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I had plants hanging from the ceiling with toggle hooks, each of which needed a 5/8" hole. What's the best way to fill them in & make it look good again?

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"the best way" is super subjective, as some want easy; some want quick; some want perfect.

Since you said "make it look good", I would recommend traditional spackle (as opposed to "lightweight spackle") applied with a wide putty knife, with fine sanding between the several (at least two) applications and after the final application.

If you had said "make it look perfect" I would recommend high quality drywall topping compound, applied with successively larger drywall knives (to feather the repair area and make it near-unnoticeable in all lighting and gloss conditions) and applied and sanded in several coats as mentioned above.

The repair will likely be noticeable regardless, if your existing wall has any sort of texture and/or if you use glossy paint. There are ways to make it near-perfect but it usually means repainting the entire wall.

  • They want to patch holes in a ceiling. Discussion relative to walls may not be applicable to a ceiling at all unless it was a simple painted ceiling. – Michael Karas Jul 19 '17 at 10:42
  • @Michael Karas, what part of the answer would not apply equally to a drywall ceiling or wall? Do you want me to just swap the word "ceiling" for "wall" in the last paragraph? Where is your answer that is "applicable to a ceiling"? If it was not a "simple painted ceiling" I would presume the OP would have stated such. – Jimmy Fix-it Jul 20 '17 at 1:50
  • Well patching holes in a ceiling can be quite a different project due to ceiling texture and the effect of gravity attempting to pull wet spackle out of the hole. Virtually all of the ceiling textures I have worked with and tried to blend and patch were totally not productive to use a process of "feathering out with wider and wider drywall knives". So with that said I stand by my points that patching a ceiling is a quite different project than a wall - even if the ceiling finish was a plain painted surface - if only that you are working overhead as opposed to in front of yourself. – Michael Karas Jul 20 '17 at 4:53

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