Help filling a hole in the wall, hanging a guitar??
September 16, 2018 5:58 PM   Subscribe

So I'm screwing some hefty drywall anchors in the wall, managed to get two in and putting in a couple more I accidentally tear a few smallish-biggish holes (1/4 inch about) that I'd love to fill up and screw back into and hang a guitar from. Is it possible with just some sort of filler/spackle?? I'm reading a MILLION different solutions, some even conflicting with each other, and I cannot for the life of me figure out which one's correct.
posted by dr handsome to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Acoustic or electric guitar? A screw in a spackled 1/4-inch hole won't hold either, but put a molly bolt in the hole and you're good to go.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:31 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

1/4" is small enough that you might be able to just drill and insert the next larger-sized anchor. If you fill them, I wouldn't try to insert an anchor in exactly the same spot.
posted by jon1270 at 6:32 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

So, my favorite answer to this kind of problem are metal self-drilling wall anchors. Stick the tip in the hole, drive it in, the threads bite the drywall, and you're good to go.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 7:13 PM on September 16, 2018

Spackle or filler will be weaker than the wallboard that you're repairing. If it was just a patch and hang a lightweight photo decor thingy on it, then sure, but for something heavier and more fragile (i.e. a guitar) spackle isn't going to hold. I'd go with a toggle bolt that expands behind the wallboard to spread out the weight, and you can use filler to make it look nicer but it won't be loadbearing filler.
posted by aimedwander at 7:28 PM on September 16, 2018

Another vote for molly bolts. After some very frustrating experiences with failed ‘self tapping’ anchors I am sticking with the older, more reliable, sometimes cheaper molly bolts. They are a tiny bit slower to install in normal cases but here your pilot hole is already drilled, just pick one that’s a tiny bit bigger than your hole, and it will probably be rated to hold some 50lbs safely. To me it is really the sweet spot between the toggle bolts (which require a bit more skill to use properly imo) and the self tappers (which sometimes work ok and are easy but often something goes wrong).
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:59 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure molly bolts are stronger than than expanding anchors too. You might need to enlarge the hole to 3/8" to use them.
posted by rhizome at 9:01 PM on September 16, 2018

Echoing molly bolts.

For lightweight stuff the little plastic anchors are fine. The screw-in anchors are a clever idea, but require correct phase of the moon to not go wrong in "now patch this big hole and find somewhere else to put an anchor" ways.

Anything more than a couple pounds, and especially if the load will be variable and not straight down (the guitar is pulled down and put back sometimes) then little anchors will just get looser over time.

Molly bolts pinch the drywall between the front and the back with four metal fingers. For them to fail enough force has to be applied to rip a 2"+ hole in the drywall, which is a lot of force. Wiggling won't loosen them, either. Also, unlike toggle bolts, you can unscrew the load and put something else up -- the anchor stays in place. And you don't have to put a huge hole in the wall (also unlike toggle bolts), just a quarter inch or so.

It's really an ingenious design. (They're also the only reliable way to mount things to hollow core doors; you can get special ones designed for 3mm thick panels.)

And, if you're lucky, you can just pop the new molly bolts in the holes left by the botched screw-in anchors. You may need to use a pair of pliers on the anchor flange while you tighten the screw the first time to keep it from rotating until the fingers bite in. If the hole is bigger than the flange, you could use a fender washer.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:56 AM on September 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Another molly bolt vote, but want to specifically recommend these Toggler bolts. They are the only kind I use now. They cost a little more but they work great. The allow you to place and secure the anchor without having the screw attached, which sounds like not such a big deal but is much more convenient.
posted by The Deej at 5:27 AM on September 17, 2018

No chance of finding a stud? If you're regularly using the guitar, the loading and unloading is probably going to cause wear around the hole no matter how secure the anchor is originally.
posted by wps98 at 9:56 AM on September 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Buy a stud finder. The modern ones are great. Buy long wood screws. Screw into a stud.
posted by w0mbat at 11:34 AM on September 17, 2018

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