8 Easy Steps to Fix Nail Holes in Your Apartment Walls


Holes in your apartment walls can be unsightly, especially if you’re renting. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to fix nail holes in apartment walls that don’t involve moving or repainting your entire home.

You can use drywall compound to fix holes in almost any type of wall and make them look just like new again.

In this article, we’ll explain how to fix nail holes in apartment walls with simple materials that can be found at any hardware store or big-box retailer.

Follow 8 Easy Steps to Fix Nail Holes

1. Use the Right Tools

Before you start, make sure you have a hammer, screwdriver, and drill bit that fits your screws. You’ll also need a spackle and a putty knife. It can be helpful to have some joint compound too.

Finally, if you want your patch job to look good, consider adding paint or wallpaper over it once everything is dry. This will hide any blemishes or rough patches that weren’t fully covered by your patching job.

2. Remove Screws and Drywall Anchors

Remove any screws or drywall anchors that may have been left behind by previous tenants. It is important to find and remove these if you don’t want new holes to appear.

If you do not remove them, they will remain prominent on your wall and may cause new holes as a result of your repairs.

The best way to find them is by using a stud finder, which can be purchased at many home improvement stores for under $20.

3. Cut Out Nail Holes and Remove any Debris

First, cut out any nail holes and remove any debris or excess material. Use a putty knife for larger holes and a small utility knife for those tiny pinholes. Clean out debris with a vacuum hose. Once everything is clean, then you can start fixing nail holes.

4. Sand the Surface around the Hole

The key here is not to sand off any of your wall’s original finish. You just want to roughen up its surface so that your patch matches better.

Use some fine-grit sandpaper and go at it for a minute or two, making sure you don’t cause any damage.

Move on from there and clean away all debris with a damp cloth or tack cloth. This’ll ensure that no pieces of dust get stuck onto your drywall compound and cause lumps later on.

5. Fill Nail Holes with Spackle

The main goal when fixing nail holes is to keep things as seamless as possible. You’ll start by smoothing out any areas of spackle that you don’t like, followed by a very light sanding.

Then, apply a coat of spackle and allow it to dry completely before sanding it down again.

6. Sand Down the Dried Spackle Again

Before applying the second coat of spackle, it’s important to sand down any rough edges or patches.

Wipe off any dust with a damp cloth, then take your sandpaper and gently rub over all areas that need touching up.

Take care not to press too hard. You don’t want to push through and make a bigger hole. If you run into problems with deeper dents, fill them up with another thin layer of spackle, let dry, then sand them as needed.

7. Apply the Second Layer of Spackle

No matter how careful you are, chances are good that your first application of spackle will leave holes or divots on your wall.

When you’re applying a second layer of spackle to fill these holes, add a little extra spackle around them (about 1⁄4).

Smooth it over with your trowel and allow it to dry completely before sanding it. The added layer will create a small indentation around each hole, ensuring that sanding won’t enlarge them further.

8. Paint Over It

Once dry, apply a thin coat of primer paint or tinted wall paint, and then add a second coat of your desired color.

After it’s all dry, you should be able to erase any excess marks with a fresh piece of sandpaper. Let your nail holes be an opportunity for new art!

How to Make Spackle at Home to Fix Nail Holes

Spackle is wall filler that’s used to hide nail holes and other imperfections. Mixing spackle at home isn’t hard, but it requires a bit of patience and a few ingredients.

Here’s how you can make spackle at home to fix nail holes in your apartment walls.

1. Use Baking Soda

Mix one half-tablespoon of baking soda with white glue and wait for it to turn into a pliable paste. Apply the paste to the hole with a plastic knife and flatten the surface out with a final touch before it has a chance to dry and use sandpaper to remove any uneven surfaces.

2. Use a Bar Of Soap

This is another DIY solution to temporarily fill in tiny nail holes, as it will not provide a permanent fix but is quicker than other solutions. Just take a bar of white soap and rub it around the hole until it fills in. After that, clean any residue around the hole with your finger or a dry rag.

3. Use Toothpaste

Use toothpaste, preferably the white variety, to fill nail holes in an impromptu or last-minute pinch. This will work well as a temporary fix, but probably not as well as other more permanent DIY solutions.

4. Make a Play-Dough Filler

Blend together four tablespoons of flour with one tablespoon of salt. Make the mixture into a paste by adding it in stages to paint or primer. Bonus? Use the color of the wall as your mix-in and the spackle will blend in seamlessly.

Need a Hand?

If you’re looking for professional help, VALET WORKS is happy to help. Our experts have been repairing and renovating homes for many years.

If you have any other questions, give us contact us ValetWorks and we’ll be happy to provide advice on your nail hole fix or any other home renovation need. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year!

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