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4 DIY Tips How to Fill Nail Holes in the Wall

Before you rack up a huge repair fee (or worse, lose your security deposit!), try out a few of these DIY hacks for how to fill nail holes in your wall. Even the most cautious apartment dwellers know it’s pretty easy to end up with some dents or holes in the walls. Most of us have tons of nail holes that we’ll need to fill before moving out of the apartment.

The good news? You can probably find most of these materials in your pantry or medicine cabinet, so scout out around the house before heading to the local hardware store.

Top DIY ways how to fill nail holes in the wall:

1. Toothpaste + Aspirin

White toothpaste is an absolute lifesaver — it’s cheap and chances are that you already have some in the bathroom cabinet. Toothpaste works best for small holes in the wall, particularly because it tends to crack. To avoid cracking, crush up some aspirin into powder, and mix it with a bit of toothpaste to create a paste. Then, apply the toothpaste-aspirin mix to the wall and let dry.

Toothpaste, how to fill holes in wall

2. Baking Soda + Glue

It’s time to channel your inner chemistry skills for this one! If you don’t have any toothpaste on hand, mix up a bit of baking soda and white glue to fill in all the holes. It’ll create the thick consistency that you’ll need and will dry rock solid. From there, smooth the surface with a putty knife, and paint right over the area with a color that matches the rest of the wall.

3. Elmer’s Glue

If you have a smaller hole in the wall to fill, apply a bit of Elmer’s glue to the hole with a Q-tip. Try your best to get the layer of glue as flush with the wall as possible — once the glue hardens, you’d have to chip off the excess glue to create an even layer. From there, paint over the area to create a uniform surface.

4. Ivory Soap

We’ll admit — this should be your choice (and it only works on white walls)! If you only have a few minutes before the landlord stops by, try the “Ivory Soap” method. Rub a bar of white Ivory Soap over the hole, and keep rubbing until the hole is completely filled in. Then, use a rag to wipe away all the excess soap.

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The Right Way

These tips for how to fill nail holes will help in a pinch, but nothing beats the “right way” to patch your walls.

Head over to the hardware store, and pick up:

  • A package of spackling paste

  • Wall patch (if your hole is big enough to stick your finger through)

  • A putty knife

  • Fine grit sandpaper

  • Some touch-up paint

Spackling: how to fill holes in wall

Once you have everything in hand, it’s a simple process for how to fill nail holes:

  1. Sand off any uneven edges around the damage.

  2. If needed, apply your wall patch.

  3. Apply the spackling to the hole until it’s completely filled in.

  4. Use the putty knife to scrape away the excess putty so that it’s flush with the rest of the wall. You might need to let the putty dry and then apply more to fill your hole completely and smoothly.

  5. Once everything is dry, sand down the area so that it’s level with the rest of the wall.

  6. Apply a bit of touch-up paint as needed.

Want to see how it’s done? Check out this video from Howcast.

With a few materials that you can find around the house and a bit of elbow grease, you can easily fill in nail holes as needed – and voila, good as new (maybe!).

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