Whether you’re redecorating or moving, nail holes are blemishes on your walls when you want a fresh slate. Check out these tips so you can leave your place in good shape for the next occupants, or have a solid foundation for your next room makeover.

Learn more about techniques that range from thrifty, DIY methods to more professional solutions.

DIY Methods

1. White Soap

Talk about clean starts! Take dry white soap and rub it across the hole until it’s filled.

 

White Soap

 

2. Toothpaste

Don’t use the gel type. Instead, take plain white toothpaste to the holes and wipe away excess with a rag.

These DIY methods really should only be used in a pinch. For more professional results before repainting (since the holes will be more visible after the new coat of paint dries), what you use depends on what material has the hole that needs filled.

 

White Toothpaste

 

Professional Solutions

1. Drywall

Drywall compound is simple to use. You’ll need a putty knife and fine (220 grit) sandpaper. Scoop out a small amount of compound with your putty knife. If the hole is 1/of an inch, use your finger to press the compound into the hole, smooth it with your finger, and then wipe away the excess with a damp rag.

For larger nail holes, 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, pressing the compound into the hole, with the flat top edge of the putty knife. Wipe away any excess with your putty knife, and then with a damp rag.

Allow the first coat of drywall compound to dry according to the directions on the package, then sand the patched area with sandpaper. Wipe away any dust with a damp rag.

Repeat the process two more times, sanding in between each coat. With the third coat, apply just slightly more compound than needed to fill the hole, then sand the hole and surrounding area smooth and flat once the compound dries.

 

Putty Knife

 

2. Wood

Use your fingers to fill any holes with wood putty or wood filler. Allow it to dry completely, then repeat until the hole is filled, allowing each coat to dry before applying more. Then, sand the area until smooth and wipe away any sanding residue with a damp rag.

 

Wood Putty

 

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