How do I fix nail holes in the wall?

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There is two nail holes in the wall in one of my bathroom's where a shelf was hanging. The shelf fell and left the holes along with a skinned place on the wall. I do not have the paint that was used since we just moved here. Any suggestions as to how to fix these?


  15 answers
  • The holes can be filled with spackle. When it dries, sand it smooth. If you remove a small square of paint from an inconspicuous place, it can be matched at your local home improvement store's paint department.

  • William William on Feb 04, 2021

    No shrink drywall patching compound. Just use enough to fill the holes. Like Ann suggests. Peel a small square from a non visual spot and the paint store department can match the paint. Buy a small sample jar.

  • Any hardware store sells a quick dry spackle. Skin off a bit more and take that chip to a paint store. They can match any shade you need. Purchase at least a quart of the same finish that is existing to the repair is seamless. These will help.


    https://www.thisoldhouse.com/walls/21015080/how-to-fix-a-hole-in-the-wall


    https://www.moving.com/tips/how-to-fix-and-cover-nail-holes/

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 05, 2021

    Hello Betty,

    Fit another Shelf or Cabinet , or Mirror over the area or use a filler or spackle to fill holes.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 05, 2021

    You can take a tiny sample off the wall to a good paint store and they can do a match. I would recommend Sherwin Williams' free standing store. Then patch the holes and paint where the holes were along with other imperfections and where you lifted the color sample.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Feb 05, 2021

    Hello. If the holes are very tiny, some use the hack of using white toothpaste to fill the nail holes. This could be an option to try before purchasing the vinyl wall patch spackle.


    Is the wall skinned or just scuff marked? Sometimes magic erasers are used to completely remove scuffs. If there is a defect .... actual inverted damage it might need spackling patch filler too.


    If you can find an area for example behind the door perhaps cutting a paint chip with a retractable razor might be an option for obtaining a sample to bring to the paint store for paint color matching. Be sure to examine the walls sheen and purchase the right paint sheen formulation. If it’s a bathroom paint- it’s likely not a flat sheen but either satin, eggshell or semigloss.

  • Sharon Sharon on Feb 05, 2021

    Any paint store with a computer system can color match a quart of paint for you.... look for a good size chip or cut one off near the hole. Get a quart of primer, paint spatula and a jar of wall spackle, and some fine sandpaper to repair your holes. I like the flexible rubber/plastic spatulas for doing wall repairs. There are lots of videos on YouTube to show how to fill and get the spackle smooth. I also use one of those tiny paint trays with a foam roller for doing wall repairs.... I just did a clients home where a guy had hacked her walls with an ax....... looks so good now its repaired and painted.


  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 05, 2021

    DAP DryDex Spackling contains a patented Dry Time Indicator causing the product to change color when optimum dry time is achieved. It goes on pink and turns white when dry! This unique feature is the indicator that it is ready to sand and paint.


  • Dee Dee on Feb 05, 2021

    If you have plastic nail mollys in the wall take them off with a straight razor. Then fill the hole with Spackling. I too use Dap Drydex. Sand it flat against the wall. You many be able to get a color match for the wall if you can peel a spot off. If not make it an accent wall and paint it a different color of your choice.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Feb 05, 2021

    Hi! The last time I had paint color matched, the clerk needed at least a one inch square of the paint to match it. I would take the sample from near where the wall is already damaged, since you will be repairing that area anyway. A professional painter once told me to always use a small roller when repainting just a small area of a wall. Better yet, repainting that entire wall would be even better, especially if you buy a gallon of paint. I like to save touch up paint in a sealed jar, since you never know when you might need it. Good luck!

  • Betsy Betsy on Feb 05, 2021

    Hi Betty: As for the nail holes, you can use a bit of Spackle to fix those. If you have the piece that was skinned off, you might be able to take it to a home improvement store and match the colour. Or, you can hang a shelf just under the skinned area - be sure it's secured to studs - and call it a day. The items you put on the shelf might cover any damage that shows on the wall where the top of the shelf is.


    Good luck

  • Some spackle with a putty knife will fix the holes but if you don’t have the original paint, you’ll likely need to repaint the room to hide the repair.

  • J Brown J Brown on Feb 07, 2021

    Personally I like Home Depot for small paint touchups. their small sample size jars can be color matched and are usually more than enough for the job.

  • Deb K Deb K on Feb 07, 2021

    Hi Betty, this should help you out,

    To fill nail holes without paint, you can try using spackle or putty. It will quickly disappear right into the small pinholes caused by nails in drywall! Best of all, it is easy to use. All you need to do is smooth it off with a damp cloth 15 minutes after application.

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