How to Fix Nail Holes in Walls with Toothpaste

How to Fix Nail Holes in Walls with Toothpaste

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If you’ve got nail holes in your wall, you might be wondering exactly how to fill them. Sure, some spackle or caulking would be the usual methods, but maybe you just don’t have these things on hand.

It is technically possible to fill nail holes in walls using toothpaste. This is exactly what we are going to teach you to do today.

Is Toothpaste a Good Material for Filling Nail Holes in Walls?

You are probably wondering why you would ever use toothpaste to fill a nail hole in a wall. Well, the fact of the matter is that it actually works quite well. Yes, either caulking or spackle would generally be the first choices to go with. However, both of these materials take some skill to manipulate, and then you need sandpaper as well. If you don’t want to go through that trouble, simply putting some toothpaste in that hole could work.

When toothpaste dries, it forms a very hard surface. This surface should not crumble, crack, or shrink. This is true even with extreme heat or cold. Moreover, once the toothpaste is totally dry, it can even resist a bit of moisture. Now, do keep in mind that using toothpaste to fill nail holes only works on very small holes, as it just wouldn’t work on anything too big.

If you want to consider other options, check my detailed article about how to fill nail holes in walls without painting.

Will a Toothpaste Filling Last?

Spackle and caulking are both designed to last for many years after their application. Rightfully so, you might have some concerns about how long toothpaste is going to last. Based on experience, it is safe to say that toothpaste used to fill a nail hole in a wall should last for many years to come.

Yes, it may depend on the climate you live in and what kind of toothpaste you use, although you should get at least three or four years out of it. This is one of those really simple tricks that many people just don’t know about.

How to Fill a Nail Hole in a Wall With Toothpaste

Let’s go through a quick step-by-step tutorial on exactly how to fill a nail hole in a wall using this method. As you are about to see, it’s really not a difficult process at all.

Step 1: Choose The Toothpaste

First of all, you need to choose the best toothpaste for the job. No, we are not talking about its ability to fight cavities and germs. Here, we are talking about finding the right color. In other words, if you have white walls, get yourself some white toothpaste.

Step 2: Apply The Toothpaste

For extremely small holes, squeeze some toothpaste onto a toothpick. For slightly larger holes, squeeze some toothpaste onto a Q-tip.

You are now going to use your utensil to push the toothpaste into the nail hole as deep as it will go.

Spend some time doing this to ensure that the hole is filled right to the back. You can also spread a bit of extra toothpaste around the hole to ensure that there aren’t any gaps.

Step 3: Smooth it Out and Let it Dry

You can now use any kind of flat utensil, such as a butter knife, to flatten the toothpaste. Here, you are aiming to make the toothpaste flush with the rest of the wall. Something like a spackle knife might work really well for this. Now, simply let the toothpaste dry, which can take several hours or even up to a day, depending on the conditions.

Step 4: Paint If Desired

If the toothpaste doesn’t exactly match your wall, you may want to paint over it. However, for very small nail holes, it usually won’t be necessary.

Mistakes to Avoid, Tips and Tricks

Lastly, here are some extra tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure that the color of the toothpaste matches the color of the existing wall as closely as possible.
  • Make sure that you use plain toothpaste. Do not use any kind of gel toothpaste.
  • You may also want to pay attention to the odor of the toothpaste, and this can last for several weeks, if not months.


As you can see, it is more than possible to fill a nail hole in a wall using nothing but toothpaste. No, it might not last quite as long as real caulking or spackle, but it will do the trick for a few years. There’s of course also the fact that using toothpaste is much cheaper and easier than using either of those other two materials.