Surely you have gone through the same thought process as every renter: “I’ll just hang a picture now and worry about it when I move out! Who cares!”
Well, now it’s time to get your security deposit back and your walls look like a slice of Swiss cheese. Luckily, we have several easy methods to patch up those holes.
First, carefully remove the nail or picture hanger from the wall, being sure not to add to the damage in the process. To be extra safe, wrap a rubber band around the hammer, or slide a paper towel between the hammer and wall for extra cushioning. Make sure the wall is dry and clear of debris before proceeding.
The real way to patch a hole is to buy some spackle and a putty knife from the hardware store. Give the spackle a stir, then scoop a pea-sized blob (a technical term) onto the edge of the knife. You’ll need a little less than you think. Scrape a few times to smooth out, then finish with a damp sponge or cloth.
If you are in a pinch, there are some options that will work as short-term solutions (just long enough for your walk-through). You can scrape with an old credit card instead of a putty knife. And you can fill the hole with white toothpaste or rub it with a white bar of soap — these methods will look fine until you get out of there and never look back.