Can You Drill Holes in Apartment Walls?

When you move to an apartment, you will want to personalize it by hanging up pictures, paintings, and other home accessories.

They’re a great way to make the space truly your own.

However, before you pick up the drilling machine and get to work, you must know if it is okay to drill holes in your apartment walls.

This can make all the difference between a pleasant rental experience and a bad one.

Here is everything you should know about whether you can drill holes in the walls.

Can You Drill Holes in Your Apartment Walls?

The answer depends on your landlord!

While most landlords do allow renters to drill holes in the apartment walls, some might be totally opposed to it.

Therefore, the best course of action is to ask the landlord before you drill any holes.

The general observation shows that landlords don’t really mind if you put small holes in the apartment walls. 

However, they should be drilled in a way that is inconspicuous and doesn’t damage the wall’s structure. You will also be required to fix the holes before you move out.

On the other hand, your landlord might explicitly state that they do not allow renters to drill holes in the apartment walls. In that case, it is best to avoid it entirely. Failure to do so can cause a massive deduction from your security deposit.

Nobody wants that! You might also be required to pay for any damages caused while drilling the holes in the wall.

Similarly, if you fail to fill in the holes before moving out, you might end up losing out on your security deposit.

Also read: How to Fix Thin Apartment Walls?

Can Landlords Charge from Security Deposit for Drilling Holes in Walls?

Yes, they can.

The security deposit is meant to provide the landlord with financial protection for their property in case of damages or rent unpaid.

Some landlords do consider drilling holes in the walls as damage to the internal structure of the apartment.

Therefore, they’re likely to deduct a certain percentage of your security deposit.

However, not all landlords charge for holes in the wall. This is especially true if the holes are small and you fill them in properly before leaving.

You should check your lease for further details on this.

Is it Okay to Drill Holes in Apartment Ceilings?

Absolutely not!

It is true that landlords differ in opinion about whether it is okay to drill holes in the apartment walls or not.

However, all of them will tell you that the ceiling is a no-drill zone.

Therefore, it is in your best interest to not even consider drilling the ceiling of a rented apartment.

Where Shouldn’t You Drill Holes in an Apartment Wall?

Even if your landlord doesn’t have an issue with drilling small holes in the walls, there are still some areas you should avoid.

Make sure you don’t drill holes near any electrical outlets. Also, remember to avoid the sections of the walls where a light or fan socket is present.

Not being careful about these can cause electrocutions and damage to the wiring of the apartment.

You should also be careful not to drill near an electric pipe or any hookups. This can cause flooding in the apartment.

How to Decorate Without Drilling Holes in Your Apartment Walls

By this point, you might be wondering whether drilling holes in your apartment walls is really worth it.

After all, you risk angering your landlord and will have to fill them in before moving out.

If it sounds like too much work for you, don’t worry! Here are some alternative tricks you can try to decorate your walls without drilling holes in them.

  • Use monkey hooks instead of drilling holes
  • Try some high-strength adhesive tape to stick lightweight wall paintings and pictures
  • Use adhesive hooks to hang home accessories
  • Hang on bookshelves instead of drilling holes
  • Lean accessories like mirrors against your apartment walls instead of hanging them up

Repairing Holes in Your Apartment Walls before Moving Out

Now that you know that repairing holes in the rented apartment is essential let’s move on to the next part of this post.

Here are some easy ways you can repair any drilled holes in the apartment.

All of these methods can be DIY-ed, so you won’t need to call the handyman or dish out extra money.

Using Spackling Paste

The first method of repairing drilled holes in the apartment requires you to have the following items:

  • Spackling paste
  • Sandpaper
  • Putty knife
  • Paint jar

Here are the steps to follow.

  • Step 1 – Start by using sandpaper to sand out the drilled hole and its surrounding area.
  • Step 2 – Fill the hole with some spackling paste using your putty knife. If the hole is large, make sure you apply 3-4 layers of the paste. Make sure the previous layer is dry before applying a new one.
  • Step 3 – Once the hole is properly filled with the spackling paste, grab your sandpaper. Sand the wall once again, this time with the filled hole. This creates a smooth, even finish for you to paint over.
  • Step 4 – Now that you have an even surface, paint the area using a color that matches the previous wall paint. This should give you a spotless hole repair.

One-Coat Plaster

If you have drilled a deep hole in the apartment wall, you can use the single plaster coat method to fill it up.

This method also leaves a smooth, even finish once you’re done.

Here are the things you will need:

  • Filling knife
  • Cloth wipe
  • Paintbrush
  • Plaster powder
  • A clean container
  • Paddle mixer
  • Putty knife
  • Wall paint
  • Step 1 – Clean up the wall’s surface and remove any loose bits around the hole using a filling knife.
  • Step 2 – Wipe down the surface to ensure it is free of dust, sand, or any other particles.
  • Step 3 – Using a paintbrush, dampen the area around the hole.
  • Step 4 – Mix the plaster powder with some cold water in a clean container. You can use a paddle mixer for this to ensure that the plaster gets thick enough.
  • Step 5 – Use a putty knife to apply the plaster in layers over the hole. Repeat this until the hole is completely filled.
  • Step 6 – Let the plaster dry slightly and then smoothen out the area using your putty knife.
  • Step 7 – Allow the plaster to dry completely. When done, you can cover the plaster with some wall paint that matches the current color of the walls. 

Using Ready-Mix Plaster

Lastly, you can use some ready-mix plaster to fill the holes. This is the most convenient choice and works best for small holes.

Here are the things you will need:

  • Filling knife
  • Ready-mix plaster
  • Cloth wipe
  • Wall paint

Just follow these three simple steps to fill any drilled holes around your rented apartment.

  • Step 1 – Buy some ready-mix plaster from a nearby hardware store.
  • Step 2 – Clean your wall surface with the hole.
  • Step 3 – Apply the plaster directly from its container to the hole. It is best to use a filling knife to ensure that the plaster fully coats the insides of the hole.
  • Step 4 – Smooth out the wall’s surface using your filling knife.
  • Step 5 – Let it dry well, and then paint over the hole to ensure a smooth, clean finish.

Other articles you may also like: