How to Fill Holes in Walls

Small holes in the walls of your home are normal. Whether they’re from nails and pins hanging up pictures, or from your home shifting and settling and cracks appearing.

You will need:


Don't forget sanding sheets


When sanding and using filler, always wear PPE. Breathing protection, eye protection, work boots, and gloves will be needed.

Which filler you need depends on what you’re repairing; surface holes and hairline cracks will just need a ready-mixed filler which can fill the depth required.

Deeper or larger holes will need a powder filler, which you mix yourself, and can therefore be adapted to the required thickness.

A foam filler can be used in really deep holes to fill the gap. They expand, so are flexible, and easy to apply. These holes may be hard to fill with normal filler.

You’ll then have to wait for the filler to dry, before sanding and layering filler until the hole is undetectable and can be painted over. Here at Speedy, we have a range of sanders available depending on the material and area you’re sanding.


How to fill hairline cracks and small holes in walls

Small holes and hairline cracks can be caused by your building shifting over time, or by plaster shrinking over time.

You may also have small holes from pins, nails, screw holes, and other fixings which need filling in before repainting or decorating.


1. Scrape out loose materials

It may seem odd, but you need to use a tool to scrape out the loose materials of the crack or hole and make it a bit larger. This allows the filler to actually get into the crack or hole, rather than just sitting on top.


2. Use the filler

A normal ready-made filler should suffice if the crack or hole isn’t that large. Check the maximum millimetre guidance on the pot of filler before you buy.

Use the scraper to spread the filler over the area. Use a small amount to begin with, which you can build up. Using too much will just mean you need to wait longer for it to dry.


3. Sand the filler down

Once the filler is dry, sand it down. It should be almost undetectable; you might need to let the first layer dry before sanding and reapplying a second thin layer of filler to smooth it out.


4. Paint

Once the filler is dried and sanded, wipe the surface down to clean it and then you can paint. If you’re just touching up the filler area, use a mist coat first to blend the area in so it is undetectable.

If painting with a new colour, you can just treat this section as normal.



How to fill deep holes in walls

Deep, large holes can be caused by accidents, such as something falling against the wall, or if you remove wallpaper and it brings away some of the plaster.

They can also appear if you’re removing a plug socket, light switch, or wall lighting.


1. Clean the hole

Remove all debris and loose plaster from the inside of the hole. You can do this with a small scraper or brush but may need a vacuum cleaner to ensure any crumbly or dusty remnants of plaster are removed.

This will give you a stable hole to fill; you want the filler to have contact with the actual wall, not loose debris.


2. Fill the hole

Use a deep powder filler to fill the hole. With a flat-edged scraper, push the filler into the hole, ensuring all parts are filled. Don’t worry if you overfill the hole; this will actually ensure it is completely full.


SPEEDY TOP TIP: Filling a particularly deep hole? You’ll need to apply the filler in layers and wait for each layer to dry before applying the next


3. Smooth the filler

With a slightly wet scraper or knife, smooth the filler. Try to get it as flush with the wall as possible, and not spread too far out.


4. Allow to dry

Deep filler will take longer than surface filler to dry. This could be around three or four hours; check the instructions for full details. Don’t attempt to disturb the filler until it has dried, as you could reduce its effectiveness.


5. Sand down

Once the filler is dry, sand it down using a palm sander. You want to try and make it as flat with the wall as possible.


6. Paint

Once the layers of filler are ready and prepared, you’re good to paint.

Ensure there’s no dust on the area from sanding. You’ll need a damp cloth to wipe it down or use a vacuum cleaner. Let the wall dry before painting.

To help the paint blend in with your existing wall colour, apply a mist coat first. This is just your normal paint mixed with water. Let this dry, before painting as normal.



How to repair a hole in plasterboard

Small holes in plasterboard walls can be fixed in the same way as above, using filler, a flat application tool, and a sander.

But if the hole is quite large, or in a partition wall which goes right through, you will need a plasterboard patch first, to ensure the filler can stay in place.


1. Neaten up edges

With a craft knife, neaten the edges of your hole. You want to try and make it as uniform as possible.

Do this before buying the plasterboard patch, so you know how large it has to be. Ideally, only use this method in smaller holes so the patch isn’t having to work too hard.


2. Apply the plasterboard patch

They’re usually self-adhesive so easy to apply. The strong material and mesh mean that it creates a firm base.


3. Apply the filler

A plasterboard patch will still need to be filled over. This will get the texture of the wall correct and provide you with a base for painting over.

Spread the filler over the patch in a thin layer and allow it to dry. Lightly sand down with a high grit sandpaper, before repeating until the patch and hole are virtually undetectable.




If you’re carrying out a home renovation, or just doing some DIY, the Speedy blog is the perfect place to get some tips on what to do.

Our guide on how to smooth walls without replastering may be of use, and if you want to make the most out of your sander hire, why not restore your outside furniture too?

To start hiring, just open a Speedy account online or visit us in-store for access to our range.

Speedy has more than 200 local service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery. It has never been easier to hire the tools and equipment you need for your home renovation project.


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