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HomeExclusiveHow To Spackle Nail Holes

How To Spackle Nail Holes

How To Make Homemade Spackle

How to Spackle Nail Holes before Painting | Pottery Barn

If you only have a couple tiny nail holes to fill then it might not be worth buying an entire container of spackle. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to DIY it.

Use baking soda. Make a paste by mixing a half-tablespoon of baking soda with white glue until it turns into a pliable paste. Use a plastic knife to apply the paste to the hole and smooth it out, and allow to dry fully before sanding.

Make a play-dough inspired filler. This recipe has you following a traditional homemade play-dough formula, with a little twist. Mix together four tablespoons of white flour with one-third tablespoon of salt. Then turn the mixture into a paste by slowly adding in paint, primer, or varnish. As an added bonus, you can use the paint color of the wall as your mix-in so that the homemade spackle blends in right away.

Use toothpaste. Yep, you can use toothpaste to fill a small nail hole, just go for the white paste kind. It might not be quite as solid as other DIY methods, but it will work in a pinch, particularly if youre a renter trying to fill nail holes before your landlord comes by.

Use a bar of soap. Heres another do-it-yourself option that wont provide a permanent fix but will serve as a quick way to fill in tiny holes. Take a white bar of soap and rub it over the hole to fill it in. Use your finger or a dry rag to wipe away any excess in the area surrounding the hole.

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!

Thats it!

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?

Fixing Nails Holes In Finished Wood

  • 1Purchase a wood putty that matches the finish of your wood. Wood putty comes in a variety of shades to match different types of wood and finishes. Purchase a putty that matches your wood as closely as possible. To make this easy, take a picture of the wood to refer to when you are making your purchase.XResearch source
  • You can make your own wood putty by using sawdust from the wood and white wood glue.
  • 2Place painter’s tape around the nail hole to protect the surrounding wood. Poke a nail-sized hole in a piece of painter’s tape using a screwdriver, utility knife, or another tool. Line up the tape over the nail hole. Gently press down on the tape to adhere it to the wood.XResearch source
  • Use more than one piece of tape if needed.
  • 3Apply the wood putty to the nail hole with a putty knife. Put a quarter size amount of wood putty onto the tip of a clean putty knife. Gently scrape the knife across the painter’s tape over the nail hole. Apply putty until the hole is filled.XResearch source
  • Scrape away any putty that is protruding out of the hole as it will expand slightly as it dries.
  • 4Remove the tape and polish the area with a dry rag. Pull the tape away from the wood very gently to avoid damage. Rub a clean, dry rag over the surface of the filled nail hole to smooth it. Avoid using a damp rag, which could smudge the putty.XResearch sourceAdvertisement
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    How To Repair Holes In Drywall With Spackle

    This article was co-authored by Norman Raverty. Norman Raverty is the owner of San Mateo Handyman, a handyman service in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been working in carpentry, home repair, and remodeling for over 20 years. This article has been viewed 454,402 times.

    Drywall is very easy to damage. You can damage it by drilling, hammering a nail, or if something falls into it. Smaller holes in drywall can be easily fixed using spackle, a compound specifically made to cover cracks and holes in walls. Use a putty knife to cover the hole in the drywall with spackle. Once you’ve applied the spackle, you can paint over it, making the wall look as good as new and like it was never damaged.

    How Do You Fill Nail Holes Using Glue

    How to Spackle Nail Holes before Painting

    A great DIY trick for filling nail holes in drywall involves good old-fashioned Elmers glue and a Q-tip! Simply squeeze the glue from the tube directly into the hole.

    Use the Q-tip to go over the glue, making sure the application is flush with the wall surface. After the glue hardens, chip away any excess product.

    This method works best on a white or light-colored wall.

    If you are using it on a drywall and do not intend to paint it afterward, this is an easy and inexpensive solution.

    Best of all, you do not need a putty knife, sandpaper, or a big bucket of speckle to get the job done.

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    Fill Holes In Drywall


    Use the handle of your putty knife to very gently press and smooth the broken paper of the drywall around the nail holes, if needed.


    Apply a small amount of drywall spackle to nail holes smaller than 1/8 inch in diameter. Use your finger to press the spackle into the hole, then smooth the surface of the wall with your hand.


    Dip the tip of your putty knife into a tub of drywall joint compound and use it to scoop up a small amount of the compound. Fill larger nail holes with the joint compound, wiping away any excess with your putty knife.


    Allow the first coat of drywall compound to dry according to the directions on the package, then sand the patched nail holes with 220-grit sandpaper. Wipe the sanding dust away with a damp rag.


    Repeat steps 3 and 4 to apply two additional coats of joint compound to the nail holes, sanding in between each coat. On the final coat, apply just slightly more joint compound than is needed to fill the hole, then sand the hole and surrounding area smooth and flat once the compound dries.

    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!

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    How To Sand Spackle

    Before getting started on sanding spackle, make certain that the spackle is dry. You need it, or else you will pull off pieces of spackle.

  • Start with normal grit sandpaper, such as 120 grit.
  • Sand slowly, starting at the edge of your spackle patch and working your way inwards towards the center.
  • Dont oversand you dont want to take off too much spackle and start cutting into the surrounding drywall.
  • If the area still looks a bit rough when youre done sanding with 120 grit, switch to a finer grit, such as a 360 grit. This grit sandpaper wont take as much of the spackle off but will smooth the area nicely.
  • Be careful when using a powered sander, as these can sometimes do more damage than they do good.

    What Is The Fastest Way To Fix A Small Hole In The Wall

    How To Cover up Nail Holes on Walls | Spackle Tips for Beginners


    Dorthea Jinen

    7 Best Wood Fillers – Reviews

    • #1. Abatron WoodEpox Epoxy Wood Replacement Compound.
    • #2. Donald Durhams Rockhard Water Putty.
    • #3. Elmer’s E887Q Stainable Wood Filler.
    • #4. J-B Weld 8257 KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy Putty.
    • #5. 3M Bondo Home Solutions Wood Filler.
    • #6. FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler.
    • #7.

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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.

    Gearing Up For The Project

    With confidence and enough time, you can fix holes in walls like a pro. Ideally, youll want spackle for the job. Youll also need a little fine grit sandpaper, andyesif you want to do the job right, youll need paint to match the color of your wall.

    Youd begin your mini home improvement adventure by purchasing supplies. However, you dont need much to fix small nail holes in walls.

    At a minimum, you want to get your hands on fine grit sandpaper or a sanding sponge. The sandpaper will enable you to make any damage less obvious.

    Its understandable not to want to paint after fixing a small hole. After all, if you only need to fix one or two small spots, painting makes the job more of a chore.

    In that case, its understandable if the job doesnt feel worth the effort. With this in mind, here are a few DIY methods that will save some work and a trip to the hardware store.

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    How To Paint Over Spackle

    For several days following your work, your spackle should be kept dry and warm. After it has dried, you can paint over your spackle. Use light and even strokes in order to ensure good coverage. Blend into surrounding paint if necessary.

    Satin or semi-gloss paints often require blending. If you are attempting to match a paint already on the wall, and you do not have more of the original paint to use, be prepared for the possibility that you might need to paint the entire wall.

    It is good to know how to fix spackle showing through paint this is quite common, especially in the case of darker colors. Since the spackle is white, you might need a second coat of paint to fully cover the paint. Simply allow the paint to dry and apply additional coats, blending as necessary.

    Places The Substances Should Be Used On:

    spackling textured walls

    Spackle is mostly used on plasters, drywalls, and masonries. On the other hand, wood filler is used on wood largely. But these two provide fruitful results in filling holes. Both substances are efficient enough to cover nail holes.

    Must Read: 7 Best Nail Hole Filler for Wood Trim & MDF: 2021 Reviews.

    However, here is a fact that they work effectively on two different materials. For instance, spackle works better in mending wall holes whereas wood filler works better in mending wood holes. But they can be used as an alternative to one another. In this fact, you need to be a little careful.

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    How To Patch Nail Holes In Drywall

    While it might feel intimidating at first, patching nail holes in drywall is actually one of the simplest projects around.

    My number one recommendation is to start by grabbing this 3M 4-in-1 Patch Plus Primer. It will make everything so incredibly easy and youll be left wondering why in the world you didnt do this sooner.

    Prime Over Patched Nail Hole

    Grab a paintbrush and add some wall primer over the patched nail. This is an important step to prevent flashing.

    Flashing is when the paint sheen is a little different where the patched nail hole. If youve ever filled nail holes and skipped the primer, you know what I mean. You can definitely tell where the patched hole is. This extra step is well worth it if you want your paint finish to be consistent and look professional!

    Let the primer dry thoroughly before moving on.

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    How To Fix Nail Holes In Walls Without Painting

    You may want to make the repair to make sure that you get back your deposit on a rental. Alternatively, you might want to sell your home, and a showings coming soon. In either case, you dont want to leave unsightly nail holes exposed on your wall.

    If you leave the nail in, it looks even worse than the hole. Accordingly, the only good option is to fill the gaps in your otherwise beautiful wall.

    To learn how to fix nail holes in walls without painting, keep reading.

    Do You Prime Or Spackle First

    How to Spackle Nail Holes before Painting – Sherwin-Williams

    If the surface is bare wood or wallboard, prime first, allow to dry, then caulk. Large cracks in walls need to be taped and mudded using drywall repair materials. Holes and gouges in woodwork trim can be patched with wood filler or exterior grade Spackle. These materials are more durable than wall Spackle.

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    Using Materials From Home For A Quick Fix

  • 1Mix toothpaste and aspirin as an alternative to spackling paste. Use a mortar and pestle or a bowl and sturdy spoon to crush a tablet of aspirin. Squeeze out about .25 inches of toothpaste onto the aspirin powder and mix them together into a paste. Apply this thick mixture to small nail holes with a craft stick or other small, flat tool.XResearch source
  • If the aspirin and toothpaste won’t mix evenly, add a drop of water to the mixture.
  • This filler can be used in drywall or plaster walls.
  • Alternatively, make a paste using 1 tablespoon of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a few drops of water.
  • 2Rub a bar of soap over the holes to fill them without tools. Rub a dry bar of soap over your nail holes, back and forth. Stop once the holes look filled in. Run a dry cloth or rag over the surface of the holes to wipe excess soap pieces away.XResearch source
  • Avoid using a wet or damp rag, which can melt or dissolve the soap.
  • Opt for a white soap if you have white walls.
  • You can use this method for either drywall or plaster walls.
  • 3Squeeze craft glue into nail holes to fill them quickly. Purchase a bottle of white craft glue online or from a craft store. Position the nozzle in front of each nail hole and carefully squeeze in glue until the hole is full. Wait for the glue to dry, then scrape away any excess glue around the outside of the hole.XResearch source
  • You can also apply craft glue to the nail holes with a cotton swab.
  • This quick solution can be used for plaster walls and drywall.
  • 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.

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    Other Quick Fix Alternatives

    There also other compounds that you can concoct to make your own homemade spackle. What you choose, however, depends on a few things.

    For example, your choice will vary depending on how much time you have. It will also vary based on the wall color and your personal tastes.

    For instance, you can use baking soda to make your own homemade spackle-like compound. Youll need to mix it with white glue.

    You should end up with a white, thick paste-like mixture. Youd then use the concoction to fill in any small nail holes.

    If the hole is small enough, you can use glue by itself. Youd apply the glue with a Q-tip. If you have kids, for instance, you most likely have some Elmers glue lying around that they use for crafts.

    If you use glue, its important not to get it on the rest of the wall. Remember, your point is to make less worknot more. Youll also want to put a piece of cardboard under the glue bottle to prevent any spills.

    If youre so unfortunate as to not have any of these items in your home, theres still hope. You can fill those small nail holes in walls using soap. However, soap is a last-ditch alternative.

    Filling holes in walls with soap is not a permanent fix. Its just a way to cover up damage to your walls quickly if youre pressed for time.

    Here, the process is straightforward. Simply take the soap, shove it into the damaged areas until there are no holes left, make it look nice and youre done.


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