Posted on: 27.07.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Covering nail holes in a wall is something you’ll likely encounter if you are a homeowner or renter. Perhaps you’re redecorating your apartment or preparing for a move; the photos, artwork, shelves, and signs that once hung on your walls are now gone. What remains are the tell-tale nail holes in your walls. Repairing the hole may sound daunting, but there is a relatively simple solution.

To easily cover nail holes in a wall, first, take some drywall joint compound (e.g., spackle) and apply it to the spot. Next, take a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and smooth the surface. Then, you can finish the repair with a small layer of paint.

This article will also teach you techniques for larger holes, non-traditional methods, and filling holes in finished wood. We will also cover best practices related to wall repairs when selling your home.

Do I Need to Patch Nail Holes When Moving Out?

If you’re preparing to sell your home, you’ve probably wondered whether you need to patch up all the nail holes or not. Is it worth the effort considering the time it takes to fill each hole? When selling your home, patching holes can help you get top dollar in the long run before the house is sold. lists patching holes in the walls as number one on the list of the most important things to do before moving out. advises, “Make sure your house is ready for its close-up.” Your home is about to be photographed and shared on multiple listing sites, as well as scrutinized from top to bottom by potential buyers and real estate professionals. As they walk through your home, everything needs to be in the best condition. Consider the buyer’s perspective and identify any potential deterrents to their buying experience.

Seeing holes in the walls can be a potential red flag for buyers as they consider the purchase. It can delay negotiations as they view it as additional work for them once they move in. If you want to get the best possible offer for sale, follow proper home-selling etiquette and repair the nail holes before you go.

How to Easily Cover Nail Holes in a Wall

Here are five simple steps to cover nail holes in a wall. Sandpaper.

The most important step is arguably making sure you have the necessary materials for your DIY project. To cover nail holes in a wall, you will need the following materials:

  • Drywall joint compound
  • Putty knife
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Paper towel or cloth
  • Small brush
  • Paint

Drywall Joint Compound

You will need to purchase a drywall joint compound to start the process. I recommend getting this high-strength, small hole repair by 3M. This spackle provides a quick and easy solution for small holes, does not shrink, crack, or sag, and is recommended for use on holes up to 3 inches in diameter. The compound you choose is important as it is the main component for the success of this project.

A Small Putty Knife

You’ll use a small putty knife to apply the compound. Be sure to purchase one that has a smooth edge and a comfortable grip. I recommend the Red Devil 4206 2″ Flex Putty Knife. Two inches is sufficient to fill the hole, and you can use the tool for future home projects.

Fine-Grit Sandpaper (or a sanding sponge)

Fine-grit sandpaper is necessary to smooth the surface once the compound has dried. Sandpaper is typically categorized by its grit. For this project, you will need a grit between 180 and 320 for the final touch. You can either purchase these Fandeli variety grits or use the 3M SandBlaster sponge. While both products get the job done, a sanding sponge ensures even pressure across the surface.

A Cloth, Paint, & a Small Brush

Most drywall compounds dry to be white or gray once they’ve been dried and sanded. More than likely, you’ll need to apply paint to the area to match it to the current color and help the repair blend in. Ensure you have a paper towel or cloth, a small brush, and the desired color for the final steps. Ultimately, the goal is to make the repair no longer detectable after the project is complete.

Fill the Hole with Drywall Joint Compound

Take your putty knife and apply a dime-sized amount of spackle to one edge of the knife. Carefully press the putty knife directly onto the hole, making sure to fill it in. When you scrape with the putty knife across the spot, you will successfully apply an even layer flush with the wall. Rinse the putty knife and use it again to scrape away any excess spackle from the wall. Allow the joint compound to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions, typically 15 to 30 minutes, before proceeding.

Lightly Sand the Area to Smooth the Surface

Gently sand the surface of the hole using your fine-grit sandpaper (either a sheet or a sponge) to achieve a smooth and level surface. Remember to sand lightly so as not to accidentally remove too much spackle and apply even pressure to the area. If you find that your hole is still indented, you may need to repeat the previous step to add another layer so that the hole is flush with the wall.

Remove Dust with a Dry Towel or Cloth

When preparing to paint the area, you will need a clean surface. Take your paper towel or cloth and wipe the surface to remove the dust from sanding. Be sure to use a dry towel or cloth; using something that is slightly damp or wet can damage the repair. This step is necessary as it also helps the paint adhere better to the wall. Take this time to ensure the surface is ready before applying paint to the surface.

Paint the Repair & Let It Dry for 15-30 Minutes

Finally, take your small brush and the paint of your choice and apply an even layer to the repaired spot. Let this dry for 15 to 30 minutes before checking if a second coat is needed. If you’re painting with a lighter color, you may need to apply a second coat of paint to better blend in the area. Once the paint has dried well, the previous hole should no longer be noticeable.

Congratulations! You have successfully repaired a nail hole in the wall.

Techniques for Covering Larger Holes

If you have larger holes in your drywall, you may need to apply some drywall joint tape to the area before adding the compound. Drywall joint tape is typically made of fiberglass mesh and helps bridge two drywall panels. In doing so, the joint tape bridges the larger gap and supports the joint compound.

I recommend using the Duck Brand 282083 self-adhesive fiberglass drywall joint tape. This tape not only allows for quick results but also transforms a daunting task into an easy solution. With the self-adhesive tape, you can quickly apply it to the affected area and proceed with the repair. It comes on a roll for easy storage and use in future projects.

If you’re fixing a larger hole with the joint tape, add the following step at the beginning: Cover the hole with joint tape before adding the joint compound. You may need to add additional layers of compound between sanding, but the process remains the same.

Non-Traditional Methods

There are other ways to fill the hole besides using spackle. While spackle offers better durability, the following methods would help if you’re in a pinch and need a quick repair:

  • Use a piece of soap and rub it over the hole until enough soap has built up and is flush with the wall.
  • Create your compound Use a mixture of baking soda and white glue to create a moldable mixture and apply it to the hole.
  • Use white toothpaste for smaller gaps and let it dry before painting.

Filling Holes in Finished Wood

Filling holes in finished wood is similar to filling gaps in drywall or plaster. Instead of using a drywall compound, you’ll use a wood filler. Be sure to purchase a wood filler that closely matches the color of your wood to simplify the process. Wood filler has the consistency of putty, so your approach will be slightly different. Follow the steps below to fill holes in finished wood:

  1. Apply wood filler to the putty knife and gently fill in the gap.
  2. Take a clean, dry cloth and smooth the wood filler so that it is flush with the rest of the wood.
  3. Allow the wood filler to dry before you paint it or apply any finish to the area.

The finished product should be smooth and practically unnoticeable to anyone viewing it.


Repairing small nail holes in walls is a manageable and accessible task that homeowners can do without the help of a professional. Especially if you’re selling your home, following the steps mentioned above will help successfully repair the wall. Gather your supplies, apply the joint compound to the area, sand it down, wipe it with a clean cloth, and apply the final coat of paint. A little elbow grease can go a long way now for the future of your home.

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