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


Can You Drill Holes In Apartment Walls

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. 

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.

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. 

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.  

Jacob Lindsey

Jacob is a home remodeling guru having worked over 15 years in construction in Reno, NV, mainly focused on home renovations. He likes taking ideas from his clients and making them a reality.

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