Is there anything that tells you you've reached adulthood more than learning how to fill screw holes in a wall? Sure, you've learned to drive. Maybe you've got married, even had some kids. But until you know how to fix stuff, you aren't really an adult.
It's incredibly common to find holes in a wall in your home. Maybe you've just moved in, and discovered that the previous occupants were hiding holes with pictures. Maybe you're redecorating, and need to relocate where your mirrors are currently positioned.
It doesn't really matter. Whatever the reason, you've taken a screw out of a wall, and now there's a hole. A hole that needs filling. And here's how you do it.
How To Fill Screw Holes In A Wall
We'll preface our advice by stating that we will be focussing on small holes. So if you have a hole you can fit your head through, these tips aren't really going to fit the bill. This is much more about holes that are, at most, a couple of centimetres wide.
These are the sort of holes you typically get left with after you've removed a screw from the wall. Luckily, even a beginner at DIY can tackle this sort of job.
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What You'll Need
We'll start with the equipment you'll need:
- Putty knife, or another flat applicator
- Utility knife
- A wall filler, such as Joint Compound or Spackle
- Paper Towels
- Fine Sandpaper
Once you have everything you need, you're ready to fill the screw hole.
How To Fill The Hole
Before you start your repair job, make sure you have moved any furniture that sits below the hole. You may also want to put a dust sheet down to catch anything that you drop. When you're ready to begin, here's what you do:
- Start by cleaning the hole itself. Remove any loose material, using a fine brush, or your knife. If there is any loose face paper, for example on drywall, then trim that down as well. If you want the best finish, then the hole needs to be flat.
- Next, get your putty knife. In the absence of one of these, an old credit card can work as an effective substitute. Apply some joint compound onto the knife. You don't want to overload it. You can use paper towel to remove any excess.
- Press the filler into the hole. An effective technique is to press the edge of your knife against the wall, and draw it across and over the hole.
- If the hole isn't completely full, wipe the blade across it again. It shouldn't be completely flat at this stage, you should expect it to be slightly overfilled, to ensure the hole is completely filled.
- Use a wet knife or just use another edge of your putty knife to scrape off any excess. Don't do this too much, as you can actually remove filler from the hole.
- Leave it to dry. Typically, this takes 1-2 hours. The instructions will tell you exactly how long to expect.
- If it's a very deep hole (usually more than 10mm) you may need to repeat this process. Apply the filler in layers, and allow the first layer to dry before doing another layer. Likewise, as the filler dries, it may shrink. So you may need to apply a second coat anyway.
- Once you are happy that the hole has been filled, and the filler is dry, sand the filler down until it is smooth with the wall. Running your hand across it will allow you to detect whether it's smooth or not.
- Finally, if you aren't planning on redecorating the whole wall, you may need to paint over your repair to blend it into the wall.
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By this point, your wall should look as though there was never a hole there. No one will ever know.
How To Fix A Hole In The Wall With Toothpaste
Believe it or not, you can actually fill a small hole in your wall with nothing more than some toothpaste. We emphasise that this is really only suitable for small holes, like a hole from a nail. But it can work wonders.
Squeeze some white paste into the hole, and smooth it over with a putty knife. When the paste dries, it will have a similar texture to using a traditional spackle.
Make sure you are using a paste, not a gel. But otherwise, this is a great way to quickly and easily fill really small holes in your walls.
For more articles like this, take a look at our How To page.