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Having a dartboard is great fun no doubt. Whether you are practicing for professional play or you’re just pouring back some cold ones with your friends and having a bit of fun, the game of darts is fantastic. That said, your wall might not find it so awesome. If you don’t put up a good backing for your dartboard, it will end up paying the price. Well, no worries, because today we are going to cover four methods of filling dart holes in walls.
The first method, the one with actual spackle or wall putty, is by far the most comprehensive and recommended one as it produces the best and longest-lasting results. That said, all three of the other methods work fine too, particularly as quick and semi-permanent fixes.
Method #1: Using Spackle
What is good is that this method, using wall putty or spackle, can be used for small and large holes alike. So, if you have dart holes and other damage that needs fixing, this is the method to use.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
There are a few things that you will need to fill dart holes using this method.
First off, you need to buy either wall putty or spackle (both work fine), which you will use to fill the holes. You will also need to buy paint, either the same color you already have or a different color (if you plan on repainting the whole wall). You will also need either sandpaper or a sanding block, a putty or spackle knife, some tarps, and a decent paintbrush.
Step 2: Prepare the Area
The first thing you want to do here is to lay down some tarps or sheets, so you don’t get spackle, paint, and debris everywhere. Before you can get to putting spackle into the dart holes, you first need to prepare the area. You don’t want to apply spackle into holes that have loose pieces and debris.
When that debris and the loose pieces of paint of drywall come off, any new spackle applied overtop will peel off as well. Therefore, use some sandpaper to smooth things out and to remove any debris. You can then use some compressed air to blast any remaining debris out of those little holes.
Step 3: Apply the Spackle
Now it is time to actually fill the holes using your spackle and putty knife.
Simply apply minute amounts of spackle over the holes (don’t use too much, as a little bit goes a long way and you’ll just end up making a mess). Use the putty knife to really push that spackle as deep into the holes as it will go. You need to fill the holes 100%. Then, use the putty knife to remove any excess spackle from the wall.
Depending on the specific product you are using, as well as the temperature and humidity, it may take up to 24 hours for it to dry.
Step 4: Smooth It Out and Paint
Now that the dart holes are filled and the spackle is dry, you can finish the wall. Use some fairly fine-grit sandpaper to sand the wall off, just to remove any bumps you may have created when applying the spackle.
Once everything is smooth, get your paint and paintbrush, and paint the wall. Of course, it’s best to use the same color and type of paint as was previously used. It is going to take a bit of work to get the repaired spot looking like the rest of the wall, so if you have time and you want the best looking results, painting the entire wall is best. All you have to do now is to let the paint dry, and you’re done.
Method #2: Using Paint
OK, so the above spackling method is the best by far, but this does of course involve a lot of materials and a full-on renovation process, more or less. It’s a lot of work. If you only have a few very small dart holes in your wall, then you can try using this method, which involves plastering some paint into the holes.
Keep in mind that this method is really just a surface treatment. It works best for very shallow holes.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials and Prepare the Area
All you need for this task is a plastic tarp to cover the floor, some fine-grit sandpaper, a decent paintbrush, and some paint. Make sure to use the same type and color of paint as your wall has on it, or else it will end up looking quite odd.
Lay down the tarp to prevent your floor from getting dirty. Use the sandpaper to smooth out the area that you will work on. Make sure to remove loose paint chips. Never put new paint over loose paint, because when the old paint comes off, so will the new coat over top.
Step 2: Apply the Paint and Let it Dry
Once the surface has been prepared, just take your paint and apply it to the area. If the paint is thick enough, it should fill in the holes. If you really want to ensure that those holes are filled, use a toothpick or something similar to carefully insert a bit of paint into the holes.
Keep in mind that paint can shrink as it dries, so to totally fill the holes, you may need to apply several coats. Sure, this may be a quick fix, so to speak, but it works well enough.
Method #3: Using Ivory or Other White Bar Soap
Using a bar of soap to fill dart holes in walls, while a very temporary fix, does work well enough. To make this fix more permanent, you can paint after the soap shavings have been used to fill the holes.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
All you need here is a bar of white Ivory soap (or whatever brand you like). Just make sure that the color of the soap is the same as the wall. You may also get some paint and a paintbrush if you like. You will also need a rag or cloth.
Step 2: Apply the Soap
Just rub the bar of soap across the holes until they are filled up. Use a dry cloth to wipe away excess soap. Make sure that the cloth or rag is dry, or else you will end up washing the soap away. This will do fine to temporarily fill holes, for instance, to cover them up in the event that your landlord stops by.
Step 3: Paint it (Optional)
If you want to turn this quick fix into something a bit more permanent, you can paint over the soap with the same color of paint that your wall is. When the paint dries over the soap, it will create a protective layer. If you paint the soap afterward, it can give you a couple of years before you need to work on it again.
Method #4: Using Toothpaste
Yes, this method sounds a bit iffy, but the fact of the matter is that a lot of people choose to fill small holes in walls with toothpaste.
Toothpaste dries quite hard and it provides for a good temporary fix. Just like with the soap method above, you may paint overtop the toothpaste once it is dry to add an extra layer of protection.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Get yourself some plain white toothpaste, a putty knife, a rag, and some paint and a paintbrush (remember that painting is optional).
Step 2: Apply the Toothpaste
Squeeze out a small amount of toothpaste and use your putty knife to fill the holes. Use a dry rag to wipe away excess toothpaste.
Let the toothpaste dry.
Step 3: Paint It (Optional)
Once again, when the toothpaste is totally dry, to make it look nice and to add another layer of protection, you can paint over it.
Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks
To help you achieve the best results when filling dart holes in walls, follow the tips and tricks as outlined below:
- Always clean the area first. Always scrape away old paint and any loose debris.
- Make sure that everything is 100% dry when filling holes.
- To make putties, spackle, paint, toothpaste and all of that other stuff dry quickly, make sure that you have plenty of ventilation going on.
- If possible, try not to work in direct sunlight. Sun can cause spackle and paint to dry too quickly and to crack as it dries.
- Once you fix the holes, put up some sort of backing to prevent the same problem from occurring again.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fixing Dart Holes
Finally, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this topic.
Can I Use Toothpaste to Fix Dart Holes?
Yes, this is actually a very commonly used method. Although it is just a quick and temporary fix, it does work.
Why Is It Important to Fix Dart Holes?
If you don’t fix dart holes, they will just keep building up, and eventually, the whole outer layer of your wall will crumble, and that means much more extensive repairs in the future.
Simply put, not fixing those holes will lead to a hole-filled wall that just doesn’t look nice.
How Long Does It Take to Fix Dart Holes?
How long this takes depends on the method used. If you are using the best method, spackle and paint, then it will take around 24 hours including drying time.
How Can I Protect My Wall from Being Damaged by Darts?
The best thing that you can do to protect your wall is to put a backing behind the dartboard.
A simple piece of plywood will do just fine. That said, there are multiple options.
As you can see, there are a few good ways to fix those dart holes in your wall.
That said, the first method that involves wall putty or spackle is the one that will produce the best all-around results.