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How to Properly fill a Nail Hole.

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People seem to be terrified of the strangest things. Green smarties, Sasquatch, ageing naturally and gracefully. (I’m all for ageing in the most unnatural way possible by the way and if you want to push, pull, or inject I’m all for whatever makes you feel good. If you’re against it, save your I’m so horrified comments for another post I have coming up which should send you right into a tail spin.)

The other thing people are unreasonably terrified of is putting nail holes in their walls. Your face I can understand. That’s kindda scary. You can’t cover that mistake up with dogs playing pool poster. But the wall?

I’ve deduced, that people aren’t terribly afraid of hammering the nail in, it’s what to do when you take it out. Because once you take that nail out you are left with … THE DREADED NAIL HOLE.

So what to do? Well, much like if your face has a big indentation in it, you fill it up with filler.

I have for you today a very, very short video on how to PROPERLY fill a nail hole. That means there will be no use of toothpaste, cat hair, ski goggles, shaving cream or nail polish in this instructional video.

Please enjoy.

So there you have it, how to properly fill a nail hole. Not very hard, and the very first thing you should do before you paint your walls with a new coat of paint.

You may have noticed a small indent in the wall when I painted it. That was some other indent that didn’t choose to reveal itself until I painted over it. It wasn’t the nail hole. Just some angry, angry, vindictive wall scar impersonating as a nail hole. Mainly just for attention I think.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to try some of that drywall compound on my angry, angry looking forehead.


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46 Comments | Filed Under: DIY Home Decor & Design Videos, Workshop |

46 Responses to How to Properly fill a Nail Hole.

  1. Amber says:

    hmmm, all I’m getting is that the video is private. Does this mean it’s actually documentation of that time with that guy and the saran wrap and the chicken? Is it really about nail holes Karen? Inquiring minds…

  2. brenda says:

    Top Secret???? So private I have to contact the FBI???? Inquiring minds indeed…..

  3. Valerie says:

    Ditto on “private” for the video.

    One thing about nail holes I have noticed is that it works well to fill them twice with a 12 hour period between. The first filling tends to shrink a bit and if the hole is large – sometimes a tiny crack may appear but the first filling does create the base for the second and final filling, light sanding etc. prior to painting.

  4. Terri says:

    Private!!! Oh no. :(

  5. TucsonPatty says:

    And such a nice video with wonderful sound effects it is, indeed!! Short and to the point! I agree with the double filling – unlike double billing which I wrote first, and don’t forget to let it dry before sanding! Love your videos, Karen.

  6. Janni says:

    Good advice and love the sound effects:)

  7. Stephanie Hobson says:

    Green anything other than veggies is terrifying. Candy, Jello, beer, cake, ice cream, you name it. Equally terrifying.

  8. Maureen Locke says:

    So that’s what the round end of a hammer is for.. go figure. Now I need one of those hammers cause I have a crap load of nail holes to fill before I paint this summer. I always wind up slicing off those humps but they still show. Love the video and the sound effects but I was looking forward to hearing your wit and humour this morning.. not just read it. :)

  9. Karen says:

    Wow, who knew…?

  10. Tigersmom says:

    And the Oscar for” best use of sound effects in a video lasting less than one minute” goes to……

    I fear no Smartie.

    I used to fear putting holes in the walls, but once I learned how to fix them that bad boy was conquered. Another advantage to having white walls, sometimes you can get away without the painting step.

  11. Su says:

    I knew this! I’m a bit smarter than I thought I was… :)

  12. Alice says:

    Any hints for those of us with plaster walls? I don’t think making an intention would be a good thing, but I could be wrong. Thanks.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alice – You fill the holes the same way, just just eliminate the step where you hammer it. Plaster won’t push out at the nail hole the way drywall/sheet rock does, so that step isn’t necessary. ~ karen!

  13. Feral Turtle says:

    Those are the damn hammers that I can always find when I need to pull a nail….like yesterday. When I need to fill a hole, I have plenty of claw hammers kicking around. Go figure.

  14. Stephanie says:

    I love you so much. Well like in a blogger way. Not like a strange home repair voyeuristic way. Wait. Maybe just like that. Please keep doing the things!!!

  15. Jane says:

    I love that hammer. It looks like my grandfather’s hammer. Not like the boring modern metal ones.

  16. Vicky says:

    Love the sound effects! I am learning how to mud and tape as we make over our kitchen. Lots of fun! If only nail holes were all we had to fix! The good thing is your video can just be applied to the big fixes also.

  17. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    That had to be the shortest video ever! Sounds effects were awesome…more please!

  18. Mary Werner says:

    3rd paragraph – just like a man! sorry, couldn’t help myself. it was just begging for the comment

  19. Gretchen Sexton says:

    Who knew a video about nail holes could be so fun? Leave it to you Karen. (I’m glad I watched even though I already knew how to do it. )

  20. Ruth says:

    So I sat here with my headphones on, wondering why I was hearing nothing, when I realised said headphones weren’t plugged in. I backed up the video, plugged in the headphone jack…. to hear exactly TWO tiny sounds. LOL!

    Some time back, you got me with a loud surprise sound… and now you’ve got me again, because I was fully expecting to be blasted. Hehehe….

  21. Laura Bee says:

    And there’s still people out there who think paint will fill a hole.
    Could you speed up drying with a flapping chicken?

  22. zippy says:

    Nice video Karen! I’ve actually stopped doing the sanding step when filling small cracks and holes – I find it is neater and easier to just wipe off the extra filler with a damp cloth. Maybe it’s because I’m not very good at sanding, but I always ended up with a visible patch under the new paint – when I wipe it off I can get it so the filler is just in the hole.

  23. gogothrift@etsy.com says:

    That felt (and sounded) so goooooood. mmmmmm

  24. Lisa says:

    If you only have a hammer with the claw on the other side – not the little ball – you can use the handle of a screwdriver to tap the nail hole flush with the wall.

  25. Robin says:

    Strangely enough, I have never been afraid to drive a nail, screw or other form to hold up art, shelves or anything else that I desire to put on a wall. I come from a long line of do-it-yerslfer’s and I have in the house with me a man who loves to drywall…I think it’s because he’s a retired Journeyman Auto body guy and he misses filling cracks and holes in things ( don’t think like that now!) Those kinda holes are an easy fix, esp. if you use those small tubs of ready to go filler.
    As for the human body filler, well not yet have I decided that I need to put myself and my pocket book through that, it may come, but so far I am not that vain!

  26. christine hilton says:

    Screw the nail holes,I want to know about the upcoming post!!! Are you doing botox? This is getting ridiculous,I am now waiting for the kitchen reveal,the black(SW Iron Ore) wall,preferably behind the dowager portrait and MAYBE some form of cosmetic surgery? OMG…Are you getting big boobs?

  27. Lynn says:

    Short & sweet…love it! Only thing I would add is that you might want to prime the spot prior to painting as it can leave a high/low shadow depending on the paint & finish you are using:)

    • Karen says:

      You’re absolutely right! I completely skipped over the priming part! It definitely needs to be done. I use Fresh Start for that sort of thing. ~ karen!

  28. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I have tried but I can’t get my tools to make those sounds..what am I doing wrong???

    • Nancy Blue Moon says:

      I forgot..the sandpaper works fine..makes the same sound as yours..maybe it was imported from Canada…

  29. The nice thing about dry wall compound is that you can make it from plaster paris that is sold in small cartons. The pre-made stuff dries out or molds. I use a spackling knife and mix it on a paper plate.

    Your technique of sanding won’t work on textured walls, you have to work it with your fingers to duplicate the finish or lightly sponge off the surrounding mud around the repaired hole.

    BTW, for those we haven’t put mud on entire walls—that noise is what it sounds like.

  30. jeannie B says:

    I agree on the need for primer over the new repair. I can still see where all my repairs are, if I look hard, because I didn’t prime.

  31. Sheryl says:

    How about avoiding holes almost completely? It is amazing how much weight a tiny straight pin will hold. One can hang all but the very biggest and heaviest items with just plain old sewing straight pins. When you pull them the hole is so tiny you don’t notice it and it fills completely when you paint.

  32. dana says:

    So no cream cheese or toothpaste as hole filler?

  33. Mindy says:

    I like to think I’m a smart girl. Why in the hell have I never done the hammer trick!? Idiot. I even have plaster walls, so I know the outward bump. Dumb. From here on out, I vow to whack my holes.

  34. Shel says:

    Timely post, Karen….since I was just yesterday pulling stuff off the walls and washing them to prepare for a much needed (think 10 years needed) paint job on my bedroom walls. I ain’t ‘fraid of no nail holes…however I was shocked and mortified at the mess left behind on the wall that once held a wall mounted TV. Seems the hubs just pushed the armoire in front of it when he pulled the TV off and relocated it to another wall. LARGE holes and some gashes that look as though the wall was fighting back and he had to ATTACK! It’s a little intimidating since I’ve not had much success filling other large defects. Guess it will be a good place for some wall art. Or an armoire.

  35. Cass says:

    THANK YOU so very much for this post. Clever and to the point. I have been wanting to write a post about this exact subject for months now. The advice to use toothpaste drives me crazy!
    You have done such a far better job than I ever would have been able to do. May I have permission to re publish this on my blog along with much glowing praise for your skills and good looks?

  36. Marion says:

    Love the sound effects! haha.

  37. Barbie says:

    One time I removed a nail from the wall (I must have hit a 2×4 when I nailed it in the wall) and I tugged so hard with the prongs of my hammer to get it out that when it did the prong of the hammer came back full force and hit me square between the eyes on the bridge of my nose! I stumbled out to the front lawn to get some help and there was blood everywhere! My neighbor came running and thought I had cut my hand off with the saw in my garage! Blood was everywhere! Kinda funny now. My neighbor about fainted!

    • Karen says:

      OMG! I think bleeding from between your eyes would be pretty terrifying for a anyone who saw it, lol. YIKES! Scar? ~ karen

  38. Pingback: How to properly fill a nail hole. | The Art of Doing Stuff | The Fix It Lass

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