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How to Fill in Nail Holes

Learn how to fill in nail holes in your home before you start your next home improvement project.

Whether you’re a renter who’s moving out or you’re going to put on a fresh coat of paint, nail holes can present a problem. They leave your walls and trim looking beaten, and well, full of holes. With the help of Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you can easily fill in the nail holes in your home.

How to Fill in Nail Holes
Before you paint any walls, filling in nail holes is a must. Learn how to properly fill in holes in your walls and trim with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.


You’ve probably heard of renters using toothpaste or soap to repair a hole in the wall. While it’s a quick fix to get your security deposit back, it won’t last. They’ll both crack, leaving a mess for any future tenants. To properly fill nail holes, you’ll want to use wall putty or drywall compound.

Wall putty – A tube of wall putty will do the trick when you’re filling in a few holes. Simply dab a small amount on an old knife and push the putty into the nail hole. Let the putty dry and follow the instructions from the putty.

Drywall compound – With nail holes that have pulled some of the wall out, you’ll want to use drywall compound (also called joint compound or mud). Mix the drywall mud, following the instructions on the container. Using a ball peen hammer, create an indent. Fill in the hole with drywall mud, let it dry, and sand it with fine grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface. Now you’re ready to prime and paint!

Wood Trim

If you have wood trim that needs filling in, you’ll want to use wood putty. You’ll want to fill in nail holes after the wood has been stained or painted. If you fill in the holes before it’s stained, the oil in the stain may not cover up the filled-in hole.

First, you’ll need a wood putty that matches the finish of the wood. Rub the putty over the nail holes, pushing it in to firmly seal the putty. Wipe off excess putty with your finger. If you don’t want to use your finger, a small rubber spatula can do the trick. Use another coat of finish to seal in the putty. If you’re filling in exterior nail holes, a silicone-based wood putty will be flexible and withstand water. Always read the label to make sure it’s okay for interior or exterior use.

Filling in nail holes is just one of many simple DIY home repairs. For more tips on projects around the home, visit our Home Maintenance and Around the Home blogs.


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