How To Fill Nail Holes In Drywall Without Painting

If you have ever worked with drywall, you know what a pain it is to fill tiny nail holes, especially if there are a ton of them! And, since painting over every single one is both tedious and time-consuming, you may be wondering if there is another way to do it? Well, I have the answer for you below:

To fix nail holes without paint, you can use 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. Other household items that work well to fill nail holes in drywall include toothpaste, glue, and soap.

How To Fill Nail Holes In Drywall Without Painting

Now that you know it is possible to fill nail holes in drywall without the use of paint, let us explore this topic further and in more detail below. We will discuss how to fill nail holes using spackle, caulk, and toothpaste. We will also explain what professionals use to fill nail holes and outline the process.

So, if you are ready to learn more about filling nail holes without paint, then please read onward.

* This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

What Do You Use to Fill Nail Holes in Drywall?

The best way to fill nail holes in drywall is by using spackle. All you need to do is put some spackling on a putty knife and apply it to the hole.

Then, take the straight edge of the knife and scrape away any excess putty from the wall. Or you can simply go over it with a damp cloth once the spackle has dried (which is about 15 minutes after application).

I recommend sanding the spackle with a fine-grit sandpaper. This will ensure the plaster is flush with the drywall, so it is less noticeable.

This is especially helpful if you plan not to paint afterward. Just make sure the spackle is completely dry before sanding and do not press too hard. Otherwise, you could over-sand the hole and leave a dent in the surface area.

To keep costs down, you can make your own homemade filler. Simply combine 4 tablespoons of flour with 1/3 tablespoon of salt.

Then, blend the two ingredients with a little primer to create a paste. Apply the paste to the nail hole and allow it to dry fully.

Finish by going over the area with fine-grit sandpaper or an orbital sander until the filler is flush with the drywall surface.

What Do Professionals Use to Fill Nail Holes?

Professional framers and painters generally prefer to use shrink-free spackle to fill nail holes in drywall.

By overfilling the hole with putty and then simply sanding or smoothing it off afterward, they can save both time and effort.

For interior walls made of wood, a special wood filler is applied to holes whereas outdoor holes, gaps, or cracks require the use of plaster or caulk.

Can You Use Toothpaste to Fill Nail Holes?

Filling nail holes in drywall using toothpaste is an easy and inexpensive alternative to spackle or paint.

If possible, find a tube as close to the color of the wall as possible. Then, squeeze a small amount directly into the hole and use a putty knife or a playing card to remove any excess product.

For better results, try mixing toothpaste with a crushed Aspirin tablet to create a paste and use that fill the nail hole.

This mixture helps prevent cracking, so nail holes appear less noticeable. This is especially helpful if you do not intend to paint over them afterward.

Can You Use Caulk to Fill Nail Holes?

While caulking is great for filling gaps or cracks in exterior surfaces, it is not often recommended for filling nail holes in drywall or interior surfaces made of wood.

The reason being that over time, the product is flexible and will shrink, leaving a divot in the wall.

The only time you should use caulk instead of spackle to fill nail holes in drywall is on places where the ceiling meets the wall.

This is because the wall is already indented in that area so you will not notice any divots. As well, caulking is white so it will blend in well with ceilings, which are also typically white.

How Do You Fill Nail Holes Using Baking Soda?

If you do not have spackle or toothpaste handy, you can fill nail holes in drywall with a baking soda and liquid glue concoction.

Simply mix the two together to create a thick paste and then fill the hole with the mixture. Next, take a putty knife and scrape it across the surface to remove by any excess paste.

If you do not want to paint the wall afterward, use this paste mixture on a white or off-white wall. It will be noticeable on a colored wall so apply sparingly.

If you use it on a dark-toned wall, you may need to go over the area with a marker in a similar shade.

How Do You Fill Nail Holes Using Glue?

A great DIY trick for filling nail holes in drywall involves good old-fashioned Elmer’s glue and a Q-tip! Simply squeeze the glue from the tube directly into the hole.

Use the Q-tip to go over the glue, making sure the application is flush with the wall surface. After the glue hardens, chip away any excess product.

This method works best on a white or light-colored wall.

If you are using it on a drywall and do not intend to paint it afterward, this is an easy and inexpensive solution.

Best of all, you do not need a putty knife, sandpaper, or a big bucket of speckle to get the job done.

How Do You Fill Nail Holes Using Soap?

Using soap to fill nail holes in drywall is a last resort should you not have spackle, toothpaste, or glue on-hand. It is an easy, albeit temporary fix that is meant for quick touch-up jobs that you intend to redo in the future.

Simply take the bar of soap and rub it over the hole. Keep rubbing until the hole is filled and then wipe off any excess with a slightly damp cloth.

If you do not want to paint afterward, instead of using a white bar, choose one in a similar shade to your wall color.

What is the Best Product for Filling Nail Holes in Drywall?

One of the best ready-made products you can buy for filling nail holes is Erase-a-Hole Putty. It is readily available online through Amazon and is both quick and convenient.

Made of a heavyweight compound, it ensures a perfect match to drywall, plasterboard, and wood. The handheld applicator is compact and portable, making it easy to carry and store.

The product is affordably priced and easy to use. It hardens quickly and will not ‘dry out’ after opening.

Best of all, it contains no-shrink, no-crack ingredients that guarantee a high-quality finish. It was crafted in 1990 by a drywall professional with over 25 years of experience. Do yourself a favor and check it out today!


In summation, to fill nail holes without paint, you should use spackle or putty. It is a quick and easy way to fill small pinhole marks in drywall.

You can even make your own homemade version using flour, salt, and primer! Or you can mix baking soda with liquid glue to create another DIY drywall paste.

Some other common household items that double as nail hole fillers include toothpaste and soap.

Hopefully, this article has been of help to you. Thanks for reading and good luck with your future home building and/or improvement projects.

Cheers, tools owners!

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Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.