Repair Drywall Dents & Nail Holes

By Adam (

The most common type of minor drywall problems for homeowners are drywall dents and nail holes. Repairing these drywall issues are generally well within the ability of the average homeowner.

Little repairs such as nail holes and drywall dents should be addressed prior to the repainting of a room by following a few simple steps. No experience necessary.

Supplies Needed:

  • Spackle
  • 2″ putty knife
  • 150 Grit Sandpaper
  • Primer


Drywall dents typically don’t break the outer layer of paper and are smaller in diameter than your thumb. Nail holes DO break the outer layer of paper, but are typically not larger in diameter than a pencil.

If your drywall damage is larger than either of these scenarios it may constitute a larger-scale repair job.


Inspect the dent or hole. If there is any loose paper around the outside of the hole carefully remove it (without tearing a long strip of paper off). Use a utility knife to pare off any loose pieces without pulling.


Scoop spackling compound from the container with the putty knife and apply the spackling over the area of the damage. Hold the putty knife at approximately a forty-five degree angle from the drywall to push the compound into the dent or hole.

Take a second swipe across the repaired area, holding the putty knife at a ninety degree angle (straight up) from the wall. This will remove any excess material from the wall.

Allow the spackle to dry (consult the spackle container instructions for dry time).

Once dry, run your finger across the spackled area. If the repaired area is level or slightly humped, move on to STEP THREE.

If the spackling patch is indented below the level of the drywall (it occasionally shrinks during drying), repeat the application of spackling and allow to dry.


After spackling has dried and is level or above the level of the wall, lightly sand the patch with 150 grit sandpaper. Ensure that any hump or spur is sanded away so that the repair is flush with the rest of the wall.

Once complete, wipe away any residual dust from the patch and the surrounding area with a damp cloth.


The final step is to prime the patched area. It is always suggested that you prime an entire surface prior to painting, but at the very least any area that is patched with spackle should be spot-primed prior to painting.

If spackled repairs are not primed this area will appear as a shinier area on the wall, even after painting.

Visit and learn more about drywall repair from start to finish.

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