Filling Nail Holes
Dart, Nail, Tack Type Holes

Nail holes all over the place can be annoying. But filling nail holes can be even more so.

This is especially true if some one has gotten picture happy over the years and put all kinds of holes in the wall. Or maybe your kids (not you, of course) are not quite as accurate when playing darts and have hit the wall more than the board. Now you have dart holes all over the wall! Yikes! Not a pretty picture.

If you are wondering how to repair nail holes, it is not a hard job but it can be time consuming.

If you have a gazillion holes, use a drywall blade to skim mud over the whole area will make filling in nail holes much easier. Lightly sand out the area when the holes are dry.

If you are filling nail holes and have a small number of holes, use your finger to apply a non-shrink wall spackle to each hole. This works best as it does not shrink and keeps an even surface to hide nail holes.

But if don’t have the spackle and want to use the drywall joint compound you have, be aware, that it will shrink to some degree, depending on the hole size, when filling in nail holes. If you use mud (joint compound), check to see if any of the holes have sunken in after it is dry. If so, just put some more mud into the hole to fill it even with the wall.

When you are filling nail holes, take a small amount spackle or mud and push it into the hole, and then lightly swipe or brush your hand across the filled hole to even out the spackle. This allows you to hid nail holes better. When it is dry, which doesn’t take very long, you can lightly sand over the area to finish it.

Sometimes when you are filling in nail holes, a nail, screw or other sharp object may have been pulled out of the wall, causing the paper to tear.

If this happens in a small area around the hole, apply a little drywall mud under the tear, and then gently push the paper over it. Next, apply some mud or spackle over the repair, and finish out as described above.

You may be wondering how to repair nail holes if there is a larger tear around or near the nail hole. If this is the case, take a razor or drywall knife and gently cut away the loose paper. Then lightly sand the area to get rid of any loose underlying paper (the paper will bubble if it is loose when you put mud over it)

When filling nail holes like this, you want to make sure there is mud in the hole by pressing some mud or spackle into it. If you just skim over the hole it may not really fill into the hole but just sort of pop or bubble up from the hole. That is not what you want to do, you want to make sure you hide nail holes. You may find you weren’t really filling in nail holes because, when you sand, you may re-open the hole.

If you just want to skim over the hole(s), make sure you apply good pressure on your drywall blade to push mud into the hole(s).

If you have a textured wall, using a blade will leave a wavy, bumpy and sometimes, heavier coat around the hole. This looks bad when it is dried and even worse if you leave it and paint over it. You can wet sand this extra away after the mud has dried but it is a lot easier to use your finger to push the mud into the hole and not have the extra mess to deal with later.

If the paper does bubble after you have applied mud over it, you will have to cut the loose paper out and re-skim the area. Make sure that there are no bubbles. When dry, sand lightly to blend the repair back into the wall. This is how you drywall fix nail holes.