How do I patch up a hole in my wall?
June 26, 2008 8:08 PM   Subscribe

When I had DirecTV installed in my apartment, the technician drilled a hole in my wall to string the cable through to the satellite (outside on my balcony). Now that I might be moving, what's the best way to cover up the hole? What do I need to buy? I know nothing about home repair/hardware, so please....the more details, the better!
posted by invisible ink to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Assuming it's just a tiny cable-sized hole, all you need is Spackle and a.... a... thing. The thing you use to spread it. A spackler? I'm drawing a blank. Putty knife, maybe. You spread a little bit of the gunk over the hole, use the putty knife to smooth it out, and you're done. I think 3M (IIRC) is now making single-use spackle packets so you don't have to buy a whole tub and have it go unused, but the classic procedure is to buy way more than you'll ever need. Check with friends; they may have some sitting around.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:18 PM on June 26, 2008

Best answer: Just a small hole, right? about the size of a pencil? Easy. stuff the hole with paper or something to build it up to the inside of the sheetrock, then fill the hole with filler or spackle. Take a putty knife or something flat, smooth it down to the wall....If your walls are flat, sand it down ( if needed) and paint it. If not, try to match the pattern as best as you can.
posted by bradth27 at 8:20 PM on June 26, 2008

Best answer: What color are the outlet plates in your apartment? Ivory or white? You can purchase a "blank" plate for less than a dollar at any big box store. Looks like an outlet cover without the holes cut out. Place this plate over the hole and screw in the two small screws. The apartment manager will never suspect a thing ;)
posted by JujuB at 8:27 PM on June 26, 2008

Here is a photo of one.
posted by JujuB at 8:29 PM on June 26, 2008

I did the blank outlet plate in two different apartments. It works great.
posted by kindall at 9:45 PM on June 26, 2008

I too have used the blank outlet plate method with great success. I use screws with toggle bolts.
posted by thejoshu at 10:14 PM on June 26, 2008

Response by poster: Great answers - thanks everyone:-)
posted by invisible ink at 10:19 PM on June 26, 2008

Spackle inside the apartment, but for exterior walls there may be something else more suitable, such as stucco caulk for stucco, or wood filler for wood siding. Spackle is great to just fill in little nail holes in apartments. I do it when I move in and when I move out. I use one of those little business card sized CDs as a putty knife.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:50 AM on June 27, 2008

My dad the landlord also told me that regular white toothpaste is a good way to fill in tiny nail holes, if you don't want to go out and buy a gallon of spackle.... though your hole is probably too big for that.

You don't have to buy a putty knife to smooth the spackle, either. You can use a spatula or an old credit card, or a piece of cardboard. Anything flat.

And then you don't have to use sandpaper either. Once it's dried for 24 hours, you can wipe it *very* gently with a slightly damp sponge or cloth and it will do the same job.

I'm coming off as the ghetto-fix girl, here... :)
posted by GardenGal at 8:46 AM on June 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

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