Repair Drywall Nail Holes

Drywall nail holes are probably the most common type of damage to drywall. It is often necessary to put holes in your drywall to install curtains, blinds, or shelves. We all love wall art, posters, tapestries, family photos.

But what’s left when you move those pieces to a new spot, or decide on new décor? Puncture holes in your drywall that can be anything from the size of a push tack to a pinky-width remnant from a wall anchor. Eyesores.

Thankfully, these are very simple fixes provided you follow the directions below.

Necessary Tools & Materials

  • Spackle
  • 2 or 4” Drywall (Putty) Knife
  • 150 Grit Sandpaper
  • Primer

Before you begin, however, ensure that you have not only the few tools and materials listed above, but also a small supply of paint that matches the color of your wall.

It is advised, especially if you intend to patch a number of spots on the same wall, that you prime and repaint the entire wall when complete to avoid having areas of paint that looker “fresher” than the rest of the wall. Paint, like everything else, fades slightly with age and is discolored by dust, smoke, or dirt.

If you decide to repaint only a single patch on the wall, be advised that newly-painted patches may be visible after completion. If this happens, we advise that you repaint the entire wall.

Step One – Preparing the Drywall Nail Hole

Take a close look at the nail hole(s). Carefully remove any broken paper around the entrance to the drywall nail hole with a razor knife.

Step Two – Fill the Hole

Scoop a small amount of spackling on your putty knife and press it into the dent. On the first pass the knife should be held at approximately a 45 degree angle, to fill the hole. Then come back over the top with the knife almost vertical and scrape away most of the excess spackle.

Wait the recommended amount of time for the spackle to dry (drying times vary by brand – consult the spackle packaging). Once dry, run your hand across the surface of the spackle. If the spackle is level or slightly humped above the surface of the drywall, you are ready to move onto Step Three.

Spackling occasionally shrinks during the drying process, so if your spackling patch has shrunken or cratered below the surface of the drywall, apply a second coat of spackling and allow that to dry before progressing to Step Three.

Step Three – Sanding the Patch

Now that you’ve patched your drywall nail holes with spackle, you need to give the entire area a light sanding with 150 grade sandpaper. Ensure that you sand any humps or ridges in your spackle even with the rest of the wall.

Run your hand over the sanded patch. It should feel completely smooth.

Step Four – Priming the Patch

Before repainting the patch to match the rest of your wall, you will need to spot prime over the patched area with a drywall primer. If you do not prime the spackled area it will show up as a shinier area of paint on your wall.

You are now free to repaint the spot. As mentioned above, in some cases the repainted spot in the middle of the wall may be noticeable, particularly if the paint on the wall is old and has faded. In these cases, the best practice is to repaint the entire wall.

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