How do you deal with nail holes in walls?

12 Replies

Probably an odd question for my first question (great forum, btw), but I couldn't find anything that really addressed my question.

One of my rentals is almost completely paneled ( now painted). When I bought it, it had been fairly neglected for a number of years by the previous owners, in that they did a very bare minimum of any kind of maintenance. Anyway, when we painted the old paneling, it revealed boatloads of holes from nails, presumably from hanging pictures and the like.

How do some of you deal with hanging things on walls? We are leaning towards a "Command Strips" provision in the lease, especially in this particular unit, as the holes in paneling are not as easy to deal with as in drywall; what we would do is provide the first batch (say, 20) of Command Strips, and let the tenant buy any additional ones they need from there. But Command Strips won't hang curtain rods or hold flat-screen TV sets. 

Thoughts? Thanks!

Bump, in case anyone has any thoughts :) 

Why not just Spackle/fill the holes when you are done? We have several rentals that have panted paneling in them and that is what we make the tenants do before they leave.   Only use extra light Spackle and just put a small dab on your finger and then poke it in the hole... works great. 

then after the tenant leaves we always run through and touch up paint... (we use the same color paint in all our rentals.)

works for us... 

@JD Martin

I would let the tenant put nail holes in the wall and deal with the patching when they move out.  Sounds like the paneling already had holes.  Dictating what, how and where your tenants hangs pictures will set yourself up for disappointment and a roller coaster ride of worrying.

To be honest this issue your thinking of doesn't even register with 99% of landlords.  Once you are owning and controlling property you will have much to consume the mind with.

I'm not trying to knock down what's on your mind, I'm just trying to share my personal experience.  

Frank 

Thanks for the replies! That is pretty much what we decided to do...not a big enough issue to worry about. Never had paneling to deal with before, so wanted to get some feedback, but I think the gamut of holes was just the fact that no one had filled them for 20 years :)

I think you would also need to check your local laws about normal wear and tear as I know in the cities I do business in, I could ask that they limit nail holes, even make it a lease term, but it would likely not be enforceable if they did it, anyway, unless it moved beyond normal wear and tear, like leaving a huge hole from a TV wall mount or something.   And if you provide the alternative hanging materials, you're likely setting yourself up for them bugging you to pay for their damaged items when/if they don't work correctly and something falls and breaks.    

Originally posted by @Lynn M. :

I think you would also need to check your local laws about normal wear and tear as I know in the cities I do business in, I could ask that they limit nail holes, even make it a lease term, but it would likely not be enforceable if they did it, anyway, unless it moved beyond normal wear and tear, like leaving a huge hole from a TV wall mount or something.   And if you provide the alternative hanging materials, you're likely setting yourself up for them bugging you to pay for their damaged items when/if they don't work correctly and something falls and breaks.    

 Actually, I thought of that re: items falling, and also considered that (apparently) Command strips sometimes remove the paint when they come down, especially if people don't take them off the wall properly or if the paint is a low sheen, which is what we use. Thanks for the thoughts! 

My thought is this. I want my tenant to feel as if it is their home. If they think of it that way most will take care of it that way. When I can not hang pictures or whatever in my house it is NOT my house. I feel it is temp shelter. I would not mention anything about it. Let them have full use of the house they pay for. Or you could end up paying in the end.

You could always leave some nails in the walls in typical spots so they can just use what is there. 

Originally posted by @Ryan Dossey :

You could always leave some nails in the walls in typical spots so they can just use what is there. 

 Good thought! I considered that as well, but repainting around the nails is a hassle. Whoever invented paneling should be kissed, and shot, in that order :)

My wife and I just bought a personal residence. We actually used most of their drywall anchors/nails to hang things. While we did cover some it was honestly nice to not have to do some of it as well. 

@JD Martin I have successfully used regular painters caulk to fill in small holes in panelling. No sanding  and no priming needed and the caulk dries fairly quickly ready for painting in less than 1/2 hour.

Originally posted by @Victor N. :

@Jd Martin I have successfully used regular painters caulk to fill in small holes in panelling. No sanding  and no priming needed and the caulk dries fairly quickly ready for painting in less than 1/2 hour.

 Thanks for the tip Victor! I'll have to give that a shot. 

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