your ceiling and walls are caused by short drywall nails that are no longer firmly attached in the two-by-four studs.
Most houses built prior to the 1970s that have not been subsequently remodeled will almost always have drywall hung with nails, not drywall screws. Made of galvanized steel and with a broad head, drywall nails generally range from 1 1/8-inch to 1 7/8-inch long. Even if you have walls that have been built after the 1970s, you might still have wallboard hung with drywall nails, since some drywall installers prefer to use nails.
As the wood studs dry out over time, the wood fibers lose their grip and are no longer able to hold the smooth shank of the drywall nail. The nails protrude, usually bringing drywall compound filler and paint with them. It is usually fruitless to pound the nails back in place because the wood will not hold the shank.
How To Repair Small Holes In Drywall
I want to paint my house, and I have several holes to patch from hanging paintings. What do I need to do? -Lisette
Heres how to go about repairing small holes in drywall, such as those made by picture hanger or nail:
To repair larger holes, check out our article on Patching a Hole in Drywall.
Good luck with your project,
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Filling Nail Holes In Walls
Spackling paste is the best material to use to fill nail holes in either plaster walls or drywall in a long-lasting way. It is also called joint compound or patching compound.
How To Fill Finishing Nail Holes Before Painting
Finishing nails used in wood and drywall may appear small, but the tiny holes they create will stand out dramatically once the surface has been painted. Before painting, these holes must be covered with a material that will blend in with the surrounding surface, creating a smooth and level surface for painting. While some jobs call for traditional joint compound or spackle, others require more specialized fillers designed to resist shrinking and endure long after painting is complete.
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By Using Baking Soda:
Though spackle and toothpaste are materials that you can get at your home still if these do not work, you can go for baking soda. Baking soda with liquid glue makes a great mixture to fill nail holes. However, make sure these two materials create a thick mixture. Otherwise, it wont fill the holes completely.
When you make a thick paste of liquid glue and baking soda, apply the paste with a putty knife in the nail holes. After applying, scrape off the extra paste and then let it dry. This paste will work great on walls with off-white or white color. However, if you are applying this paste on a colored wall then apply in an infrequent manner.
How To Fix Nail Pops In Drywall
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As a new home settles, the sheet rock nails pop during the first two years….. How are you going to fix them?
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Fixing Nails Holes In Finished Wood
How To Patch A Hole: Insert Backer Boards
Cut the backer boards about 4 in. longer than the height of the hole. Pine or other soft wood works well. Hold them tight to the backside of the drywall when fastening them. Hold the boards carefully so the screw points won’t prick your fingers if they pop out the backside. The drywall screws will draw the boards in tight. Sink the screwheads slightly below the drywall surface.
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What Is The Best Product For Filling Nail Holes In Drywall
One of the best ready-made products you can buy for filling nail holes is Erase-a-Hole Putty. It is readily available online through Amazon and is both quick and convenient.
Made of a heavyweight compound, it ensures a perfect match to drywall, plasterboard, and wood. The handheld applicator is compact and portable, making it easy to carry and store.
The product is affordably priced and easy to use. It hardens quickly and will not dry out after opening.
Best of all, it contains no-shrink, no-crack ingredients that guarantee a high-quality finish. It was crafted in 1990 by a drywall professional with over 25 years of experience. Do yourself a favor and check it out today!