According to the Home Guide, you have to pay an average of 75 to 150 dollars to have a small hole on drywall patched up.
If you’re on a budget, that is a lot of money, especially when you consider that you can do the job yourself.
With the best nail hole filler, you can fix each hole in under a minute, with fantastic results. After some touch-up with the right paint, no one will tell there was a hole at the spot.
Perhaps you’re moving out and want to get your full deposit back. Or you’re moving into a new house and want to make it look presentable. In these cases, a good nail hole filler, putty, or the right spackle will come in handy.
In the guide below, I will tell you about some of the top nail hole filling products on the market.
Let’s jump in.
3M High Strength Small Hole Repair
5 out of 5
DAP 12346 Drydex 5.5 Oz
5 out of 5
Elmer's E855 Carpenter's Wood Filler
4.5 out of 5
Minwax 13616000 Wood Putty
4 out of 5
Red Devil 0542 Spackling
4.5 out of 5
Our Recommended Best Nail Hole Filler Reviews
1. 3M High Strength Small Hole Repair
3M is a quite popular brand in the US. If you're a serious DIYer, you most likely have come across their sealants, tapes, protection films, or other products. The multi-billion-dollar company is a leader in handy goods and industrial products.
If you don’t have any handy experience and are looking for the top-quality nail hole filler to get you started, the 3M High Strength Small Hole Repair is the ideal pick. The product is white in color and it repairs hole sizes of up to 3 inches in diameter.
What I absolutely love about this product is that it comes with everything you need. That means the filler substance, a putty knife, and a pad for sanding.
The filler substance is pretty versatile, working for a wide range of substrates including wood, stucco, drywall, and plaster.
Whether you have ripped the shower bars off the wall or just left small holes after removing wall anchors, the filler will do. Just like the description says, it works for both nicks and holes.
You may have heard that prior to filling a hole, you should apply primer to help the filler stick. The amazing thing about the 3M filler is that it doesn’t need a primer to be applied.
It comes already primed, so you can apply it straight away.
Applying the product is pretty effortless. You just unscrew the lid and squeeze out the paste, filling it directly into the hole.
To smooth the application, just close the lid and turn the bottle upside down. The flat side opposite to the lid is designed as a smoothing tool, and it functions flawlessly.
And then, to sand it, turn to the other side – the lid side. On the lid, a sanding pad is attached.
As you can see, the design of the 3M filler is pretty easy, handy, and convenient.
If you are looking for a great nail hole filler that comes with everything you need, go for the 3M High Strength Small Hole Repair. It is extremely effective and it won’t shrink, sag, or crack.Highlighted Features:
2. DAP 12346 Drydex 5.5 Oz
DAP Inc is one of the oldest and most familiar brands of sealants, caulks, and other repair products in the US. The firm, started in 1865, is trusted by professional contractors and DIYers alike as a provider of quality and reliable building materials.
For some really high-grade nail hole filler, you may want to check out the DAP 12346 Drydex. This model is designed excellently for effectiveness and ease of use.
I don’t know if you’ve ever purchased some putty or spackle and then received a hard substance that you could hardly spread. I know how frustrating that feels.
If you want to avoid such products, buy from DAP. Their hole filler is high-quality and well-made, and it comes soft and smooth. Squeezing it out of the tube is as easy as pushing out some Colgate toothpaste.
Moreover, spreading the paste is effortless, as the product spreads as easily as butter. Unlike some products that contain lumps and globules, this filler is smooth and pretty consistent.
Another really amazing thing that I bet you will love is the drying signal. When you apply the product, it goes on pink. But as it dries, it turns color until it is finally white. That’s when you know the product is completely dry and ready for painting or sanding.
Forget about the fillers that take forever to dry.
As long as the temperatures are above 60 °F and the conditions are dry, the product will be dry in 10 to 15 minutes.
I recommend sanding it lightly and then applying a second coat to get a remarkably flawless finish.
After that, let it dry for 24 hours then paint it if you want to.
The DAP 12346 Drydex mostly adheres to wood, drywall, and stucco.Highlighted Features:
3. Elmer's E855 Carpenter's Wood Filler
Elmer’s is a US brand that specializes in adhesives. The company, which is known for its groundbreaking innovations in the sector, has managed to be a favorite among consumers.
For the best wood filler for nail holes, consider Elmer's E855 Carpenter's Wood Filler. The product comes in a nice 3.25-oz tube that is so easy to operate.
The first thing you notice when you get the product is the practical design of the tube. It is easy to press and at the front, it is fitted with a nozzle for ease of application.
Thanks to the nozzle, the product comes out with high precision. Unlike many sealants that come hard, the product inside is a bit crumbly like gooey paste, though it is incredibly easy to work with. It comes out of the tube smoothly with a gentle press.
The reason why so many people praise this stuff is how easily it spreads. Moreover, it sticks to all sorts of wood and drywall very nicely.
Once you apply it, the product doesn’t take too long to dry. In a few minutes, the product starts to harden. However, you ought to give it about 12 to 24 hours cure. After that, you can sand it.
By the time the product is cured, you can hardly notice the patch if your wall is white. Yes, the product linked comes white, but when buying from Amazon, you get six color choices. Aside from that, one really amazing thing is that the filler is paintable.
Can I sand the patch? Yes, you can. The patch sands with great ease and bringing it to a smooth finish is a breeze.
The only issue you might encounter with this product is that after the first use, it starts to clog up. But dealing with that is a piece of cake.
The next time you open the tube and find that the product is clogged, put a drop of water in the lid and close the tube. Shake it a bit and let it sit for 5 minutes then open the tube. The clogging will be solved.Highlighted Features:
4. Minwax 13616000 Wood Putty
If you’re not very confident about your wood filling skills, perhaps filler is not the best option for you. I recommend you try putty first until you grow your skills.
Putty differs from filler in that it doesn’t harden. While filler starts to harden in a few minutes, putty stays relatively soft and flexible. That gives you room to fix any mistakes you might have made.
The Minwax 13616000 is an excellent putty that works great for beginners. The product comes in a container that is quite different from the ones I have talked about above.
While the previous products come in a tube, this one comes in a round container with a wide mouth. To use putty, you just scoop it out using a tool or use your fingers, which is more convenient.
I don't know if you've ever used your hands to apply putty and then developed skin irritation. Yes, a lot of products come with harmful chemicals that affect the skin. What makes the Minwax product exceptional is that it does not irritate the skin at all.
If you have a pet at home, and you have a wood floor or wooden furniture, scratches and gouges might be familiar.
But they should not worry you. By applying the Minwax putty, you’re able to cover them very efficiently. The product also works for nail holes.
No matter what kind of wood you have, the manufacturer of this product has you covered. In that regard, the putty comes in a range of shades. Actually, you get 10 colors to choose from, which include golden oak, walnut, natural pine, and more.
In the event that your substrate is painted, that is not a problem. The putty takes paint very well.
The product only comes in a 3.75-ounce can, but you can order a pack of up to 5 cans if you need a larger quantity.Highlighted Feature:
5. Red Devil 0542 Spackling
Founded in 1872, the Red Devil company is a pioneer in the hardware and sealant sectors. Offering some of the most magnificent quality, the brand has established itself as one of the market's favorite.
For those looking for wood fillers that work, the Red Devil 0542 Spackling is a perfect selection. This product comes in containers of 6 ounces to 1 gallon. The 6-ounce option comes in the form of a tube while the rest come in the form of cans.
We all can agree that spackling is not fun. However, with this spackle, things are greatly simplified.
The product has so many perks over its competitors that once you use it, you’re unlikely to ever try another spackle.
Sanding is not a very exciting part of wood hole repair. In case you’re looking to avoid it, then this spackle is probably what you need. All you have to do is spread it and without sanding, the product evens out to a smooth finish. There’s so little work to do.
Products that take too long to dry might be great for beginners. However, the application is prone to damage from people touching it or even dust settling on it.
Red Devil helps you avoid the issue by presenting you with a product that dries speedily. In just a few minutes of application, the spackle is dry to the touch and ready for the application of a second layer.
The application does not shrink and it is paintable.
Say you’re applying the product to a wall and underneath, there is a carpet. In the event that some of the product falls on it, the spackle does not become embedded but rather stays in a clump.
This is an incredible feature in that if the product was to stick, it would ruin your carpet.Highlighted Features:
6. Erase A Hole Drywall Repair Putty
Whether you have just moved into a new house or are leaving your old house and want to leave it in good shape, the Erase A Hole Drywall Repair Putty is a worthy partner.
The product comes in a 2.2-ounce bottle that is designed perfectly for the handheld application.
The way the bottle is designed, operation is extremely easy.
You just remove the lid and with a gentle press on the bottle, the putty gets ejected from a small hole at the top. The upper part of the bottle is flat and functions well for spreading the putty. Thus, you don’t need an applicator tool for spreading the putty.
If you’re in a hurry, sanding might not be something you’re looking to do after applying putty. While many products require to be sanded, this one doesn’t need sanding. It goes on evenly with little effort.
When you’re done, you just wipe down the excess putty and wait for the application to dry before applying the paint. A piece of cloth will do.
Ever used a hole filler that took hours to dry? No more of that with the Erase A Hole Drywall Repair Putty.
The product is one of the quickest-drying on the market, taking less than a minute to dry and become ready for painting.
Perhaps you're looking for a product that you can use not only for wood holes but also for other surfaces. You will be happy to find that the Erase A Hole Drywall Repair Putty is a versatile product that works with plaster, drywall, sheetrock, and other substrates.
For an effective hole sealer that dries speedily and doesn’t require tools to apply, check out the Erase A Hole Drywall Repair Putty.Highlighted Features:
7. Slobproof Wall Repair Patch Kit
Are you in a position whereby you need to do touch-ups around your house? The Slobproof Wall Repair Patch Kit might be exactly what you need.
If the parts that need touch-up are little areas as opposed to large areas, using a paintbrush or roller might not be the best idea. That's because they drip paint and can be messy, making the repair task hard.
On the contrary, the items that you get with the Sloproof kit are made for precision patching with no drip or mess. What’s included in the kit?
First, there are 5 touch-up paint syringes/pens. These don’t come pre-loaded as the manufacturer doesn’t sell paint. You are to fill them with your own paint and the amazing part is that you can refill them again and again for as long as you like.
Refilling the paint is a piece of cake. Just pop off the end cap, twisting the tip the opposite way, suck in paint, and replace the tip, and you’re good to go.
The pens are super easy to use and you know what makes them even more amazing? The fact that they can reach hidden spots efficiently. If you have areas that are hard to reach that need touch up, the pen design of these applicators will come in handy.
Accompanying the syringes are 5 paint pen labels. These are very helpful, letting you know exactly what paint you have in each pen.
Another thing you will find in the kit is a tube of some of the best nail hole filler nail repairing products you can find anywhere. The filler has a capacity of 3.5 ounces and it is pre-mixed with vinyl spackling.
Got hard-to-reach holes/nicks? The tube, too, is designed for that. With its long and thin tip, it lets you reach those hidden surfaces very well. The paint dries really quickly, in minutes, and sands easy. Moreover, you can paint over it.
A plastic spreader is included to help you spread the filler and you also get a sanding block for bringing the patch to an even finish.Highlighted Features:
8. Red Devil Spackling Compound EZ Squeeze Tube
Are you moving in or out? Chances are, there are a few repairs to do beforehand. Perhaps there are drill holes where the shelves used to be or hole where the wall anchors were. All these are areas that need patching up to make the house look presentable.
In the past, people used plaster to patch up imperfections. The problem with plaster is that it requires a lot of sanding and leveling, not forgetting the daunting initial preparation.
Today, products such as the Red Devil Spackling Compound EZ Squeeze Tube have made things a lot easier. No initial preparation, just take the tube and patch up the holes.
Another really useful feature of this spackling is that it is self-leveling. As such, you don’t need to do so much sanding to give it a flat, uniform finish.
The Red Devil stands out from the other hole fillers in that it features a different tube design. At the end, it comes with a unique roll-up feature, which the manufacturer meant as a means of making it easier for you to get the spackle out.
How does it work? As the words suggest, you just roll the feature and the spackle comes out at the tip. No squeezing is needed.
Well, at first, you might have trouble trying to get used to the feature. But once you get the gist of it, the process is not really complicated.
The truth is, this roll-up feature is not all that great and it is not as fast as just pressing the tube. However, if you like fancy or unique products, you might love it. Give it a shot and see how it goes.
As for the spackle, it is a great filler that holds very well. The product takes about an hour to dry to a hard, sandable, and paintable surface.
You can use the Red Devil Spackling Compound interiorly or exteriorly on plaster, drywall, and wood.Highlighted Features:
9. Wall Mending Agent with Scraper
If you live in a rental building, you know how hard it can be to get your full deposit back when moving out if there are holes in the walls. But with a compound like the Wall Mending Agent, that should not worry you.
This is an incredible product that helps you fill holes in less than 5 minutes. It is easy to use and it comes with a scrapper.
The product comes in the form of two tubes, each with a capacity of 3 ounces. To use them, you just unscrew the cap at the top and extrude the paste by pressing the tube gently.
First of all, I like how easy it is to get the product flowing. Unlike other repair pastes that come in hard tubes, the tubes used here are rather soft and easy to work with. Your fingers will not develop blisters.
The product flows out of the tube with a cream-like consistency. It is very workable and easy to spread. Thankfully, you’re provided with a free plastic scrapper, which is sized correctly and incredibly easy to use.
The nozzle/tip is not very long, which might be a bit of a problem when trying to patch up concealed areas. However, two nozzle extenders are included to solve the issue.
I understand the paste is made of resin and wall glue. As you’ll likely find out, the product works amazingly, patching up wall cracks, nail holes, and other imperfections neatly.
When you’re done repairing and painting the surface, it will look as good as new.
If you’re looking for the best nail hole filler for wood trim, stucco, drywall, or plaster, the Wall Mending Agent is a perfect pick. It takes just about an hour to dry to a hard surface that you can sand and paint. And, the patch is so hard that it can take a nail.Highlighted Features:
10. Mohawk Finishing Products Putty Sticks
If you have wooden furniture or a wood floor, it is almost inevitable to deal with scratches once in a while. Especially if you have a pet around, or little kids, scratches can be a frequent issue.
Scratches can be annoying as they can ruin the beauty of your wood surfaces. But did you know that restoring beauty is a no-brainer? All you need are the Mohawk Finishing Products Putty Sticks. With these, you don't have to incur huge losses replacing your items now and then.
Before I continue, I’d like to make it clear that this product is not for holes and cracks. It is rather for scratches and minor surface damage.
Perhaps you’re a professional in the office and your table just got a scratch. Rather than bring filler to the office, and potentially creating a mess, try the Mohawk sticks.
The most profound benefit of these is that they are absolutely mess-free. instead of being made of a paste, these are made of an almost-solid substance.
The substance doesn’t flow and in fact, to apply it, you have to rub the pen onto the scratch. When you’re done using the putty, you just restore the cap and store away the pen.
Applying the putty is not effortless, but it is certainly pretty quick. You just rub it onto the scratch and scrape off the excess. After wiping down with a dry piece of cloth, the scratch is very well concealed.
Thankfully, a nice scraper is included in the package.
Will the product match the color of my surfaces? Well, the Mohawk Finishing Products Putty Sticks are 12 in a pack. Each stick has its own color, and these are popular wood colors including maple, light walnut, mahogany, dark walnut, and more. There's also a white-colored stick.Highlighted Features:
Comparison Table Of Top Filler For Nail Holes
Sandable and Paintable
3M High Strength
Pink, but turns white when dry
Red Devil 0542
1 quart1 gallon
Erase A Hole Drywall Repair Putty
Slobproof Wall Repair Patch Kit
Red Devil Squeeze Tube
Wall Mending Agent
Mohawk Putty Sticks
Nail Hole Filler Buying Guide
Scratches, holes, cracks, and other imperfections can affect any sort of substrate from wood and plaster to drywall and stucco.
Fortunately, repairing them is not as complicated as it seems. With the good nail hole filler, the process is quick and easy. However, considering there are countless products in the market for doing these repairs, getting the right filler can be a daunting task.
If you’re shopping for an appropriate hole filler that will serve your needs, here are a few factors to guide you.
1. The Size Of What You’re Repairing
Fillers, putty, and spackle come in a variety of strength levels. While one product may fill holes that are up to 3 inches wide, a different model may only be able to fill holes that are up to half an inch wide.
For example, while the 3M High Strength Small Hole Repair fills really wide holes up to 3 inches in diameter, the DAP 12346 Drydex works on holes that are up to 1 inch wide.
Again, different fillers are meant for varying types of damage. For instance, the Mohawk Finishing Products Putty Sticks are only good enough for scratches but they don’t work very well for holes and cracks.
Therefore, when looking for a filler, consider the recommended types of damage as well as the size supported.
Tip: solvent-based fillers are more suited for wide imperfections than water-based fillers.
2. Hardening VS Non-Hardening
When shopping, you will come across both the hardening and the non-hardening filling products.
Hardening products, as the name suggests, are the ones that become dry to the touch. These can take minutes to hours to become hard to the touch. They are ideal for hard surfaces that are going to be sanded and painted afterward.
What if you’ve already painted the area where the nick/hole is located? In that case, it’d be better to use a non-hardening product.
Non-hardening filling products are best suited for finished surfaces. They come in so many colors that getting one that will match your surface is not a complicated task.
Here’s a quick way to differentiate between the two – hardening ones are usually called “fillers” while non-hardening ones are called “putty”.
3. Pre-Mixed Or Not?
When you get some filler, it is normally advised that you don’t just go straight ahead and apply it to the hole/scratch. You ought to apply some primer first to help the product stick.
But what if you’re in a hurry or you don’t have a primer? These days, manufacturers are coming up with pre-mixed fillers as an answer to this issue.
Pre-mixed formulas are simply those that have been infused with a primer so that they need no preparation process before use.
4. Drying Time
If you’re planning to sand or paint over the patch, drying time matters.
Nail hole fillers take varying amounts of time to dry. While some can take only a few minutes, others take days. That’s something to mull over before making your purchase.
Quick-drying products enable you to move fast, but they are less malleable. If you make mistakes, fixing them is harder.
Slow-drying ones, on the other hand, are easier to fix in case there are mistakes.
Most fillers take 24 to 48 hours to dry. However, some models can dry in as fast as less than a minute. But remember, dry does not mean cured. While you can sand the patch and paint it as soon as it is dry to the touch, it is always better to wait until it is cured.
Tip: if you’re looking for quick-drying, get a filler, but if you’re looking for a slow-drying product, consider getting putty.
Where are the holes or imperfections you want to repair? Are they on an open surface or are they more concealed, perhaps under a cabinet handle?
If the damage is in an open place, you don’t need to worry so much about the design of the applicator. But if it is in a place where it will be hard to reach, then you got to think about the design of the product, particularly if it comes in a ready-to-use tube.
When considering reachability, think about features such as the thickness of the tube and the design of the tip.
A tube with high reachability is thin with a long, slender tip. This design reaches those hidden spots efficiently.
Hole fillers come in an assortment of colors. Sometimes the color matters and sometimes it does not.
If you’re going to paint the patch, the color of the filler doesn’t count.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a wood trim nail hole filler that is only going to patch up those cracks/holes without any plan to paint the surface, the color matters. Ideally, you’re not going to get a product whose color defers from that of the surrounding surface.
Typically, fillers are the ones that people sand and paint over. Putty, in contrast, is often applied without painting afterward. If you’re going to get putty, be sure that the color matches that of the substrate.
7. Sandable and Paintable
Being able to conceal the patch is something you likely want to achieve. But blending the patch in with the surrounding surface is not just about getting the color right. The finish also needs to be right. The patch needs to be nicely flat and at the same level as the surrounding area.
Achieving that by just working the area with a scraper is not easy. That’s the reason people usually sand the patch. Sanding is usually necessary when using a filler or spackle but not typically required when using putty.
Painting is the final touch-up that helps you conceal the repaired area. Once again, it is required when using filler or spackle, but not putty.
People Also Asked (FAQs):
1. Is There a Difference Between Wood Filler and Wood Putty?
Ans: Even though their uses are virtually the same, wood filler and wood putty have subtle differences. Firstly, putty is made from plastics such as polyurethane and epoxy. Filler, on the other hand, is made of wood fibers or sawdust infused with a binding agent such as glue.
Secondly, wood filler hardens but putty does not, at least not in years.
2. How do I Deal With Nail Holes When Moving?
Ans: Fixing imperfections on the walls helps you get your full deposit back. You don’t have to repaint the walls, but after removing your anchors and nails from the wall, you need to fill those holes and leave the spots well-concealed.
To fix the holes on drywall or other substrates, get the best nail hole filler for trim and fill them. Be sure to get a strong product that dries fast to a sandable and paintable patch. Sand it when dry and then paint the patch with a color that matches the area.
3. Are Spackle and Wood Filler the Same Thing?
Ans: Spackle is different in composition from the wood filler. While filler is made of natural fibers or sawdust mixed with glue or other binders, spackle is mostly gypsum plaster.
While wood filler is ideally used for filling holes in wood, spackle is meant for filling gaps in plaster and drywall. Nevertheless, the two can be interchanged.
4. What Can I Use Wood Filler for?
Wood filler is a versatile compound that comes with a few applications. You can use it for:
- Fixing holes and cracks – holes that are left by nails or even made by pets, insects, or natural rot can easily be fixed with the right wood filler. Just fill the gap and paint over it and you might be able to restore it perfectly.
- Polishing floors and furniture – are your wood floors or furniture looking a bit dull or stained? Apply a thin coat of a solvent-based wood filler that matches its color and wait for it to cure. That will restore the glow.
- You can use it in place of wood glue – do you urgently need to join wood surfaces but you don’t have wood glue? You can you your wood filler. It will be effective, though it is not as inexpensive as wood glue, so you want to use it only for emergency situations.
Whether you are moving in or out, the best nail hole filler is one of the most useful products you can purchase. With it, you get to avoid expensive repairs and do the job yourself quickly and efficiently.
The right product makes the task super easy and gives you wonderful results so that the damage is completely fixed and no one can tell there was a problem before.
Understanding the sorts of wood filler available goes a long way into ensuring you obtain the appropriate product for your needs. As you've seen in the review, the products have varying drying times, colors, and so on.
If you’re working with a stained surface, I'd recommend you go for a putty-like the Minwax 13616000 Wood Putty.
On the other hand, if you’re working with a surface that you’d like to paint later, a filler such as the 3M High Strength Small Hole Repair would be an appropriate pick. It dries quickly and it is sandable and paintable.
Both products are in the review above.
Over to you now. Go through the features of the reviewed products and see what fits you.