Can You Make Holes in Apartment Walls? (Guide For Renters) | Home Ardent (2023)

Getting a new house is one thing; turning the house into a home is another. The essence of our homes is that they carry some reflections of who we are. We can do this by fixing curtains and hanging or picture frames. Any of these will require that you make holes in your walls at strategic places.

So, you’re wondering if you can make holes in apartment walls. In this article, we’ll discuss this.

Can You Make Holes in Apartment Walls?

Homeowners often ask whether or not they can make holes in their apartment walls. Often, this is to know whether or not they will be violating any rules by doing so. So, can you?

Yes, you can make holes in apartment walls. However, if you want to make holes in your apartment walls, you have to ensure you remember to fix it before leaving the house else your owner might cut some money from your security deposit.

You should also check the requirements guiding the use of your home to determine your level of compliance. Otherwise, you may end up being liable for making holes. You may have to surrender your security deposit, depending on the level of the violation.

You are probably eager to pick that hammer and make the holes you need. But before you do that, let us take you through some things you need to know. Why should you make holes in your house? What to fill in those hoes? How to fill holes in your apartment walls

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3 Common Reasons For Making Holes in Walls

1. You May Want To Hang Your TV

TVs are a core part of our homes, especially high definition TVs. Many of these TVs require that you make holes in your walls so that you can fix them. We all love TVs, and why not. They beautify your home and are also a necessity. You may want to watch the news and keep pace with the world. You may also want to watch movies to relax and grab some fun. Either way, TVs are essentials.

However, TVs can be heavy. As such, the standard way to hold them is by drilling holes in your wall. This will help host the mounting kits on which your TV would stand. Getting mounting kits that you will fit into your wall is more affordable than getting TV stands. So, you will have to drill your wall to install the mounting kits. To effectively do this, you may have to drill up to four holes in your walls.

3. You May Want To Hang a Picture

Another legitimate reason you may want to make holes in your walls is for pictures. Hanging pictures is a common way to add some beauty and document memories. Pictures and shelves will help you decorate your room and help you personalize your space.

3. New Windows and Curtains

You cannot have your apartment without your window blinds. Window blinds serve many purposes in a home. Basic and affordable window blinds not only help homeowners reduce expenses but also give them their privacy.

So, you may want to put some holes in your walls to hang your blinds and fix your curtains. This may cause you to dig some holes in your apartment walls.

What To Use To Fill Holes in Walls?

When you make holes in your walls to hang curtains or pictures, you will have to fix the holes later on. If you have to leave the house, you need to fix the holes to avoid becoming liable. There are different methods you can use to fill holes resulting from fixings. We shall discuss them below. But before, what can you use to fill the holes in the walls?

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1. You Can Use Two-coat Plaster

  • The double coat plaster technique deals with the use of an undercoat and a finishing plaster. It provides a lasting repair and dries up quickly. The undercoat plaster comes first, and then the finishing plaster comes after.

2. You Can Fill Holes With Single-coat

  • This method also uses plaster to fill the holes. It is similar to the two-coat method. The only difference is that you apply the plaster once, as against the two times with two-coat.

3. You Can Use A Ready-mix plaster

  • You can also use ready-mix plaster to fill holes. They are easy to use and also ensure that you keep your wall surface clean while at it. You can get ready-mix plasters from a store near you.

How To Fill Holes In Your Apartment Walls?

An understanding of how to fill holes in your apartment will save you a lot of troubles. Once you know, you can conveniently do it yourself, thereby reducing your expenses. Above, we discuss what to use till holes in your walls. In this section, we will discuss how you can do this.

1. Using The Single Coat Method

If you have a deep hole to fill in your home, you can use the single-coat method. It fills up the hole and a fine finish.

  • Ensure you make the surface clean and remove loose bits using your filling knife. Wipe the surface to ensure it is dust-free.
  • Use your paintbrush to dampen the surface area so that it can make the plaster thick
  • Your goal is to get it to a thick level. So, add the powder and cold water inside a clean bucket. Use your paddle mixer until it starts to get thick.
  • Once you do that, use your knife to apply the plaster in layers until you fill the hole completely.
  • Give it a little time after that, and then use your knife to smoothen the surface area.
  • Allow it to dry entirely. After drying, you can make use of attractive wall paints to decorate the repaired area. When applying wall paint, adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions to get the paint’s best.

2. Using The Two-Coat Filling Method

You can use the two-coat method to fill deeper holes seamlessly. The process has some similarities with that of one-coat. However, the application of the plaster is in two layers. It boasts of a more comprehensive process than the first. With this method, you have to apply the undercoat and the finishing plaster.

Read: How Much Weight Can a Brick and Cement Wall Hold?

The Undercoat

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You make use of the undercoat plaster as a primary plaster before the main one. It creates the build-up for the appropriate level of thickness before you apply the finishing plaster. So, you have to get your undercoat plaster.

To use the undercoat, follow the steps below:

  • Get your filling knife and hold it tightly.
  • Use the filling knife to scrape the loose parts on the surface away. Also, use the knife to remove pieces of paint hanging on the part of the wall.
  • Brush and wipe the surface area of any dirt or debris that may remain. Essentially, keep the area clean before you start.
  • Get cold and clean water in a clean bucket. Pour the powder inside and use your mixer to stir. Ensure you follow the details and instructions on the plaster’s bag. This will prevent you from making mistakes that can reduce the plaster’s strength.
  • Continue to stir the plaster carefully, until it becomes thick. You can also use a machine to mix during this process. However, you have to ensure it doesn’t mix it too hard, as that may reduce the effectiveness.
  • Ensure you wet the area surrounding the hole as well as the insides of the hole.
  • Hold your filling knife firmly and use it for carefully applying the plaster. Ensure the application is in layers and continue until there is a build close to the surface area.

This is the point where you will use the finishing coat. The finishing plaster will give the hole a clean surface and make it look almost as though there hasn’t been a repair. To apply the finishing coat, you can follow the steps below:

  • Get a finishing plaster.
  • Ensure the undercoat is still wet, so you can scrape a little from it to make a sticking platform for the finishing plaster. That is, the undercoat should be set and ready but not completely dry.
  • If your undercoat is already dry, you can dampen it a little so that it can become wet again.
  • The same way you did the undercoat, get a clean bucket and clean water. Pour the powder and use your mixer to stir. Do not repeat the tools you used for the undercoat without washing them. Making use of dirty tools may reduce the effectiveness of the plaster.
  • You have to exercise some level of care in applying the finishing coat. At one-millimeter (1mm) layer, apply the first coat. Wait for a little before applying the second coat, which will bring the thickness up to 2mm.
  • Make use of your filling knife to smoothen the surface perfectly to establish a seamless finish. Leave it for about 90 minutes or 2 hours for it to dry up.
  • After it dries up, you can get creative. Please use paints of your choice to beautify the surface and give it the look you desire. You can also retain the look that was there so that you can have a matching room color.

3. Using The Ready-Mix Plaster

The ready-mix plaster is a convenient choice. It works perfectly for small holes. In about three steps, you can complete the process.

For a quicker option to fill your holes, follow the steps below:

  • Get your ready-mix plaster at a store near you.
  • You can apply the plaster directly from the container. Use your filling knife to get the filler inside the hole and smoothen the surface right after.
  • After smoothening the surface, give it enough time to dry up. It doesn’t take too long to dry up, so you can decorate the surface not long after you finish applying the filler.

Ready-mix plasters are straightforward and convenient. If you have small holes to fill, you can go for them.

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Prioritize Your Safety During DIY

While you can fill your holes by yourself, you need to ensure you stay safe during the process. Do not expose yourself to health risks. This makes it essential to limit your exposure to injury, especially if you are working alone.

To protect yourself, ensure you always put on the protective gear necessary during the process. During powder mixing and surface cleaning, you will expose yourself to a great amount of dust. It is only appropriate you wear protective equipment for your facial region. Wear gloves as well and ensure the area has enough ventilation.

If there is not enough ventilation, you can always mix your plaster outside your room.


Everyone loves to beautify their homes, especially new homeowners. It’s how we personalize our home experiences. However, while decoration may excite you, you need to understand if you can make holes in your new home and for what reasons.

You also need to know how to fix these holes when you are leaving the house. While you can do it yourself, ensure you stay safe while doing so. This article helps you to understand the entirety of making holes in your walls.


Can You Make Holes in Apartment Walls? (Guide For Renters) | Home Ardent? ›

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.

How do you fill holes in wall renters? ›

Spackle the Hole

Go ahead and open up the spackle or wall putty that you bought and make sure you have your trowel ready. 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.

Can you put nails in apartment walls? ›

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 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.

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.

Can you break walls in apartments? ›

Yes you can — but only once you have taken the proper precautions and ensured that whatever load they are bearing can be supported in another way. Load bearing walls play an important structural role in the construction of a house.

Should you fill holes in walls when moving out of apartment? ›

After living in an apartment for at least a year, there's bound to be some minimal damage to the walls. While some wear-and-tear is normal and built into your lease, fixing minor damage before moving out will ensure you get back your full security deposit.

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.

How do you put things on apartment walls? ›

Stick it to the Wall

Adhesive and Velcro strips are the most common, and are both great ways to place art around your apartment without leaving residue on the walls. Command strips are perhaps the most popular for holding heavier artwork, with dual adhesive strips that stick to both the wall and your artwork.

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.

Can you paint your walls if you live in an 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.

Can you put up shelves in a rental? ›

Shelves. Shelfies are the perfect way to create a space that feels you, and there are lots of options for integrating shelves into rental spaces. Floating shelves are so lovely, but you may or may not be allowed to mess with the walls as per your lease.

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

“Your tenancy agreement should state what's allowed and what isn't, but if you're unsure, always ask your letting agent or landlord before doing anything that could jeopardise your deposit. “Asking your landlord for permission to make decorative changes is always the right approach.

Do I need to fill nail holes when moving? ›

Because whether you're a renter who's preparing to move out (and, hopefully, take their security deposit with them) or a homeowner who's ready to put their house up for sale, filling nail holes is a necessary—and not always super simple—task to undertake.

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.

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 you have to patch holes when you move out? ›

1. Patch holes in walls. Seeing walls with holes—even small holes left by nails—is an immediate turnoff to home buyers, says Sarah Fishburne, director of trend and design at The Home Depot. But you don't have to repaint your entire house to have your home looking fresh again.

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.

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.

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 clean walls when moving out of an apartment? ›

Clean Walls and Baseboards

Most vacuum cleaners come with a brush attachment. Use this attachment or a duster to clear away any dust left on walls, baseboards and other trim. If you have food splatters or other residue on your walls, use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe these away.

Should I clean apartment walls? ›

Periodic cleaning over the life of the wall minimizes costly paint jobs. Preventing mold and mildew: Mold can grow anywhere, even in paint. So keep walls clean, especially in moisture-prone areas. Fresher look: Clean walls brighten any room and cost less than a remodel or paint.

What material do you use to fill holes in walls? ›

Fill dents and tiny holes with lightweight spackle using your finger or a putty knife. Make sure the spackle completely fills the dent or hole and is level with the rest of the undamaged wall. Allow the spackle to dry for 15 to 30 minutes or the time recommended by the manufacturer.

What is the best product to fill holes in walls? ›

The best and the most cost-effective way to repair a wall is with drywall putty. Drywall putty, also known as spackle, is a multi-functional paste that makes holes, cracks, dents, and blemishes disappear in the blink of an eye. Plus, it makes a daunting job like wall repair look like an easy DIY project.

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.

How do I make an apartment checklist? ›

First Apartment Checklist: What You Should Buy After (or Before) Your Move
  1. Bed frame.
  2. Box spring or foundation.
  3. Vanity or desk.
  4. Comfy chair.
  5. Bedside/reading lamp.
  6. Laundry hamper.
  7. Closet storage solutions like a hanging closet organizer or shoe rack.
  8. Full-length mirror.
Aug 1, 2022

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.

Can you drill holes in apartment reddit? ›

There is no law against drilling holes in walls, but the landlord can put that kind of conditions into the contract if he wants to.

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.

Can I paint my rental walls white? ›

Painting your walls can make your rental apartment feel like home or serve as an outlet for creative expression. Unfortunately, most landlords won't allow it.

Should you let tenants paint? ›

If you trust your tenant, you can agree to let them paint your property without any conditions. While this is a risky move, giving them a resounding “yes” makes sense in some situations. For instance, if you're certain that these tenants are long-term renters, allowing them to paint the unit isn't a bad idea.

Can you put hooks 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.

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 do you cover painted walls in a rental? ›

13 Temporary Wall Covering Ideas That are Renter-Friendly
  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

How do you hang heavy things on a rental wall? ›

Here are a few tips for hanging art – and you'll still get your bond back.
  1. Tip 1: Use picture-hanging strips and hooks. Picture-hanging strips and hooks with sticky backs are a renter's best friend. ...
  2. Tip 2: Use string or wire to hang art. ...
  3. Tip 3: Lean artwork up against the wall. ...
  4. Tip 4: Use Japanese washi tape.
Sep 13, 2019

What are the rules for decorating walls? ›

A general rule of thumb is that you can cover 60% of the area with wall decor and must leave 40% of the area blank. This rule applies even when you are hanging a piece of painting or a cluster of frames behind your sofa. The size of your painting should be around 60% of the width of the sofa.

How to build a temporary wall in a rental? ›

  1. Locate the Wall Space and Measure the Ceiling Height. With the tape measure, measure the height of the ceiling. ...
  2. Cut the Wall Studs. ...
  3. Cut the Foam Spacers. ...
  4. Dry-Fit the Wall Together. ...
  5. Fasten the Bottom and Top Plates. ...
  6. Glue the Bottom Spacer. ...
  7. Raise and Secure the Wall to the Ceiling. ...
  8. Secure the Wall to the Floor.
Apr 23, 2023

Are you supposed to remove nails from walls when moving? ›

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.

What is the easiest way to fill nail holes? ›

You can fill nail holes the proper, long-lasting way by using spackling paste on both plaster walls and drywall, or wood putty on finished wood. For a quick fix, you can use everyday items like toothpaste, craft glue, or bar soap.

How far apart are apartment studs? ›

They're always spaced either 16 or 24 inches on center (measured from center to center) along the wall and run between the floor and ceiling.

How much weight can a drywall hold? ›

Toggle bolts are the types of drywall anchors that can support up to 50 pounds, while steel hollow-wall anchors have a drywall anchors weight limit of up to 100 pounds.

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.”

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

Can you put a hole in the wall? ›

Place your bit on the point where you'd like to drill and squeeze the trigger. When you're ready to start, position the tip of the drill on the point where you'd like to create your hole. Make sure the bit is level and positioned at a 90° angle relative to the wall. Squeeze the trigger gently to begin turning the bit.

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.

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.

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.

How do you break up a long wall in an apartment? ›

  1. Add drama with an oversized mural. ...
  2. Break up one shade with blocks of different colour. ...
  3. 3 Introduce a built-in living wall. ...
  4. Break up the space with a horizontal gallery wall. ...
  5. Warm up the wall with a deep paint shade. ...
  6. Add symmetry with artwork. ...
  7. Cluster a selection of mirrors together. ...
  8. Install vertical wood panelling.
May 20, 2022

Should I patch holes when moving? ›

1. Patch holes in walls. Seeing walls with holes—even small holes left by nails—is an immediate turnoff to home buyers, says Sarah Fishburne, director of trend and design at The Home Depot. But you don't have to repaint your entire house to have your home looking fresh again.

Are holes in walls expensive? ›

Most homeowners spend between $60 and $200 repairing small holes in drywall (up to 4 inches across)—but it could cost as much as $650 to repair several holes. This doesn't include extra work like repairing texture or applying new paint.

How big of a hole can you patch in a wall? ›

Holes between 1/2" and 6" can be repaired with a piece of drywall and drywall compound. Holes larger than 6" can be repaired with a piece of drywall and drywall compound but should have reinforcing wood strips installed in the wall to support the drywall edges.

Can I make a hole in the wall without drill? ›

The best way to drill a hole without a drill is to take a nail or an awl, and hammer it into the material. Then pull the awl or nail out of the material, and use the hole as intended.


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