When you’re leaving a rented property, the one thing that can alleviate the stress and make it all worthwhile is the return of your damage deposit. But depending on how mercenary your landlord or landlord’s agents are, you may have your work cut out for you. They may be eagle-eyed in their quest to hold on to your precious lucre and, sometimes, they won’t even need to be particularly astute – the evidence of damage will be in plain sight and they’ll pounce on it. One thing they’ll almost certainly be looking for are the nail and thumbtack holes left over from the paintings and prints you’ve hung on the walls. And it goes without saying that they’ll overestimate the cost of getting these tiny cavities filled. It makes more sense to apply the fix yourself, rather than let it come out of your deposit.
The great news is that sometimes there’s a really quick solution that does the trick, especially if the walls are magnolia or a similarly neutral colour. Just stroll to the bathroom and grab some toothpaste (plain white is better than a stripy or coloured gel variety). Put just a little on to your fingertip and then dab it against the hole. You can remove excess with your finger to leave behind a wonderful, smooth finish and – hey presto – no more holes and also a wall that now has a nice, minty bouquet.
Sometimes, however, this quickest of fixes isn’t good enough. It could be that the holes are too large or simply that you feel conscientious and want to leave behind a better fix for your landlord’s property. In that case, the best solution is a wall filler such as Polyfilla. If, on the other hand, your heart is still set on doing it the ultra-quick way, there’s another option that’s as fast as the toothpaste method. Soap. Yes, all you need to do is grab a bar from the bathroom and rub it across the hole over and over until the cavity is no more. When the agent or landlord comes to do an inspection (try to be there at the same time if you can), the wall will look completely normal and your damage deposit should start winging its way back to you.