Can You Drill Holes In Apartment Walls? Read This Before Decorating Your Rented Property (2023)

Can You Drill Holes In Apartment Walls? Read This Before Decorating Your Rented Property (1)

If you have just moved into a rented apartment, you may want to put everything in order. The need to drill holes in the walls will creep in. By the way, who doesn’t fancy wall décors? Many people do.

But before you start drilling holes in the walls of another man’s property, you need to be completely sure they won’t frown at your actions.

Apart from frowning, the landlord may decide to take other actions. So, be careful.

Here, we shed light on what you need to know about drilling holes in an apartment wall.

So, can you drill holes in apartment walls?

You can, but keep in mind that you have to undo whatever you changed in the apartment. These include painted walls, drilling holes, and other changes considered permanent.

Imagine how horrible the apartment walls would look if every tenant that comes in drills holes on the walls. It would look terrible. The property’s value might even drop a bit.

So, don’t just move into a new apartment and start drilling holes into the walls. If you must do so, seek permission from the landlord. If the landlord denies your request, you can go ahead and drill holes in the walls. Just remember to cover up the holes whenever you’re moving out of the house.

Read on as we discuss more on this subject.

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What Can Happen If You Drill Holes In Apartment Walls?

You may think your landlord is trying to sabotage your customization plans, but he’s seriously not. If you were in his shoes, you would do the same.

So, what could happen if you drill holes in apartment walls? Well, nothing provided you don’t move out, and the landlord sees the holes drilled in the walls.

If the landlord discovers that you drilled holes in the walls, then something might happen. You might forfeit your security deposit. The landlord may also demand you fix the damage before leaving the property.

Most people might think their landlord is just too hard on you for yelling because of something as small as drilling holes in the walls. But in reality, your landlord isn’t.

If you drill holes in the apartment walls and your landlord notices them, you’re to blame for whatever happens. Do not forget you signed a rental contract.

In rental contracts, landlords always list the things tenants can and cannot do to the properties. These include changing floors, drilling holes in the walls, painting the walls, and other customizations one may want to perform on the property.

So, honor the rental contract. But if you feel you can cover up the holes in the walls when moving out without the landlord or anyone noticing, feel free to drill holes on the walls.

How Can You Fill In Holes In Apartment Walls?

Renters hear this; if you punctured holes in your apartment walls, cover them up before moving out. It would be improper of you to move out while there are still diverse holes and several nails sticking out of the walls. You could lose your security deposit.

On the other hand, landlords should cover holes on the walls before listing their properties for sale. If a buyer finds those nail holes or sees a couple or numerous nails sticking out of the walls, they may lose interest in the property or offer to pay lower than your proposed value.

So, how do you cover nail holes on walls? We will discuss the various ways to fill in small and big holes. The process is simple, though. What you need are paint, sandpaper and spackling paste.

(Video) 20 Decorating Hacks When You Can’t Paint or Use Nails On Your Walls! | Mr. Kate

Now, let’s discuss how to fill in holes in the apartment wall.

Method#1: Ways To Fill In Smaller Holes on apartment walls:

Here are the simple ways to fill in tiny holes using paint. The paint should be the same as the one on the wall.

Step#1: Gather the materials you require:

Below are the items you require for this project. Please check properly if you already have some of these items at home.

  • Paint
  • Paintbrush (small size)
  • Fine-grain sandpaper
  • Putty knife
  • spackling paste

A Handy Tip:The paint you’re buying has to match the one on the wall. Remember colors differ, so endeavor to take a picture of the original wall paint and make a comparison when you visit the hardware store. You can even ask the seller to help you choose a color.

Step#2: Mark each hole for easy identification:

If the holes are numerous, use something to mark each of them to make the job easier and quicker for you. But while doing so, ensure you don’t damage the walls further.

You can stick a toothpick into each hole or place a tape on each of them for easy identification. It will help you save time and ensure you don’t skip any spots.

You can even decide to mark the holes before going to the hardware stores to grab the items you need for the project.

However, if you won’t have a problem remembering where the holes are on the walls, you can skip this part and move to the next.

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Step#3: Start applying the paste

Now, you can start applying the paste over each hole. Do it one by one. Use any of the sharp corners of your putty knife to scoop some paste (a small amount of paste) and put it in the hole. Use the same putty knife to smooth out the applied paste.

Now, move to the next hole and so on until you have each hole covered with the spackling paste.

A Handy Tip:If you cannot smooth out any hole, you shouldn’t feel bothered by that. You can move on to the next section.

However, give the paste about 2 to 3 hours to dry properly before proceeding to the next step.

Step#4: Sand the paste area:

Has the spackling paste dried properly? You can check this by touching the paste on the wall. If the paste has solidified, it will remain in shape when you apply pressure on it.

But if it still feels soft, give it some more time to dry out. Otherwise, you may waste your sandpaper and may have to go back to step 3 (applying the paste).

Once the paste has dried, you can start sanding it down and do so carefully. In other words, don’t apply too much pressure on the area. Otherwise, you may leave a huge dent on the wall.

If you had a dent on the wall while sanding down the paste on each hole, you have to re-apply the paste and allow it to dry for some hours (2 to 3 hours). Then sand it down again.


The aim of sanding down the paste on each hole is to make it even with the wall. So, check at intervals while sanding down the paste covering holes on the walls.

Step#5: Apply your paint:

You have succeeded in sanding down paste on each hole, and now, they’re even with the apartment wall. If you’re sure of this, start applying the paint.

Use the small paintbrush to scoop out the paint and apply it to each covered hole. And remember to spread the paint to blend well with the wall and look neat.

Method#2: Ways To Fill In Larger Holes:

The technique to fill larger holes on apartment walls is the same as filling small holes. The only major difference is the use of the self-adhesive mesh patch.

These mesh patches come in varied sizes, such as 4, 6, and 8 inches. You can get any size you want, based on how large the holes are.

The first step is to cover the holes with the mesh patch, and it will stick to the wall, thanks to the adhesive. Next is to apply the spackling paste over the patch and allow it to dry properly.

Please note that you have to apply two layers of the paste. Apply the first one, let it dry out, and apply the final paste.

A Handy tip:You can cover the hole with a minimum amount of paste in your first patch.

After applying the paste and allowing it to dry for 2 to 3 hours, the last two final steps are to sandpaper the paste area and apply paint.



Can you drill holes in apartment walls? Sometimes, you might find holes you never intentionally want to drill on the walls. The door handle can slam on the wall and create a hole. Your kids may also drill some holes into the walls while playing.

All the same, you have to cover all the holes before moving out of the apartment. Otherwise, your landlord would request you fix the damages, or you could lose your security deposit.

So, yes, you can drill holes in your apartment walls, but remember to cover them up before moving out. Otherwise, you may have yourself to blame when the landlord starts acting rudely towards you.


Can You Drill Holes In Apartment Walls? Read This Before Decorating Your Rented Property? ›

In most apartments, you can make changes as long as you return the unit to its original state before your lease is up. This goes for nail holes, paint, and contact paper. So, typically, you are safe to drill or nail small holes in your apartment walls as long as you fill the holes before you move out.

What happens if you put a hole in an apartment wall? ›

So, what happens if you drill holes in the walls of your apartment? Nothing, as long as you don't move out and the landlord notices the holes in the walls. Something may happen if the landlord learns you bored holes in the walls. You may lose your security deposit.

Can you nail things to the wall in a rental? ›

Most landlords will see hanging pictures as a 'minor' alteration to the rental property and permission is typically granted. However, you will need to discuss these alterations with your landlord prior to hanging anything on the walls.

Can you hang things on walls in apartments? ›

Depending on the apartment community, your lease agreement may prohibit nail holes or even place a pricey fine on wall damage. Using nails is the most common way to position wall hangings, but it isn't the only option.

How do you fill holes in apartment walls? ›

Spackle the Hole

Place a small amount of spackle on the trowel and use the flat side to spread it over the hole. Then use the blade side to smooth it out. Repeat this process on every hole in the room. Use the edge of the trowel to make the putty as smooth as possible, so it seamlessly blends into the wall.

Is it OK to drill holes in rented apartment? ›

Always check with your property manager or building caretaker before drilling nails. Your property manager may ask how many nails you intend on using and where. Depending on your plans, your property manager may give you the green light, allow some of the projects to proceed, or ask you to refrain entirely.

What is behind drywall in apartment building? ›

Electrical cables are usually behind drywall, either running horizontally through holes in the studs or stapled vertically up the sides of studs. Outlet cables tend to be about 12 inches high. Light switches are around 48 inches high, so expect to see electric cables around that area.

How do you put things on the wall in a rental? ›

The best way to hang your imagery is using a self-adhesive strip. All you have to do is peel back one side of the strip and stick it to your picture frame before peeling back the other side and sticking to your wall.

Is it OK to paint walls in a rental? ›

A tenant should only paint with written permission from the landlord to do so. Most landlords prefer that tenants do not paint the rental or make any improvements or repairs without approval. Tenants who respect your property will not paint without your permission, but it can sometimes be necessary to clear things up.

How do you make a renter friendly wall? ›

Clever solutions abound, as evidenced by the home decor ideas we've highlighted below:
  1. Temporary Wallpaper. ...
  2. Removable Wall Murals. ...
  3. Faux Wood Wall Panels. ...
  4. Washi Tape. ...
  5. Fabric Wallpaper. ...
  6. Accent Wall Art. ...
  7. Feature Wall Decals. ...
  8. Curtain Backdrop.
May 10, 2022

What should you not do when decorating an apartment? ›

Thankfully, they've also pointed out how to fix 10 of the worst apartment decorating mistakes.
  1. 01 of 10. Using Ceiling Fans. ...
  2. 02 of 10. Forgetting to Measure Your Rug. ...
  3. 03 of 10. Not Lining up Countertop Seams. ...
  4. 04 of 10. Not Layering Enough. ...
  5. 05 of 10. Overlooking Proportion. ...
  6. 06 of 10. Hanging Art at the Wrong Level. ...
  7. 07 of 10. ...
  8. 08 of 10.
May 5, 2021

Can you fill holes in walls? ›

Tiny nail and screw holes are the easiest to fix. Use a putty knife to fill them with spackling or wall joint compound. Allow the area to dry, then sand lightly. Anything larger must be covered with a bridging material for strength before patching compound can be applied.

Should I fill holes before moving? ›

Should You Fill Holes in Walls When Moving? Again, unless your contract specifies that this must be completed, it's mainly up to you to decide. If there is a “make good of any damage” clause in your contract, then you may be legally expected to fill any holes.

How do you fill holes in walls hacks? ›

Toothpaste + Aspirin

Toothpaste works best for small holes in the wall, particularly because it tends to crack. To avoid cracking, crush up some aspirin into powder, and mix it with a bit of toothpaste to create a paste. Then, apply the toothpaste-aspirin mix to the wall and let dry.

Why can't i drill into my apartment walls? ›

The most common reason a drill won't penetrate a wall at all is because the drill is spinning in the wrong direction. If the drill bit enters the wall and then hits resistance, the typical cause is a metal plate or masonry obstruction.

How can I hide a hole in my wall from my landlord? ›

If you have small holes in the wall, like the kind made from hanging posters, you can hide them with toothpaste. Just squeeze a little dab of toothpaste on your finger and rub it into the hole, using your finger to remove excess paste and make a smooth finish.

Do apartments have wall studs? ›

Every legal framed wall has studs, unless it is made from concrete blocks or bricks. Apartments that are built with building permits and framed timber have studs, generally no more than 16 inches apart. An illegal apartment created inside an old house may not. But the studs are not necessarily wood.

How do you tell if a wall is structural in an apartment? ›

To determine if a wall is a load-bearing one, Tom suggests going down to the basement or attic to see which way the joists run. If the wall is parallel to the joists, it's probably not load-bearing. If the wall is perpendicular, it's most likely load-bearing.

What are walls between apartments made of? ›

Two of the most common forms of interior wall materials are plaster and drywall. Plaster has been used since ancient times.

Which walls are load-bearing in an apartment? ›

If a wall has a beam, column or other wall directly below or following its same path, it's a load-bearing wall. Walls more than 6 inches thick are usually load-bearing walls. Walls in the center of a building usually support most of the roof's weight.

Can I decorate my rental? ›

If your landlord does agree, make sure you get that permission in writing. If you don't, your deposit could be in jeopardy if they change their mind at a later date – and they may even call it a breach of contract. Decorating can also be more extensive than just changing the colour of the walls.

How can I decorate my room in a rental? ›

9 ways to decorate a rented home without making permanent changes
  1. Buy houseplants. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. ...
  2. Buy a statement rug. ...
  3. Invest in light fixtures.
  4. Transform the walls. ...
  5. Opt for multifunctional furniture. ...
  6. Create layers. ...
  7. Choose stylish storage. ...
  8. Hang artwork, photographs and wall hangings (without nails)
Jan 2, 2021

Can you put photos on the wall in a rental? ›

Can you hang pictures on the wall in a rental property? Renters must get permission from their landlord or real estate agent before installing any hooks to hang pictures. Most landlords will consider picture hooks a “minor alteration” and permission is usually granted.

What paint color do most apartments use? ›

Beige. Neutral tones are always popular in apartments and condos, but pairing beige with other neutrals can add a dramatic effect.

What color should you paint a rental property? ›

Many experts consider neutral tones the best option for rental homes, but it's easy to interpret neutrals as boring for a living space. The key to selecting the best paint colors for your rental property is to look at the space itself.

What is the best paint finish for a rental property? ›

The recommended finish for your rental property is eggshell, followed by satin, as they are easier to clean. They are attractive and easy to clean. Although hi-gloss is the easiest to clean, it may not be appealing due to its sheen.

Can you paint walls in a rented apartment? ›

Most Landlords Don't Mind a Fresh Coat of Paint

The problem with painting an apartment happens when you decide to use a color that isn't something the landlord appreciates. Although your lease may allow for improvements at your cost, you may need to restore the walls to move-in condition.

How can I temporarily decorate my walls? ›

How do you temporarily cover a wall?
  1. Temporary wallpaper. Removable wallpaper is just one of many awesome ideas to consider if you can't use paint. ...
  2. Tile decals. ...
  3. Wall decals. ...
  4. Fabric wallpaper. ...
  5. Curtains. ...
  6. Wall art. ...
  7. Photographs. ...
  8. Art accent wall.
Apr 5, 2022

What are the rules for decorating a room? ›

10 interior design rules to follow when decorating your home
  • Give your sofas space. ...
  • Choose a statement hero piece. ...
  • Fake height. ...
  • Create layers. ...
  • Choose the right artwork – and hang it correctly. ...
  • Add Mirrors. ...
  • Get the lighting right. ...
  • Dress your windows.
Nov 4, 2020

How do you hang things on an apartment wall without nails? ›

No Nail, No Fail Options
  1. Command Strips. This is probably the most commonly used method of hanging up frames, canvases, and any other decor without leaving a trace on the wall. ...
  2. Command Hooks. ...
  3. Hang Art From Your Molding. ...
  4. Use Your Mantle. ...
  5. Take Up Space on Bookshelves. ...
  6. Embrace the Wall Lean. ...
  7. Put the Art on an Easel. ...
  8. Clip it Up.
Jan 18, 2021

Is it safe to make a hole in the wall? ›

The main dangers [of drilling into a wall] are hitting an electrical wire, water pipe, or gas pipe,” explains Issabel Williams, a crew member with Fantastic Handyman UK. “All of these scenarios can lead to electrocution or flooding.”

Can I leaving holes in walls when moving? ›

7. Should You Fill Holes in Walls When Moving? Again, unless your contract specifies that this must be completed, it's mainly up to you to decide. If there is a “make good of any damage” clause in your contract, then you may be legally expected to fill any holes.

How do you fix a broken wall in an apartment? ›

Steps for repairing small drywall holes:
  1. Prepare the surrounding area of the hole. Begin by sanding around the hole to make sure it is smooth with the rest of the wall. ...
  2. Spackle the hole. Use the putty knife to apply spackle into and around the hole. ...
  3. Sanding. ...
  4. Paint. ...
  5. Done, congrats!
May 22, 2022

How do you tell if it's safe to drill into a wall? ›

To find a safe spot to drill into, you need to move the device across the wall with equal pressure. Always keep in mind that you should only move it along the x-axis. So, if you are moving the device horizontally across the wall, you should grip the device from below.

How do you tell what's behind a wall? ›

Here's how to find a stud in the wall quickly and easily, with or without a stud finder:
  1. Locate the nearest light switch or power outlet. ...
  2. Look for dimples in the wall. ...
  3. Use windows as a guide. ...
  4. Tap the wall. ...
  5. Drill a hole. ...
  6. Fish around with a wire hanger. ...
  7. Try a stud finder app. ...
  8. Or just use a stud finder!
Feb 23, 2023

Is it bad to leave a hole in drywall? ›

Holes and cracks may let wind, construction residue, insulation, pests, and moisture into your home. Drywall damage also makes your home less energy efficient, as heat and air conditioning escape through damaged regions of drywall.

Do I have to paint the walls when I move out? ›

Ultimately, no legal obligation requires the tenant to paint the property, with the consequence that the landlord won't be able to impose it. According to Art. 1590 cod. civ., the tenant, when returning the property, must leave it in a normal state of use and certainly not deteriorated or visibly damaged.

Do I need to patch nail holes when moving apartment? ›

Leaving any nails sticking out from the walls is even worse, so the only good option for you will be to patch up all nail holes before you move out. With enough time and confidence, you can use the proper way to cover nail holes when moving out – using spackling paste, sandpaper, and paint.

Do apartment walls have studs? ›

Every legal framed wall has studs, unless it is made from concrete blocks or bricks. Apartments that are built with building permits and framed timber have studs, generally no more than 16 inches apart. An illegal apartment created inside an old house may not. But the studs are not necessarily wood.

Are cracks in apartment walls normal? ›

A: Wall cracks are fairly common in both new and older homes and are often the result of normal house “settling” that can quickly, inexpensively be remedied by re-taping the joints—the seams where the drywall panels meet.

What fills holes in walls? ›

Tiny nail and screw holes are the easiest to fix. Use a putty knife to fill them with spackling or wall joint compound. Allow the area to dry, then sand lightly. Anything larger must be covered with a bridging material for strength before patching compound can be applied.


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