My Best Tips To Fill Nail Holes In Drywall

One thing that I love about having this blog is that I’ve personally come a long way over the past decade of DIY’ing and decorating my home. When I first started out, I was terrified to hang frames on the wall. How would I fill nail holes in drywall? Especially in a rental?! Now, I’m not afraid to add holes (big and small) to the walls in my home because I understand that they are not scary to fix.

Our new hallway gallery wall
Our Hallway Gallery Wall

This post is for anyone out there who is a bit nervous to start puncturing your smooth and hole-free walls. Perhaps you have a gorgeous piece of art you want to hang, or you want to give a gallery wall a go. I’m going to show you how easy it is to patch drywall nail holes so you can mark up your walls with confidence. And when I say easy, I mean it! I’m talking a few minutes to tackle multiple holes around your house. Let’s get to the goods…

Drywall Repair – Supplies

fill nail holes in drywall using this nifty tool

I want to show you two easy ways to fill nail holes in drywall, depending on what supplies you already own. If you already have a regular spackling compound on hand, that works! If you’re still building your DIY arsenal of supplies, then I recommend picking up a bottle of this all-in-one hole repair. It has a spackle, a putty knife, and a sander all in one little tool and it’s nice to just have it in the junk drawer so it’s easily accessible. This is in no way sponsored, I just really like the ease of having this simple little gadget with all of the tools I need.

My Best Tips to Fill Nail Holes In Drywall

First, let’s address the size of the hole. This tutorial will work for holes the size of…well, a nail! If you had an anchor and screw in your wall, then head over to this blog post that walks you through the step-by-step for larger holes in drywall.

Remove The Nail

My best tips to fill nail holes in drywall

First, take down your wall art and remove the nail. You can usually pull it out with your fingers. If that doesn’t work, use the other side of a hammer to pull it out of the wall.

Option One: Use The All-In-One Tool

How to use the all in one tool to fill nail holes in drywall

If you have the all-in-one tool, squeeze a bit of spackle out of the tube and directly into the hole. The biggest mistake I see people make is using way too much and smothering it all over the place. Use the flat side of the tool (the putty knife) and scrape off any excess from the surface. You really just want it to get inside the hole.

Use the sanding portion of the tool to remove any excess spackle

After a few minutes, you can use the sandpaper on the cap of the tool to lightly sand the surface, to make sure any excess is off of the drywall.

Option Two: Use Spackle On Your Finger

Use a tiny bit of spackling compound on your finger

If you don’t have that nifty tool, no worries. Just take some of the spackle with your fingers and smush it into the hole. You don’t even need a putty knife for this step. Try to fill the hole the best you can and wipe away any excess with your finger or a paper towel.

Lightly Feather Your Paint

take a small bit of paint and put it on your paper towel

Okay, here’s where people make a big DIY mistake. They take a paint brush and paint over the entire hole area (and then some) with a coat of paint. Unless you want to paint the entire wall, which you absolutely can do, this isn’t a great idea. It will likely stick out like a sore thumb.

Feather the paint on your walls when filling nail holes in drywall

Instead, take your wall color – in my case here, Benjamin Moore’s “Ballet White” in an eggshell finish – and a paper towel and gently dab it over the area. You can usually just get a bit of paint from the lid of your paint can. No need to dip all the way into the paint can.

Feather the paint out around the hole so it blends into the wall a bit better. Again, use just a small bit to get that color onto the drywall. You don’t need a ton!

Let the paint dry and you should be good to go!

My Favorite Wall Art Ideas

Nursery gallery wall
My Daughter’s Nursery Gallery Wall

Now that you realize how easy it is to fill nail holes in drywall, I want to leave you with some inspiration for your blank walls! Here are some of my favorite blog posts with tips to hang gallery walls and art in your own home.

Symmetrical gallery wall in a hallway
My Mom’s Symmetrical Gallery Wall
Answering your replacement windows FAQs
My Fave Custom Framing Options

If you have lightweight frames, I am a big fan of using Command Strips instead of nails for a mess-free way to hang. This is my go-to pack of Command Strips that I always have on hand.

Go Forth & Patch Your Walls

how to fill nail holes in drywall

Is anyone else ready to walk around their home and fix all of the nail holes in one big swoop? I have a few more spots around my home that need some love and I’m excited to give my drywall some TLC.


Larger Drywall Hole To Patch?

Attach your patch right to the wall

If your wall damage is larger than a nail hole, head on over to this blog post to read my tips to patch larger holes in the wall.

If you’re looking for tips to take care of your home and stay on top of home maintenance tasks like this, check out Your Home Playbook. It’s a digital guide to keep your home running smoothly.

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The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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