Do you have ugly nail holes in your wall that you want to cover up? Are you moving into a house or apartment where the previous occupant seems to have covered entire walls with frames, evidenced by a littering of nail holes? Are you moving out of a place and need to fill up your nail holes to try to keep as much of your deposit as possible?

There are a variety of do-it-yourself solutions for filling in nail holes. The method you choose will probably depend on what you have lying around, how much time you want to spend on it, and the color of your wall.


The proper way to fill up a nail hole is with spackling. You can find it at your neighborhood home improvement store. It typically comes in a tube with a long, skinny nozzle perfect for filling in nail holes (since that’s what it’s supposed to do). You will also need some fine grit sandpaper, paint (to match your walls), and a putty knife. If the nozzle fits, you can just squeeze some spackling into the hole. If not, you can put some spackling onto the putty knife and scrape it into the nail hole until it’s filled. Once it’s filled, you can also use the putty knife to scrape away any excess spackle around the edges. Once it’s cleaned up and has been given time to dry, use the sandpaper to smooth down the surface. After all of your nail holes have been filled in, you can paint over them.

Wall Putty

A cheaper and faster way to patch up the hole is to use wall putty. You can also find this at the home improvement store. You just need a dab of wall putty on the tip of your finger or an old knife. Push the wall putty into the hole and use an old cleaning rag to wipe the excess away. When it’s dry, you can paint over it. This won’t look as professional or clean as spackling.

Ivory Soap

If you’re in a time crunch, a quick, cheap, but flimsy solution would be to rub a bar of soap over the holes. The soap will be pushed into the hole, filling it. Use a dry rag to wipe away the excess soap. Using a wet rag might wash away some of the soap. Your walls need to be white for this to work (or you need soap that matches the color of your walls).


Another cheap, quick fix is to fill the hole with toothpaste. This should be your last ditch solution, since toothpaste tends to shrink and crack quickly. But it fills the holes if that’s what you need!

Good luck!