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Proven Steps to Repair Drywall Damage Left By Nails

No one can resist the appeal of hanging family photos, decorative mirrors, abstract artwork and other pieces on their walls. But if you’re redecorating, the dreaded truth is revealed: Nail and anchor holes are everywhere. Knowing there will be unsightly nail and anchor holes left behind can make even the most adventurous decorator avoid moving wall decor. Fortunately, these small holes in your walls are not difficult to repair, so long as you follow expert steps from Bill’s Drywall

What Tools You Need to Repair Drywall Holes

Before covering a step-by-step drywall repair guide, ensure you have the following products. 

  • Spackling paste: Spackling paste is a putty made of gypsum powders and other binding agents. The putty hardens when dry, quickly filling holes and blending in with drywall. 
  • Wood filler compound: If you’re filling a nail or anchor hole in wood, you need wood filler compound or wood putty. Wood filler compound is a water-based material made of sawdust and binding agents. Like spackling paste, it hardens when dry. You can also choose wood putty, which is oil-based, for projects where the wood is exposed to high humidity and moisture. Because it is oil-based, wood putty is more malleable and can expand and contract as needed with the surrounding wood. 
  • Putty or spackling knife: Putty and spackling knives are flat plates used to scrape excess materials off surfaces. You can purchase these knives in plastic or metal. A 2” putty knife works best for small repair jobs. 
  • 220 grit sandpaper: A 220 grit sandpaper is ideal for removing surface layers of paint and drywall. It is not as harsh as larger grits, which can remove too much drywall. Always use this sandpaper gently, and remember that you can always sand more off later – but you can’t undo what you’ve already sanded away!
  • Microfiber cloth: Keep microfiber cloth nearby for this project so you can wipe your area clean of dust and other fibers! 

6 Easy Steps to Patch Nail and Anchor Holes

  1. Sand the area: The first step to repair a nail or anchor hole in your wall is to sand the area. When you drill a hole, the gypsum or drywall will rise from the pressure. Sanding that ridge down will help you seamlessly patch the hole. After sanding, take a damp microfiber cloth and wipe the particles away. 
  2. Spread the compound: Once the area is sanded and wiped clean, spread the compound, focusing on filling the hole. Choose your compound based on what you’re filling. Drywall or spackling putty or paste is ideal for walls, whereas wood putty is necessary for wood holes. Use a putty or spackling knife to scrape excess compound away carefully. A 2” knife is usually sufficient for a small nail or anchor hole. Let the compound dry completely before the next step.
  3. Sand the area: After the compound has dried, swipe over the area gently with sandpaper. Sanding ensures the patched area is not raised or noticeably bulging from the wall.
  4. Apply the compound again: Compounds shrink as they dry, so you may need to apply another layer of compound to the area to ensure the hole is filled correctly.  
  5. Sand the area: Sand the area again and wipe the excess dust away with the microfiber cloth. 
  6. Paint: Now that the hole is repaired, you can start painting! Apply a thin layer of primer to that area and let it dry completely before painting to match the rest of the wall.

These six simple steps from Bill’s Drywall can give you a beautiful, clean wall in no time. Don’t fear hanging (or re-hanging) your favorite family photos or prized art finds. If you need more extensive drywall repairs, contact the local experts at Bill’s Drywall to request your free estimate

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