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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Help! I'm not a fixer upper!

    I have a 1950s house in Seattle that has been a rental for a long time. It has numerous nail holes throughout the house. My contractor is telling me that those nail holes need to be hit with a hammer before painting. Now I've gone from a nail hole size hole to a half dollar size dent. In some cases the hole was stuck too hard and it went all the way through the wall. The walls look worse now than they did before! These are old walls in a damp climate already stressed from nails and now hammering. Is this really the way to go before painting???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Help! I'm not a fixer upper!

    Without seeing what the walls were like before the hammering, I can't imagine why the contractor would tell you to beat on the walls with a hammer! If you had loose fasteners that were protruding a little bit, then I can understand setting them, but this type of work would also require filling the divots and other holes up to 1/4" with drywall topping compound and retexturing. Larger holes would require joint tape and joint compound, topping compound to smooth and level, and retexturing of the area.

    Regardless of why the hammering was done, you will now need to fill the divots and holes and retexture before priming and painting the walls. To leave the divots as they are will only make them stick out like a sore thumb once the new paint goes on.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Help! I'm not a fixer upper!

    The majority of people I've talked to, although not professionals, have told me that they just spackle over nail holes and then sand a bit and paint. However, I was told that professionals make this dimple in the wall with a hammer and then fill that in and smooth. Thank goodness these are not textured walls! Thanks for the input!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Help! I'm not a fixer upper!

    I would recommend the use of topping compound to fill the divots for two reasons. One, it's the right product to use, and two, it sands out smoother, less porous than spackle. You'll still want to spot treat these areas with primer, then use two coats of color to cover and blend the spot into the rest of the wall.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Help! I'm not a fixer upper!

    Zippity,
    Depends on the size of the holes. Finish nail holes don't require dimpling before filling. However if the holes are larger, perhaps due to plastic anchors being used, I would dimple before filling. It is much like dimpling drywall with the drywall screws. It gives more surface area for the compound to adhere. But tap lightly to create only small dimples.
    One quick tip for texture that I find works well on small areas like this, after applying you finish coat of compound, take a wet grout sponge and tap the area lightly. It creates just a little texture that blends in fairly well.
    Best, Mark

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